Ride-sharing way to earn extra income in tough times

Ride-sharing way to earn extra income in tough times

KUALA LUMPUR - Many people have signed up to become driving partners of ride-sharing companies as a second job to supplement their incomes.

A Uber driving partner, who wished to be known as Ruby, said Uber offered a monetary boost especially for people like her who work on a freelance basis.

"I think it's great. I know a single mother who also drives for Uber and it helps her finances tremendously. The more hardworking you are, the more money you earn," she said.

The part-time actress said she once earned RM1,300 (S$428) a week when she drove during peak hours.

Ruby, who is now involved in a TV production, has not been driving for Uber for the past two months.

She signed up to be a driver about 11 months ago when there were very few Uber driving partners around.

"The news about 100,000 more Uber drivers would mean increased competitiveness amongst us within the Uber community. But this is one of the ways you can earn extra cash.

"I am most probably going back to driving again once my schedule clears up," she said.

Another Uber driving partner, Saadiah Ali, said she signed up as it did not clash with her day job.

"I work odd hours. Uber allows me to earn money on the side. I live on my own and I have no children so I have the time for an extra job.

"The beauty of this is that it does not require a special skill to earn extra income. I also love driving, so that's why I joined," she said.

However, one Uber driver, who is in his 30s, said the company lowered its fare rates late last year.

On top of the RM1.50 base fare, the drivers today were paid 60 sen a minute and 30 sen per km for each trip, said the driver, who only wanted to be known as Teoh.

"It used to be 70 sen a minute and 35 sen a km," he said, implying that the new rates were not high enough to cover their costs.

He added that for every trip a Uber driver did, the company would take 20 per cent of the earnings.

A driver with over six months experience in the ride-sharing business, Teoh said that Uber was facing stiff competition from GrabCar, which he felt had potentially more reach.

"GrabCar (deals with) cash. It's a bigger market. More people trust cash over online credit cards," he said.

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