The Awkward Moment Uber’s CEO Got In An Argument With His Uber Driver About Uber’s Falling Fares

Pretty interesting little scoop here from Bloomberg. An Uber driver in San Francisco caught Uber founder/CEO Travis Kalanick on a dash cam in an argument with his Uber driver over fares on Super Bowl Sunday. Starting at the 3:55 mark, Kalanick and the driver of the Uber Black get into it over how fares are falling on Uber and hurting drivers. Some context via Bloomberg:

When Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick takes an Uber, he prefers a black car, the high-end service his company introduced in 2010. On this particular night in early February—Super Bowl Sunday—Kalanick is perched in the middle seat, flanked by two female friends. Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” plays, and Kalanick shimmies. He clutches his smartphone as the three make awkward conversation. The two women ask when his birthday is, and marvel that he’s a Leo. One of his companions appears to say, somewhat inaudibly, that she’s heard that Uber is having a hard year. Kalanick retorts, “I make sure every year is a hard year.” He continues, “That’s kind of how I roll. I make sure every year is a hard year. If it’s easy I’m not pushing hard enough.”

And the gig has gotten harder for longtime drivers. In 2012, Uber Black cost riders $4.90 per mile and $1.25 per minute in San Francisco, according to an old version of Uber’s website. Today, Uber charges $3.75 per mile and $0.65 per minute. Black car drivers get paid less and their business faces far more competition from other Uber services.

Uber is a $69 billion company and Kalanick, a billionaire on paper, will surely be on every single Forbes world’s richest people lists when it inevitably IPOs.


Still, it’s interesting to see such a candid discussion between the CEO of the car service and one of the drivers most effected by the app. Considering that he says he lost “$97,000” in a year and is going bankrupt, you can tell that the frustration is very, very real.

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: