Uber has added more than 2,000 new drivers to its workforce in the last few months, according to an internal report obtained by The Washington Post.
The company’s growth is driven in part by an influx of drivers from India and the Philippines who have taken to Uber and other ridesharing services to compete with the likes of Lyft, a competitor with a similar app-based business model.
The surge in new drivers, which Uber first reported in July, comes amid a sharp decline in ridership.
Uber, which is valued at $68 billion, has faced pressure from some critics to improve safety standards.
But the company has repeatedly said it has done little to improve drivers’ pay.
The report, obtained by the Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, also says Uber is paying drivers $2 per hour to help cover costs associated with the growing workforce.
Uber declined to comment on the report.
One of the most lucrative gigs Uber has offered is as a delivery driver.
The average Uber driver makes about $30,000 a year, according the company’s website.
Uber says it offers about 6,000 drivers a year in the United States.
The number of drivers working for Uber grew from 9,600 in July to 13,800 in August, according data compiled by the National Association of Realtors, which tracks the industry.
The figures do not include drivers who work in other ride-hailing services.
But they do show a dramatic increase in drivers’ compensation, from $2 to $2.60 an hour, the report says.
That increase, however, is not enough to offset the steep decline in passengers, according it.
The most recent report from the association said there were just 3,946 Uber rides in the U.S. in the third quarter.
The median driver in the nation made $23,838 in the quarter, the association found.
The association also found that the average hourly rate paid by Uber drivers was about $2,700, compared with $1,600 for Lyft drivers.
Lyft’s earnings in the first three months of the year rose 11% from the same period last year.
The Associated Press reported this week that Lyft had lost $1.5 billion since its IPO in March.
In a statement, Lyft said it will pay drivers an hourly rate of $2 in the next three months, which it said would account for about a third of its annual revenue.
Lyft has also launched a national advertising campaign, Lyft Ad, that features a series of ads featuring people driving for the company.
The ad shows drivers with the slogan, “I can’t afford to be lazy, so I’ll take a risk,” along with an image of a man holding a forklift, according an ad copy provided to The Post.
It says the ad will run in the weeks to come.
Uber spokeswoman Andrea Loomis said in a statement that the company “continues to invest heavily in the development of technology and driver-partnership solutions that provide the most direct, reliable, and safe way for customers to get to their destinations safely.”
Uber declined comment on how many drivers are employed by the company in the Philippines.
In India, Uber said it employs about 200 drivers for its service.
Uber said in an email to The Associated News that it has an “effective presence” in more than 60 cities in India.
India is the second-largest market for ride-sharing services in the world, after the United Kingdom, and accounts for about 15% of the global market, according Google’s latest rankings of app market share.
Uber’s growth in India has been driven by a surge in demand from drivers in the country who are looking for a better way to earn money, said Arun Kumar, a partner at Deloitte & Tufts University in Boston who studies ride-share companies.
Uber also is seeking to expand into the developing world.
Uber is in the process of acquiring rival Wistia, which operates a service that connects drivers with customers.
Wistias CEO Ravi Pankaj, who has also been with Uber, said in August that Uber would invest $200 million in India to bolster its growth.
Uber and Wistian did not respond to requests for comment.
In July, Uber suspended driver licensing in India and ordered a pilot program in the Indian city of New Delhi, where Uber operates a taxi app, after a driver complained that Uber refused to pay him a flat fee.
Uber suspended licensing in more states earlier this month, including California, where the company operates its service, in an effort to help drivers who are facing legal troubles.
Uber drivers are not required to have a license, and the company does not pay drivers for rides.
A spokesman for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which licenses drivers in California, said the agency was aware of the matter and is working to provide more information.