Uber drivers in the U.S. collected an average $13.36 per trip, while Lyft drivers took in an average of $12.53 for each ride, according to a new report.
The data comes from SherpaShare, a smartphone app that helps rideshare drivers track their mileage and tax deductions, and is based on over 10,000 drivers taking more than 1 million trips from January to May of 2015. The cost per trip is calculated before Uber and Lyft take their cut, which is typically around 20%.
The report shows fares can vary widely depending on location. In New York City, where Uber and Lyft are more heavily regulated, drivers gross more than twice the national average, while drivers in Nashville make about $10 per ride. However, only in New York and San Francisco do for-hire rideshare drivers make more than $14 per trip. When those two are removed, the trip price in most cities falls between $10 and $13.
SherpaShare's findings show the average rideshare trip increased 8% in the five months covering January and May, but the company warns against reading too deeply into these trends because variables like bad weather, surge pricing, hourly guarantees, and other special driver incentives can skew the data.
However, even with those caveats, the report notes "gross fares per trip shows a clear (if small) upward trend since the round of 48-city fare cuts that made news at the beginning of 2015."
"What we can say with certainty from this data is that Uber and Lyft haven’t driven per-trip earnings off a cliff as they've adjusted base rates over time," the report concludes.
Unfortunately, without additional data like average trips per hour, average trip duration, and the average amount of downtime between trips, there's still not enough information to create an independent estimate of how much Lyft and Uber drivers actually make. Uber has previously released its own report on its drivers' wages, and come up with an average of $19 per hour in select cities. But neither Uber nor SherpaShare factor in the costs incurred by drivers, such as car payments, upkeep, insurance, and gas.
SherpaShare says it will be examining additional rideshare data in future reports.