Ubernomics

In a previous post, UberX Pricing by City [Raw Data], I published a list of cities and towns in which UberX operates along with the minimum price, price per mile and price per minute. My original intention for collecting the data was to derive conclusions behind what I call “Ubernomics”.

What is UberX?

I’m going to begin by establishing what is uberX and some caveats about the data and calculations so everyone is on the same page. UberX is “a private ride at an everyday price”. Essentially, nearly anyone older than the age of 18 can earn money driving people around.

These cars and drivers are generally not licensed by the local government and have been, as of 2018, subsidized by investors. A 2016 report indicated that Uber’s investors subsidized 59% of the ride’s actual fare. This means the rates we use below are bound to increase.

Note: The rates are accurate as of 01/29/2018. You can download the raw data from the earlier post.

Caveats:

  • The prices and fares used below are what consumers pay Uber. These numbers do not take any kind of Uber commission, taxes, fees or insurance/gas expenses into consideration.
  • Some of the fares listed on Uber’s website were of regions like North Georgia. Some of those regions were ignored in favor of cities. This could lead to minor inaccuracies.
  • Since I used m.uber.com, the data could be slightly inaccurate or may not reflect surge pricing.
  • Lastly, some cities may also be missing in the dataset. It is likely that Uber operates in some cities not mentioned in the dataset.
  • The dataset is for the U.S. only.

Ubernomics [Ranges]

These are some pretty basic facts that I wanted to start off with. As you can see, there doesn’t seem to be a clear correlation between the minimum fare, the price/mile and the price/minute.

The price per minute is the price the customer pays when the ride has begun but the car is not moving. This is not the same as waiting time, which is when the driver is waiting for the rider to begin the ride.

City & State with the Highest Minimum Fare for UberX:

The Hamptons in New York has the highest minimum fare at $10. It is 25% higher than the next highest – New York City.

City & State with the Lowest Minimum Fare for UberX:

Traverse City in Michigan has the lowest minimum fare at $4.00. Other than being the largest producer of tart cherries, Traverse City micropolitan has a population of just 143,372 people!

City & State with the Highest Price/Minute for UberX:

The Hamptons has the highest price/minute at $0.60/minute, which is not very surprising. However, Savannah, GA, and Honolulu, HI come in at second place with $0.40/minute.

City & State with the Lowest Price/Minute for UberX:

Phoenix, AZ has the lowest price per minute at $0.09 per minute. After Phoenix, three cities in California tie for second lowest – Fresno, Modesto, and Palm Springs at $0.10/minute.

City & State with the Highest Price/Mile for UberX:

The city with the highest price per mile is San Luis Obispo in California at $2.06/mile! For reference, 2018 IRS Standard Mileage Rate is $0.545/mile. The second highest is Gallup, NM at $1.90/mile.

City & State with the Lowest Price/Mile for UberX:

At the other end, we have Knoxville, TN at $0.70/mile and Orlando, FL at $0.71/mile.

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