This Week in Rideshare: Electric, Fares, and Poland.

MONDAY 2/28/22

Uber has expanded its collaboration with charger manufacturer Wallbox. The nationwide partnership offers a discounted package to Uber drivers that includes a Wallbox Pulsar Plus charger, along with installation and financing options.

Uber also offers drivers of EVs a Zero Emissions incentive that pays them an extra $1 on every Uber trip (up to $4,000 annually).

TUESDAY 3/1/22

A new Uber “Explore” feature announced Tuesday will allow users to book dinner reservations, concert tickets and other events directly through the Uber app.

The Explore tab will display categories including food and drink, art and culture, nightlife, music and shows, and provide personalized recommendations based on where Users have traveled in the past. With the “ride there now” function, users can book a ride to the destination they just purchased.

WEDNESDAY 3/2/22

Uber has quietly changed the way it pays drivers in several major cities across the U.S., using a new feature it’s calling “Upfront Fares.” Instead of paying drivers for trips based on just time and distance, it’s now using an algorithm “based on several factors” to calculate the fare. What all of those factors are is unclear. Uber has long used an upfront pricing algorithm to determine how much passengers pay, which is one of the reasons riders sometimes see vast price fluctuations.

Some drivers say, however, that they’ve mostly seen lower earnings overall since the change. On top of that, they say, it seems like Uber is taking a bigger cut of fares.

THURSDAY 3/3/22

More than 700 Uber and Lyft drivers delivered a petition Tuesday to state lawmakers, calling on the Senate to vote on a bill that would create a statewide minimum wage for transportation network company (TNC) drivers.

Those drivers are defined as employees of companies that use software to connect passengers and drivers for transportation purposes.

House Bill 2076 establishes minimum compensation standards, and provides paid sick leave, paid family medical leave, and insurance benefits. It also creates a driver resource hub to help drivers with disputes and provide deactivation protection.

FRIDAY 3/4/22

The ride-share giant said that people wishing to get to the southeastern cities of Lublin or Rzeszow from Hrebenne, Dolhobyczow, Dorohusk, Zosin, Budmierz, Korczowa or Medyka could enter the code “POMOCLUBELSKIE” or “POMOCPODKARPACKIE” to ride to and from either of the crossings for free.

The service is part of a broader set of initiatives Uber announced Wednesday to support Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.

“Our teams are working 24/7 to keep impacted employees, riders, and drivers safe and are partnering with NGOs to support relief efforts on the ground,” the company said in a release.

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