It feels as if lately the gig economy has had nothing but scandals, reports of contractor mistreatment, and political controversy. This has particularly been true with ride-share programs like Uber and Lyft. Drivers have spoken out regarding low pay and aggressive company deductions. Driving in many areas yields less than minimum wage after deductions, the cost of gas, and vehicle depreciation. Drivers are treated as contractors, permitting companies to avoid covering health insurance and other benefits one would expect. This is the case for those driving two hours a week as well as those driving sixty.
It’s clearly a complicated situation, but Big Boys like helping the little guy. Our focus is on those working hard to make something of themselves. The drivers safely taking drunk college kids home. The people with two jobs trying to get that cheddar. We’d like to propose the next generation of Uber: a bottom-dollar option for the rider on a budget and another source of revenue for drivers struggling to pay the bills. We’re proud to announce Uber Trunk.
Your Uber Trunk Has Arrived
Uber Trunk is an optional service provided to drivers already offering Uber Pool rides. While most sedans offer space for up to four passengers, the addition of Uber Trunk will typically increase capacity 25% to 50%. Since many drivers make as low as $9.21 an hour, this would raise their potential revenue to $13.81 (more than minimum wage in all US states). This is simple math, but we wanted to take things further. After all, this information is for the drivers out there!
Crunch Numbers, Not Passengers
One of the largest trunks in a modern sedan that fits Uber’s criteria is the 2014 Hyundai Sonata, with an astonishing 16.4 cubic feet of trunk space. Considering that the average person weighing about 110lbs takes up a mere 1.76 cubic feet of volume, we could theoretically fit a lot of people in that trunk! However, that’s just theory, and this is America. People are bigger. If we’re generous and say that one average American takes up three times that volume, we’re looking at 5.28 cubic feet and therefore the Sonata could still comfortably fit three additional passengers. Now that measly $9.21 becomes $16.11, and you’re driving a low rider for free. Everybody wins.
For quick reference, the following Uber-valid cars can fit at least three passengers in the trunk: Hyundai Sonata, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Chrysler 200, and Volkswagen Passat. There are surely more out there, so look for at least 16 cubic feet when you purchase your next vehicle. Stay big.