Uber shortchanged New York drivers by an average of $900. It will cost them millions. Timothy B. Lee May 23, 2017, 5:00pm EDT

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick
Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Uber admitted on Tuesday that it has shortchanged drivers in New York by an average of about $900 per driver. The calculation error could wind up costing Uber more than $45 million in payments to drivers in the New York area.

“We made a mistake and we are committed to making it right by paying every driver every penny they are owed, plus interest, as quickly as possible,” Rachel Holt, regional general manager of Uber in the US and Canada, told the Wall Street Journal. “We are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.”

It’s the latest embarrassing admission for a company that has long had a testy relationship with its drivers. The company admitted to a similar mistake in the Philadelphia area. Back in January, Uber agreed to pay $20 million to settle claims that it had exaggerated how much people could earn as Uber drivers.

Then in February, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was caught on tape lecturing an Uber driver who complained that fare cuts were harming his ability to earn a living.

Simmering driver dissatisfaction is a big problem for a company that needs hundreds of thousands of drivers to provide service in dozens of cities. With so many mistakes, it’s going to be hard for Uber to rebuild driver trust.


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