Uber reaches 400,000 active users in Switzerland
The controversial US ride-hailing firm has reported 30% growth in Swiss users in a little over a year.
On Friday, the California-based firm shed some light on its Swiss business at an event in Geneva. According to the firm, the number of active users increased from 300,000 to 400,000 between July 2018 and October 2019, and the number of drivers from 2,600 to 3,200 in the four cities where the company operates (Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne).
Despite “strong growth” the company deplored a shortage of drivers and numerous regulatory obstacles in Switzerland. It singled out the western French-speaking region, where Uber is in conflict with authorities over the status of drivers and the company itself.
Uber differs from other taxi firms primarily in that it does not own cars or directly employ drivers, but connects passengers and vehicles via its app. But this arrangement has been sharply criticised by unions as violating employment laws.
The ride-sharing firm has been accused of exploiting drivers. Uber revealed that its Swiss drivers earn an average of CHF26.81 ($26.84) per hour (after deducting the 25% commission paid to the platform).
It estimates that after deducting all costs (car depreciation, petrol, insurance), the drivers take home CHF21 per hour on average for a standard car model (Toyota Prius).
Drivers have also earned a total of CHF1.6 million in tips since the option was introduced in October 2018 which works out to CHF400 per driver per year.
Around 70% of Uber drivers use the application less than 40 hours per week, for an average of 33 weeks per year.