Jeff Chiu—AP
By Kerry Close
February 4, 2016

If you’re looking for a ride to or from the Super Bowl, the world’s largest unofficial taxi company might not be an option.

Some Uber drivers in the greater San Francisco Bay area say they’ll be boycotting the roads during the big game on Sunday, in protest of the ride hailing giant’s wage policies. Claiming that Uber doesn’t allow them to make a livable wage, drivers say they’ll refuse to ferry customers to and from the Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in order to make a point.

An online flier urges drivers to protest by not accepting Super Bowl fares, noting “this is the biggest stage we will ever get,” the San Jose Mercury News reported. Supporters of the movement are being urged to take to Twitter with the hashtag #UberSuperBowlStrike.

San Francisco Uber drivers have already publicly demonstrated against what they feel is unfair treatment at the hands of their overlords at the ride-sharing app. On Tuesday, about 200 Uber drivers drove back and forth from City Hall to company headquarters on Market Street, honking their horns in protest, SF Weekly reported.

A boycott of Levi’s Stadium could be especially embarrassing right now for Uber, which recently announced a partnership with the Super Bowl that gives riders and drivers certain perks, such as being able to use taxi stands at various Super Bowl venues.

About 40,000 people drive for Uber in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it’s unclear how many of them will participate in the protest. Uber will likely put surge pricing into place during the game, which means contractors could make significantly more money than they usually do—and perhaps have more incentive to ignore their fellow drivers’ calls to protest.

In cities around the country, Uber has recently cut prices to combat a seasonal drop in business. Ride rates have been slashed by 10% in San Francisco and by 20% in the South Bay and East Bay areas, for example. Some drivers in affected cities—including Washington, D.C. and New York—have reacted negatively to the price cuts. They say that, contrary to Uber’s assurances that the price drops would not affect their earnings, they now are not able to make a living wage.

In San Francisco, Uber claims drivers are guaranteed $35 an hour during peak times. Local drivers, however, say their earnings have fallen as low as $8 an hour, SF Weekly reported.

 

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