Here is the story…
You are about 28 years old. You did not go to school. You might have a family to support. But as you did not go to school, you don’t speak the best portuguese but you are very polite and hard worker. But you know how to drive, so what do you do?
You go drive a yellow cab as an auxiliary driver and accept to pay R$ 200,00 reais per day to the cab owner. If you work for around 12 hours a day, you probably make R$450,00. Most of the taxi drivers uses CNG (natural gas) as the fuel, so they will probably spend R$ 100,00 on it, another R$20,00 having lunch. So here is the math:
Daily Revenue (13 hours driving):
Around 30 trips suming R$ 450,00
Daily rate: R$ 200,00
Natural Gas: R$ 100,00
Lunch: R$ 20,00
Total: R$ 320,00
Net daily results: R$ 130,00
Multiply that per 6 days in a week which is equal R$780,00. In a month, assuming the guy has 1 day off, this would become R$ 3.120,00. But they generally have an agreement with the cab owner where they do not pay the daily rates on sundays. So if you want to get a bit more, forget about days off. Working 12 hours on a sunday would boost your revenue possibly on 50%, bringing you to around R$ 4.680,00.
In USD nowadays, this a bit more than $1,170.00. Even for Brazil, this is not much to live the entire month.
So what does this poor guy decides to do?
UberX is my new baby!
I started the conversation (as I am doing a market research to see what is the feeling Uber drivers have about Uber):
Me: So how long have you been working with UberX?
He: For about 3 months
Me: Are you enjoying? What did you use to do before?
He: Yes. I am really enjoying. I used to be an auxiliary cab driver but I was working too much and was not making enough money for me and my family. So I decided to take the risk and lease this car, that is from 2013 and cost me R$35.000,00 already with the CNG cylinder. So I have been working hard and being able to pay this car and still get more money.
Me: Really? This is awesome man! I am glad to hear you got the courage to take the risk and that things are better for you. Can I ask you how much you have been making per month now? (and I said it was ok if he didn´t want to say)
He: I´ve been working 12 hours a day, and getting 1 day off per week. But still, I am making around R$ 6.000,00 per month.
Me: So let me get that clear….you are now working less than you were when driving a cab, you were able to get your own car and you still make more money?!
He: Yes….thanks to Uber! But this is tough as well. I cannot let my rating go down. So I try to be as polite as I can.
Me: (getting to my work place and leaving the car) Congratulations again my friend. I will make sure I will give you a 5 stars so that you can keep your good rating (the guy was 4.7, which for Uber, is probably not that good and probably there could be some prejudice due to the fact he was clearly a less polished person)
If someone at Uber ever reads this post, please forward to mr. Travis Kalanick to let him know he is doing extreme good for my country. And tell him that I am even thinking myself to buy a car and go as UberBlack to drive on my spare time.