Hector Castellanos has a locked-in schedule. Every Monday morning he wakes up well before sunrise to get ready for his day driving for Uber and Lyft. He’s usually on the road by 5 a.m., works nearly nonstop until about 5 p.m., goes home, sleeps, and then does it all over again every day until Saturday. On weekends, he allows himself time off.
In all, after expenses, he nets about $500 per week. It’s tiring, he said, but he has a system and it works for him. It did, that is, until a month ago, when Uber started tinkering with its app.
The tweaks are largely designed to do two things: make sure passengers get a ride when they want one and get drivers to accept more rides, including complicated or low-paying ones that they might not want. In California, where Castellanos lives, Uber removed the ability for drivers to set their own surge prices, and it changed the way it calculates its own take of the fare
from a 25 percent fee to “variable.” …