Lyft's IPO a huge success, but frustrated drivers aren't celebrating
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - When Lyft stock went public Friday there were cheers on Wall Street. But for at least one driver on San Francisco's Mission Street, there was no cause for celebration.
"It really does nothing for me," said Stephen Gregg.
Gregg has been driving for Lyft for two years. Like all drivers who have completed at least 10,000 rides he will get a $1,000 bonus or stock option out of the IPO Gregg is taking the cash to cover a car repair.
"The company is designed in such a way that the driver bears all the expenses. All the risks. Now, we're not even making a reasonable amount of money," he said.
Drivers with 20,000 rides or more get $10,000 in bonuses or options.
Gregg says he drives at least 50 hours a week and clears about $700 after paying for gas.
“They're using driver labor to bolster their profits," he said.
But it's a different story for the approximately 1,600 employees at Lyft headquarters near Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Lyft management has ordered them not to speak publicly about the deal.
But unlike Lyft drivers, who are considered contract workers, many full-time employees reportedly receive company stock they can convert into cash.
Redfin, an online real estate brokerage firm, estimates that together the employees would earn enough in stock options to buy every single home currently on the market in San Francisco.
Lyft drivers say the company needs to do more for them.
"Hopefully, it will trickle down this time. I doubt it. But if we can get enough drivers together we can get them to do something. Demand part of that money floating around," said driver Lopez Hector.
"Lyft has always presented itself as a partnership. It doesn't feel like a partnership," said Gregg.