Montreal Uber Drivers Earn $4.60 Wage Says Newspaper Experiment

How much does an Uber driver earn in Montreal? According to the Journal de Montreal’s experiment, their reporter (after working one week) earned $4.60 per hour after subtracting all expenses, which the publication says is well below the poverty line.

The reporter drove 35 hours and generated $608 in gross revenue, but after Uber’s 25% share, that number dropped to $456.08, which worked out to $13 per hour.

However, claiming $0.44 per kilometre in fuel costs (671km total) meant an expense of $295, taking net income down to $161. Divide that by hours worked (35) and the Journal de Montreal concluded their reporter’s wage to be $4.60 per hour.

The article interviews taxi drivers, with some noting incomes have dipped 20 to 30 per cent because of Uber, noting their taxi licenses have declined in value.

Anonymous Uber drivers interviewed did say their wages were below advertised $17-$20 per hour, but some mentioned they enjoyed the social aspect and flexibility of UberX.

Olivier Germain, a professor of management and technology at UQAM, said Uber was a classic “capitalist business model,” where only the ridesharing company benefits.

In Montreal, there are over 300,000 trips each month taken by passengers on Uber. The company faced legal action last month in the city, after one first-time passenger didn’t understand surge pricing under peak times and complained. Earlier this month, Quebec’s taxi industry sought a court injunction to eliminate “illegal” UberX in the province.

Meanwhile, resistance to Uber continues in other Canadian cities, with Toronto taxi drivers planning a “heavy duty” protest this NBA All-Star Weekend.

In Calgary, city councillors will debut a new proposed bylaw legalizing ridesharing services on February 22, but with strict criteria Uber opposes, saying the extra $500 in admin costs would deter the company from remaining in the city. Rules will include vehicle inspections, police background checks, a valid driver’s license and insurance.

Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi didn’t buy the company line, saying “They’ve made that threat a number of times in a number of jurisdictions,” adding “As far as I know they’ve never actually followed through on that threat anywhere.” (via Metro News)

For now, Edmonton remains the lone city in Canada to have legalized Uber, a model which many cities are expected to follow.

[via Huffington Post]