My Rideshare Revenue Analysis

The analysis below compares the Los Angeles minimum wage to my (gross revenue – auto expense) per hour. If on mobile, turn your phone to horizontal mode for easier viewing of the spreadsheet.

As you can see, I’m averaging a LOT LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE when auto expenses are considered. (And that’s before other business expenses like my phone, cell service, accounting, etc. See notes below.) If you were one of my passengers, and after looking at this, you want to reward me:

  • To tip me or add to your tip with a card via PayPal, click here. You may also be able to add a tip later in your rider app or via an email that Uber/Lyft sends you about your ride.
  • Find out more about my circumstances and how to proxri (ProxReward) me on this page.
  • If you want to reward me in NON-financial ways, click here.
  • However, my recommendation is, get more for your money with the benefits of the Patreon tier you choose, by becoming a patron of mine here.


What is the most valuable thing for people? Their lives. Based on other news and analysis I’ve seen about the earnings of rideshare drivers, my results are not unusual. We need to ask:

  • Why are passengers willing to literally trust their lives, the most valuable thing they have, to drivers making less than minimum wage? (Shouldn’t they actually be making MORE than minimum wage?) Is it smart to trust your life to people who may well be stressed and living on the edge financially? Are those kinds of people likely to make the best decisions while driving? Maybe they’re not thinking clearly? Maybe they’ve been on the road too long? Maybe they’re not sleeping well? You have no idea, but now you do know they’re not making enough money. This may be a huge risk, and at the very least a wildcard, a big unknown. Why are you living so dangerously?
  • Why are Uber and Lyft and their investors willing to put passengers in this unnecessarily dangerous situation?
  • Since Uber and Lyft don’t pay enough for car expenses, some cars may not be well-maintained, and more prone to sudden failures and accidents.
  • Based on the above, Uber and Lyft may also be unnecessarily endangering the lives of many millions of other Los Angeles region drivers and pedestrians.

My guess is that most passengers don’t realize how poorly their drivers are paid. Just as bad, since many drivers probably don’t do calculations such as the above, many drivers don’t realize how poorly they are paid either. But my guess is that Uber and Lyft do know these things, and are not doing much about it. But do investors in Uber and Lyft know?

For the safety of passengers, the peace of mind of Uber/Lyft investors and managers (not to mention insurance against lawsuits), and the health and well-being of drivers, obviously making sure drivers are paid more than minimum wage is a starting point.

More broadly, our networked world creates shared situations that can be challenges, such as the above. But it also creates opportunities to approach shared situations in new ways that are more suited to our networked world. I created the proximity thinking framework, and part of it, the growth model, which is used in the shared situation guide and the shared situations approach, was created for shared situations in a networked world. The fastest way to learn more is an online course I created called Let’s Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink.

Additionally, and also more broadly, I used the proximity thinking framework to create a number of projects that can help create more sustainable variety (variety that continues, refreshes, renews). I think creating and pursuing sustainable variety, or SustaVariety as I sometimes call it, is probably a better and more viable way of living in a networked world. You can explore SustaVariety more on the homepage here.


  1. The calculation of (gross revenue – auto expense) does NOT include the other costs of running a business! So I’m NOT including, in the calculations above, things like allocated portions of the phone device itself, phone service, internet, computer, office expenses, etc. And, I’m NOT including the value of my time for dealing with things like accounting and taxes.
  2. The hours I’m counting are:
    • Driving, waiting for rides, getting back home.
    • Washing and/or cleaning the car, get it ready to drive, and the time for getting gas.
    • Occasionally dealing with Uber/Lyft driver support.
    • Like a normal job, the time to use the restroom and breaks.
  3. The deductible auto expense rate for 2019 is $0.58 per mile. According to Investopedia, “The IRS bases these rates on cost data and analysis compiled every year by Runzheimer International, an independent research firm that contracts to the IRS. Runzheimer International uses data from across the country and measures auto insurance premiums, gas prices, maintenance costs, depreciation and other costs that go into operating a vehicle.” Source:
  4. Gross revenue is the daily gross from Uber, Lyft and cash tips.


  1. Here’s how to embed a Google spreadsheet in a webpage:
  2. I have the Google Sheets app on my phone, where I can update the spreadsheet at the end of each day, and then it’s also up-to-date on my website.