Gig Economy Pt 2: Transportation
Transportation has seen significant changes over the past decade. New players have revolutionized public transit systems everywhere. Over the last ten years, these transit-oriented companies have become increasingly sophisticated, offering more ways for users to plot out, order, share, and pay for various transit options.
This industry has many workers who work as independent contractors. The following is a run-down of transit companies you should know about and a glimpse at what the future looks like for gig transportation workers.
Uber is one of the largest gig economy employers in the transportation business. With over 93 million active users, the company processed over $26.61 billion worth of ride transactions in 2020. The company has an estimated 3-4 million Uber drivers making it the largest with a 72% share of the worldwide market. The term “uberisation” was coined because Uber is a pioneer in the gig economy. Uber has branched out to other services, like food delivery, launching Uber Eats in August 2014. Also, part of Uber’s success is partnering with other companies to offer additional benefits. Some companies they have partnered with include Spotify, Trulia, and Virgin America.
Lyft has been a major competitor of Uber since its launch in the summer of 2012. Although Lyft hasn’t reached the level of Uber, the company has a 28% market share. Like Uber, Lyft has partnered with other companies, including rental car company Sixt and car manufacturers General Motors and Ford Motor Company. Lyft also announced plans to launch a multi-city Robo-taxi service in 2023. Recently Lyft announced a layoff of approximately 13% of its workforce. Even with this cut, Lyft is one of the largest gig economy employers in the world.
Another employer in the transit gig economy is HopSkipDrive. Created by three moms with safety in mind, HopSkipDrive is a ridesharing app that provides safe, scheduled rides for children. The gig workers with this company are referred to as “CareDrivers”. Child passengers are given code words to exchange with their drivers before they get in the vehicle. All CareDrivers must have at least five years of childcare experience before they are allowed to drive for HopSkipDrive. Even though this is a unique niche, the total number of active drivers is 700,000, spread all over the world.
Cabify is one of the largest transit apps operating in Spain and Latin America. Founded by Spanish entrepreneur Juan de Antonio in May 2011. De Antonio was motivated by the high cost of introducing electric vehicles in European Cities. Fast forward to 2022, the European Investment Bank loaned 40 million to the company to purchase a fleet of electric cars.
Operating in over 500 cities across 45 countries, Bolt, formerly Taxify, is another giant in the transportation gig industry. Bolt offers vehicle for hire, micro-mobility, car-sharing, and food delivery services. The company employs over a million gig economy drivers worldwide, serving over 100 million customers.
All these gig transportation companies are opening new markets to a range of workers, which is excellent. However, with any great thing, there are some drawbacks. For example, transportation gig companies have been accused of not vetting all of their employees thoroughly, leading to safety concerns.
The transportation gig economy remains strong, having, like most of us, survived the Pandemic. These companies employ million. They ensure people move around with ease via an app. You too can be part of the transportation gig economy. To get started, register, go through a background check, and have access to a vehicle. Many drivers registered on more than one platform. The freedom you have as an independent gig worker is yours for the taking. Are you in?