Uber and Lyft drivers make a median $3.37 an hour before taxes, according to a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, less than the federal minimum wage.
According to the research, 30 percent of drivers actually lose money from Uber and Lyft when the costs of maintenance and other expenses for their cars are factored in.
The study, based on surveys of over 1,100 drivers and analysis of their fuels and maintenance costs, says that nearly three-quarters are not making minimum wage.
Uber refuted the paper’s findings in a statement it made to the Guardian.
“While the paper is certainly attention-grabbing, its methodology and findings are deeply flawed. We’ve reached out to the paper’s authors to share our concerns and suggest ways we might work together to refine their approach,” an Uber spokesperson said.
Other studies cited by the news outlet found higher rates paid to Uber and Lyft drivers, which may be attributed to the range of ways income and expenses can be calculated.
Critics of the ridesharing platforms still believe that the companies should pay drivers .
“This business model is not currently sustainable,” Stephen Zoepf, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University and co-author of the paper, told The Guardian. “The companies are losing money. The businesses are being subsidized by [venture capital] money … And the drivers are essentially subsidizing it by working for very low wages.”