Lyft and Uber Drivers Could Level Up During IPOs
By Alexandra Bacchus
Lyft and Uber will offer a cash bonus to drivers with the most miles ahead of their IPOs
African-American drivers made up 19.5% of Uber’s workforce in 2013
The two most popular rideshare providers Uber and Lyft announced the option for drivers with the most miles logged to purchase stock with their bonuses ahead of the public. Lyft will offer the rare opportunity to drivers who have logged over 10,000 hours on the app, with no cap on the amount of people who qualify. Is this going to create an influx of cash for minority drivers?
Why This Matters: More people are turning to ridesharing services as their primary source of income, even though they do not offer health insurance or other employment benefits. African American drivers made up 19.5% of Uber’s workforce in 2013, with the average driver making around $19 per hour. The move to offer Uber and Lyft drivers the chance to invest in the rideshare giants, which are projected to be worth $20 billion and $120 billion respectively, gives black drivers the opportunity to build wealth in the stock market with a low barrier to entry.
Investments give people the opportunity to make money with long term goals in mind, and with the decline of employer pensions, saving for retirement would not be possible without it. Rideshare drivers are technically “contractors”, meaning they are not entitled to the same benefits that full-time employees have. Hopefully, this opportunity will allow some of the most dedicated contractors to profit off of Uber and Lyft’s projected successful entrance to the public markets.
Situational Awareness: While minority investment in the stock market has historically been low, it is growing steadily. A 2017 market research report showed that 67% of African Americans with incomes over $50,000 invest in stocks or bonds, compared to 60% in 2010. With corporate innovations like this, African Americans in even lower tax brackets can gain more access to the stock market and set themselves up for future financial success.
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