Rideshare or Food Delivery

In the bustling streets of New York City, gig drivers are a common sight, weaving their way through traffic to deliver your favorite takeout. Recently, headlines have been buzzing with claims that these drivers are making $29.93 per hour of work. However, a closer look reveals that this figure is not entirely accurate. 

Clarifying the $29.93 per hour Misconception

The claim that gig drivers in New York City are earning nearly $30 per hour is misleading, as it is calculated based on active time spent picking up and delivering food, excluding any idle waiting time for new orders. 

In actuality, these drivers receive about $0.49 per active minute on an order, with a guaranteed hourly rate of $17.96, regardless of their active delivery status. This adjustment in the payment structure has also brought about changes in company policies for apps like Uber and Doordash, such as the discontinuation of programs like “Top Dasher” and the implementation of mandatory scheduling for drivers to avoid too many drivers on the road at one time.

Changes in Tipping Practices

The gig economy has experienced significant changes, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic was at its height, app-based platforms lured drivers with enticing incentives, and customers were more generous with their tips due to the high demand for deliveries. However, as the pandemic recedes into the rearview mirror, tips are gradually decreasing, customer orders are declining, and incentives are becoming less prevalent, especially for experienced drivers.

Another noteworthy change impacting gig drivers in NYC is the shift in tipping policies by gig platforms. Notably, these apps have moved away from upfront gratuities and now exclusively permit tips to be provided after the successful delivery of an order. While tipping remains discretionary, it has traditionally functioned as a way for customers to expedite their orders by offering an upfront tip, which drivers often refer to as a “bid for service.”

The Impact on Consumers

These changes in payment structures and tipping practices also have implications for consumers. DoorDash has recently unveiled new service rates in New York City, which are anticipated to result in higher fees for customers. This decision is no doubt a direct response to the adjustments made in driver compensation.


The headlines touting gig drivers in NYC making $29.93 per hour might grab attention, but the reality is far more nuanced. Drivers are paid per active minute on an order, with a guaranteed hourly rate, and these changes have prompted shifts in other policies & programs. As the gig economy continues to evolve, it’s essential for both drivers and consumers to stay informed about the true nature of driver compensation and the impact it may have on their experiences.