When are Lyft drivers paid

Algorithms at Uber and Lyft: Drivers tricked together price increases

Uber and Lyft Drivers at Washington D.C. Airport trick the algorithms of the transport service providers several times every evening in order to increase their prices. Like the local news channel WJLA reports, the drivers report to the portals in a coordinated manner that they are not available and trigger a price increase through the automatically detected driver shortage. A short time later, they switch their apps on again and accept the now much more expensive journeys. After several price cuts in recent years, they would have to fight back, so the drivers justify their behavior, but felt guilty.

Drivers feign a lack of drivers

The drivers make use of the so-called "surge pricing" of the transport service providers: the greater the demand and the lower the supply of drivers at a certain time or at a certain location, the higher the prices for the passengers. By signing off at Ronald Reagan National Airport at the same time, drivers are suggesting to Uber and Lyft that too few drivers are on site. At the same time, the drivers made sure that their shutdowns match aircraft landings, explains WJLA. If the air travelers then start their Uber or Lyft app in search of a ride into the city, they generate high demand.

They justify the reporter for their action with the price cuts of the past three years. For a trip to Washington D.C. the apps would only charge $ 4 during rush hour. In a coordinated price hike, they could add $ 10, $ 12, or even $ 19 to it in a matter of minutes. This then benefits all drivers, the additional costs have to be paid by the passengers. They would have a guilty conscience for this, but blame it on the app providers, who have continued to reduce prices.

Review from Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft have criticized the behavior. Fraudulent behavior could lead to a ban from the platform, Lyft told WJLA. According to Uber, the behavior was neither widespread nor permitted. Technical precautions have been taken to prevent it. The organization Drive United, which informally represents drivers from Uber and Lyft, also pointed out the lower prices. It is therefore not surprising that drivers find ways to work together to get enough money to cover their basic needs.

The tricks of the drivers in Washington D.C. are not new, something similar was observed years ago, explained The Register. The researcher Lior Zalmanson from the University of Haifa had already researched this at the time and explains to the online magazine that the apps ensure that the drivers are isolated from one another, but also that they do not feel any loyalty to the providers. A feeling is promoted that everyone is on their own. In this specific case, the drivers have organized themselves using other apps and coordinate things using Messenger, for example. Uber and Lyft should take this seriously and integrate more people into their processes, says Zalmanson.

You can also read about this at heise online:


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