Publication Detail

What Drives Your Drivers: An In-Depth Look at Lyft and Uber Drivers

UCD-ITS-RR-18-02

Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Berliner, Rosaria M. and Gil Tal (2018) What Drives Your Drivers: An In-Depth Look at Lyft and Uber Drivers. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-18-02

Lyft and Uber are two of the most well-known, on-demand ride-service providers in the current landscape of shared mobility. As monthly ridership for these two services grow, researchers are left wondering about the individuals giving the rides: the drivers. This paper shifts the focus from on-demand, ride-sharing passengers to the drivers – a topic to which little attention has been paid. In August 2015, Kelley Blue Book provided a dataset from its nationwide survey of U.S. residents aged 18 to 64 that collected information on shared mobility awareness and usage, personal vehicle ownership, aspirations for future vehicle ownership, and attitudes and opinions on shared mobility and personal vehicle ownership. We estimate an ordinal logit to understand the willingness to be a driver for an on-demand ride sharing service.  We find that the individuals who report higher VMT and that have more children are more willing to drive for the service. Older women with higher incomes are among the least likely to desire driving for these services. We introduce attitudinal factors and find that those who believe “Ride-sharing is better than vehicle ownership” are more willing to drive for these services. Furthermore, vehicle ownership is positively correlated with the desire to drive for on-demand ride services – owning a vehicle makes it possible for an individual to drive. The next step of this research is to develop a new survey that over samples ride-sharing drivers to better understand who is driving for these services, rather than who is willing to drive for them.

Keywords: On-Demand Ride Services, Shared mobility, Uber/Lyft drivers, Ordinal Logit