Uber driver says wages work out to about $8 an hour
Raphael Assaf says he picked up 130 fares and made just over $500 in two weeks
Raph Assaf signed up to drive with Uber a couple of weeks ago, attracted by the independence of the job, and his interest in learning more about the controversial ride-booking company.
"Something didn't sit right with me," said Assaf, a film director who recently moved to Ottawa from British Columbia. "They are promoting paying $20, $30s an hour versus fares being so low."
Assaf calculated that over the past two weeks he's worked 40 hours, picked up 130 fares and made a little over $500.
He estimates that after his car payment and gas, he's actually been working for less than $8 an hour.
Assaf has worked as a taxi driver in Vancouver, where he made several times that hourly rate. He says it doesn't help that Uber discourages customers from tipping.
"When we take away tipping does that mean we take away service and what we are known to be as Canadians which is friendly, helpful and always providing good service," said Assaf.
Assaf does have a 4.9 out of 5 star rating from his customers. But he doesn't rate his employer that highly.
They don't care at all about the drivers.- Raph Assaf
"They don't care at all about the drivers," he said. "It doesn't bother them that we're making below minimum wage and it's really just about how cheap the customer can get [a ride] and how much money Uber can make."
Uber Canada responds
Uber Canada said Assaf's experience is not typical of what they're hearing from drivers in Ottawa, who the company said earn an average income of $25 per hour, before expenses.
"We have had great success with bringing on drivers in Ottawa because they have found Uber to be good earning opportunity," wrote Uber Canada spokeswoman Susie Heath in an email to CBC.
"On average Uber partners make $25 an hour in Ottawa and we continuously provide information to partners that empowers them to increase their earnings by working in busy areas and times."
Assaf says he doesn't expect to work for Uber for long.
He said he hopes to perhaps use his experiences to help him in his main passion, film, and write a documentary about tipping.