The other night I had an UberX driver tell me, in detail, how he was attempting to crank out 25 rides that evening, no matter how long it took him, and that I was his ninth fare of the night at around 7:30 p.m. He was talking about the new 20 percent bonus that Uber announced for drivers who complete 100 rides in a week a major incentive after Uber has systematically cut fares in order to boost revenue, at the expense of drivers' take-home pay. My driver on Monday said he'd been driving taxis for a living for 26 years, and that he used to say anyone who couldn't manage to make at least "three bills" a night was a sheer amateur.
But making $300 in a 24-hour period for a rideshare driver could take upwards of 14 hours, and thus you have drivers who come into San Francisco from Fresno, Napa, Stockton and elsewhere sneaking in naps in places like the Market Street Safeway parking lot, as SF Weekly explains and unlike regular taxis, which cap hours at 12, and Lyft, which disables the app for six hours after 14 consecutive hours of driving, Uber has no such cap. (And there's nothing to stop a driver from simply switching between apps, as a number work for both Uber and Lyft.)
The paper talks to one driver, a married mother of one from Stockton who's writing a memoir about her Uber-driving experiences, who takes home around $1,100 after five days and 60+ hours of driving, which she does by pulling over for naps where she can, and pulling 12- to 14-hour shifts.
Is this leading to a lot of under-rested Uber drivers on the road? Maybe, though there's no data to back that up yet.
But this also only add fuel to the argument to make drivers employees, and to offer overtime pay.