The readjustment of gains for drivers announced by companies Uber and 99 was insufficient, according to them, to offset the recent rise in fuel prices and vehicle maintenance. The movement of platforms came after reports of partners leaving the profession or denying races to avoid losing.
Estadão spoke with app drivers, and the assessment is that the change was timid and that the gains were consumed by inflation. Fuel alone increased by more than 50% in the year. The readjustment of companies in transfers to drivers was up to 35%, being 10% in some regions.
The report sent questions from drivers to Uber and 99, but the companies did not respond directly to the questions, highlighting only the adjustments granted.
For Tarcísio de Oliveira, 42, the amount transferred to drivers should rise between 30% and 35% to recover costs. He has been working with one of the platforms for a year.
“I think not (the 15% readjustment of Uber in Brasília was enough), but it improved”, says the driver, who calculates a gain of R$ 50 more, with the readjustment, for every 500 km driven.
In the business for three years, João Paulo da Silva, 26, calculates that the profit margin of drivers was reduced by up to 40% in the last year. As costs rose, Silva changed his way of working.
He started to prefer races on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends, when the demand for drivers is higher. In their accounts, the occupation no longer paid off on weekdays and on shorter trips.
For Silva, the readjustment announced by the companies will not change the scenario. “Those passengers who keep trying to take these short trips will continue to suffer in the same way. Definitely not (it will be enough to bring people back). Anyone who left the app has found something better.”
The assessment is reinforced by the president of the Union of Autonomous Drivers for Applications of the Federal District, Marcelo Chaves. “The readjustment was so minimal, at least in the Federal District, that the driver didn’t even feel it in his pocket. It didn’t solve much, no,” he says.
Drivers who work for Uber and 99 in Greater São Paulo point out that the readjustment percentage announced by the companies is not fixed nor is it valid for all races.
“They announce these readjustments of ‘up’ so much, that is, it may not reach the maximum value. And it doesn’t apply to all races, this adjustment will depend on the time, location, type of race, passenger, in short, of numerous factors for the driver to receive this adjustment”, explains Eduardo Lima de Souza, president of the São Paulo Application Drivers Association (Amasp)
“This year alone, the fuel had an increase of more than 50%. So, this readjustment is still out of date, the driver is still losing out”, adds Souza. “Any and any readjustment or increase for a category is always welcome, but this one is insufficient”, he says.
For Souza, partnerships with gas stations signed by the apps do not help either – Uber signed a partnership involving cashback for drivers with the Ipiranga gas station, while 99 joined the Shell network.
“These partnerships are with the brands that have the most expensive fuel. It is possible to find brands with the cheapest gasoline value,” he says.
Rosemar Pereira, 48, who works as a driver for the two applications, said the announced adjustments were “bull talk”.
“If you are going to give an increase, which gives an equal increase in all races, a fixed increase, a real increase. We need a decent rate, so that we can work calmly and bear our expenses,” he says.
When contacted, Uber stated that, “with the constant increase in fuels”, it has “intensified its efforts to help partner drivers reduce their costs, with partnerships that offer discounts on fuel, for example, as well as having carried out a review and readjustment the earnings of partner drivers in several cities”.
99 said that the new values take into account “the negative impact of the increase in fuels on the category, considering the maintenance of the platform’s balance”.
“The objective is to continue offering a source of income for partner drivers and a financially viable, safe and efficient means of transport for the population.”
Race canceled becomes a routine
Passengers using private driver apps report high price and difficulty finding a driver.
Urban mobility coordinator at the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (Idec), Rafael Calabria, attributes the problems to the “unreal” and “surprisingly low” price that platforms practice in Brazil – which leads to poor service quality.
“Having multiple driver cancellations has become routine,” says social media analyst Camila Nishimoto, 25, who uses Uber to travel around Greater São Paulo.
The price has also changed. In Brasília, passenger Regina Picoli felt the difference. She recalls that, in August, a trip from Brasília airport to her home cost around R$30. Yesterday, the price charged was R$40. “I saw that it increased a lot,” she says.