The cost of an Uber trip from Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Airport was almost £72 yesterday morning (March 3) - illustrating a ‘big rise’ in fares charged by the company according to a city-based driver.
The £71.91 quote for the eight-mile journey was provided when Bristol World tried the Uber app at around 11am. That’s more than a £70 direct return flight from Bristol Airport to Tenerife this month - a location more than 2,000 miles away.
At the same time, a six-mile Uber journey to Failand in North Somerset was quoted at £44.95. The app did carry a warning stating ‘Fares are alot higher due to increased demand’ - although an Uber was ready for pick-up in just two minutes.
Uber has not yet responded to Bristol World’s questions on the fare. But on it’s website, the San Francisco firm said when many people in the same area were requesting rides, trip prices could be higher than normal. “This change in price helps to attract more drivers to an area so everyone can get a ride,” it added.
However, Shaban Ali, who is an Uber driver in Bristol, said the rise in fares was down to a change in the company’s fare system, which he said meant drivers no longer received a 75% cut of the fare. Instead, he said, the drivers received as little as 30% of the fare, with Uber taking the rest.
In December, he organised a App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) protest held at Uber’s Bristol headquarters in St Pauls which called for a fairer fare system. Members also claimed mileage was now being calculated as the crow flies, and not the actual mileage of the route.
Mr Ali said: “What they are charging customers is going up and up - and what we are getting, as drivers, is a pittance. We are having to work longer hours and spend more time away from our families. It’s tough for us all.”
He added: “That price to the airport is massive - but I’m not surprised, we can’t see what passengers get charged but we’ve asked and we see it increasing while we’re all struggling.
“Uber need to reduce the price and give us a fair share of the fare - that would be a win, win situation as we’d see more customers and we’d see more money shared between the drivers in the city.”
Mr Ali wants Bristol City Council, which issues private hire driver licences along with other authorities, to put greater pressure on companies like Uber to reduce the commission it takes from drivers’ fares.
Asked further about the £71.91 fare quoted to Bristol Airport, Mr Ali estimated the driver would have received £20 of the fare, but be left with £15 after paying the £5 drop-off at the airport.
Have you been quoted a high Uber fare in Bristol? Let us know by emailing [email protected]