Uber has started to charge an additional fee of $0.22 (0.75 BRL) per ride in Brazil. According to the company, the new fee will “support initiatives to increase the drivers’ safety, as well as other operational costs.”
On Friday, an Uber driver was stabbed to death in South São Paulo. According to newspaper Estado de S.Paulo, at least three Uber drivers are robbed every day in Brazil’s largest city. Most crimes occurred after July 29, when Uber started to accept payments in cash.
Even with the additional fee, the company will continue to charge drivers 25 percent of what they make.
Besides the 0.75 BRL fee, passengers in São Paulo pay 0.10 BRL per kilometer. This tax goes to the city of São Paulo.
Business model in jeopardy?
An ongoing legal battle between a group of drivers and Uber could jeopardize the company’s business model in Brazil. Nine drivers have sued the company asking to have the status of formal employees – with all the rights and benefits that come with that. In the case of a loss, the app’s services would become much more expensive.
If the Brazilian Justice accepts the drivers’ case, it would create a precedent allowing more than 10,000 drivers to seek the same rights: 13 paychecks per year, paid vacations, and pension benefits.
Drivers are formally autonomous and use Uber as a platform to connect with passengers. They pay the company a fee per ride, which can amount to 25 percent.