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Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Complaints Are a Startup Opportunity(Bloomberg) -- A number of upstart ride-hailing apps are taking on Uber and Lyft with the promise of treating drivers better.
Among them are Dallas-based Alto, which hires drivers as employees and gives annual compensation. Empower, based in McLean, Virginia, and Wridz in Austin, Texas give 100% of cab fares to the driver. The Drivers Cooperative in New York promises a share in the profits.
Drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have long complained about issues from platform charges to employment status. As quarantines decimated demand for rides, many drivers quit and found unemployment benefits outpaced wages from driving, some shifted into food and grocery delivery, while others sought full-time work. This shift in the power dynamics between drivers and the apps saw the tech giants paying millions in bonuses to lure them back. The new startups can tap into that dissatisfaction. But to win market share they must confront the efficiency with which Uber and Lyft match riders with drivers, and the massive scale of those companies. The incumbents have reported progress in luring and retaining drivers, raising pressure on new entrants to ensure they can compete...