Uber driver Grant Madden
A glitch within the Uber driver payment system is forcing San Diego drivers off the road, and riders are paying for it with higher charges.
Surge map from Saturday (Sept. 15) showing high-price areas for Uber users.
Uber drivers earn a commission on each drive that they perform. At the end of the trip, that money is pooled and is available two ways for the driver. The most traditional is a weekly period paid into a bank account after the period ends. The other method is InstaPay, which drivers use to finance their Uber duties. Instapay allows drivers to "cash out" their earnings, and thus self-fund their Uber duties without having to access their traditional accounts.
The glitch within the system has halted payments being made to drivers, and unable to access their funds, drivers are not available to Uber. By mid-afternoon Friday, September 14, the glitch had pushed enough San Diego drivers off the platform that the entire region began to surge. Surge is higher pay for the drivers that continue to work, and, higher costs for passenger riders
The glitch in the payment system also means that trip and safety issues are unable to be reported, either by the passenger, or the driver.
On Friday, September 15, when the Rascal Flatts concert at Mattress Firm Amphitheater was cancelled, two hours before the scheduled start, the lack of drivers drove the short fare from the amphitheater to the border up 300 percent.
At the same time, the cost of a fare anywhere from San Diego airport was up 270 percent.
By Saturday morning, the issue was still not resolved. Drivers continue to decline to work, either staying off the road of switching to another ride-sharing service. Those that opted to work continued to receive ride requests, unable to account for their earnings once complete.
Uber support is aware of the problem and states that an answer will be available within 48 hours.
That's a long time to be waiting for an Uber at Kaaboo this weekend.