That some drivers are unhappy with the dominant players is hard to argue with. Drivers in New York and San Francisco staged protests on Feb. 1 over Uber's fare cuts, which drivers said prevent them from earning a living wage. Uber said those cuts — initiated on Jan. 9 — were necessary to combat the post-holiday slump in demand, and that the reductions lead to more work, and ultimately higher earnings for drivers.
Another issue that drivers have with Uber is the lack of tips. Lyft said that its platform has paid out more than $65 million to divers in tips.
"The issue with Uber and Lyft's model is that it's really dependent on how far the drivers drive, and San Francisco is small," said Hale. The average Uber driver that Hale speaks to makes between $1,500 and $2,500 per month if they are working full time, he said. (Uber said driver earnings differ from market to market.)
Hale compared the business models employed by Uber and Lyft to those employed by strip clubs. "You can never have a repeat client with either model and you can't ever own the client, because the client belongs to Uber or Lyft," he said.
He said his model is a better fit because it was created by someone who actually works as a driver. "These are tech guys, so they have never been in the vehicle and they don't understand from a driver's perspective what we know," said Hale. "The drivers care about building a sustainable business and the ability to provide for a family."