Uber drivers log off to protest upfront pricing and pooling

Uber drivers in Australia were told to log off their apps on Monday morning, to protest “features designed to further shortchange and underpay” them.

RideShare Drivers United (RDSU) called on them to turn off the Uber app between 7:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The lobby group wants the ride-sharing company to stop using “upfront pricing” in favor of the old system where drivers are paid by time and distance traveled. It says the upfront approach fails to take into account “unexpected traffic conditions, passenger requested stops, and/or occasional road closures.”

Upfront pricing estimates the cost of a ride for passengers prior to booking.

The RDSU also demanded that Uber allow drivers to opt out of the UberPool system (where passengers share with others) and increase uberX base rates by at least 15 percent, to account for the “constant increase in car maintenance and on road costs.”

Neither the RDSU nor Uber immediately responded to requests for comment.

Upfront pricing came to Australia in March, the same month that Indian ridesharing company Ola launched as a competitor in Sydney.

In June, a London taxi driver group said it was exploring the possibility of bringing a class action lawsuit against Uber, weeks after the company dodged a ban in the British capital.