James Allen. Uber. Driver. Rideshare.
James Allen, a 4.99-rated Uber driver with more than 4,000 rides, poses for a picture. He said he's grateful for the work Uber provides but still wished for more transparency about how much the company takes per trip. Mission Local found a discrepancy between what Uber tells drivers a customer pays and what customers actually pay. (Photo by David Mamaril Horowitz)

Uber said Friday that, starting next week, it will show drivers the full fare charged to their customers, instead of one that was significantly lower.

The new policy means that the drivers will see their “driver benefits and marketplace fees” to total what the rider pays.

Last week, Mission Local published a story revealing that Uber drivers are shown a fare that is less than what passengers actually pay. The story incited much public outrage, and on Friday, Uber told Mission Local in an email that it will change that practice starting next week.

“We have changed our policy and drivers will now see the driver benefits and marketplace fees which were previously only shown to riders,” an Uber spokesperson said. “This takes effect next week.”

Previously, these fees were excluded from the “customer price” Uber showed drivers, which the company told Mission Local last week upon inquiry.

This meant that for drivers, it appeared Uber’s fraction of each fare was less than it actually is.

Uber told Mission Local that “the change has been in the works.” However, for the original story, the company did not mention any plans to change it. Others interviewed disagree that the company was on the verge of change.

“The discrepancies in the rates between workers and riders is nothing short of wage theft. Uber only made a change when they were called out by drivers and received negative press,” said Lauren Casey, an organizer with Gig Workers Rising. “This is a victory for workers who chose to speak out against a powerful tech giant.”

After publication, Uber strongly disagreed with this characterization: “During this entire time drivers in California are earning $32-$33 an hour without incentives, and more than $42 an hour with incentives,” spokesperson Zahid Arab wrote in an email. “Those that aren’t are paid a competitive wage thanks to Prop. 22.”

Mission Local previously booked 10 rides with Uber and 10 with Lyft, and drivers shared their fares with Mission Local. What we found was that in five out of five rides where drivers accessed their fare breakdowns and compared it to my fare, I paid 19.6 percent to 26.3 percent more than what Uber was telling drivers. So, I was paying around $3 more per trip than drivers were told.

In five out of five Uber trips where drivers accessed price breakdowns, I paid Uber more than the amount Uber showed drivers that I paid. What I paid was 19.6 percent to 26.3 percent more than what the driver was told by Uber. That would add up to around $3 more per trip. (Chart by David Mamaril Horowitz.)

Asked why Uber doesn’t show drivers the full fare, Uber had told Mission Local in a statement, “drivers see breakdowns that apply to them on the trip.” 

 “I prefer the full transparency,” said James Allen, an Uber driver interviewed for the original story, after Mission Local broke Friday’s news. “If there are fees that have to be paid, I would like to know about that. I think that’s good for me to be able to inform customers why the prices might be a little higher than they expected.” 

Brian Dolber, an organizer with the independent organization Rideshare Drivers United, added on Friday, “I think drivers should know the full amount that’s being paid, and hopefully these are honest numbers that the drivers are seeing, and that will inspire more drivers to see that they should be getting a higher cut.”

This story is breaking and will be updated. 

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David Mamaril Horowitz

David’s one of those San Francisco natives who gets excited whenever City College is mentioned. He has journalism degrees from there and San Francisco State University, graduating from the latter in...

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54 Comments

  1. Charge em, Chesa!!

    Hey, they lie about Boudin, let’s see him tell the truth about them.

    This stealing from the drivers thing is pure criminal.

    Embezzling their pay?

    Millions and millions and millions no doubt.

    David Sacks who is leader of group seeking to oust Chesa Boudin because Chesa is honest should be in the slammer … shudda been there long ago.

    Jobs he has helped destroy and plans to further decimate include bus drivers and cabbies and hotel workers … millions of them!

    Mission Local heard from drivers all over the country about getting ripped off by Uber.

    If a restaurant owner steals his employees money they have to pay it back.

    Why not Uber?

    Go Giants!

    h.

    1. What a joke. No one is having their pay stolen. If the reporting had been just half accurate then readers would have been informed on how the driver gets paid and it is definitely not a strict percentage split. Time for real reporting, not participation award time anymore.

      1. Ju as t FYI I have been driving since 2017 and over 2.5k rides UBER IS TAKING MIRE THAN. A FAIR SHARE & for whatever reason when so busy I am often driving 15-18minutes away sometimes to pick up a $5 ride AND NO IF U SO NOT ACCEPT EVEEY RIDE U LOAE ABILITY TO SEE THE COST OF TRIP ALL I SEE IS THE DISTANCE! NOt to MEMTION on July 4th my one rider said he was paying $80 buckz it was super busy surging everywhere and when i looked afterwards they did pay $80 and I ONLY GOT $36 I THINK IT WAS OR I GOT 45 INCUDING A TEN DOLLAF TIP AND UBER GOT THE REST – This is nit cool when gas is up and I have to buy adequate ppe and buy masks. 4 the no masker population plus take extra time and money to clean extra good …. WE R NOT MAKING 35-45 AN HOUR THAT IS BS IT IS WORZE THAN EVER AT THE TIME THEY SHOULD BE ENCOURAGING DRIVERS

  2. MISSION LOCAL: BEST DAMN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING in the CITY.

    Joe, now David, Julian who went to the Post, many others as well. Just excellent.

    Great leadership, Lydia.

  3. Great work as usual Mission Local. Glad the drivers made a threat and that you provided the ammunition to help them out. It’s the same old same old for Uber, a company I’ve never trusted, respected, or utilized. Still hard to believe that so many fell for their deceptions in the last election.

  4. I am a former Lyft driver who was deactivated because a customer allege that I cut somebody off in traffic. A total lie. I had just completed my 9999 trip. I will be shortly suing them for defamation of character and lost wages and I was making over 7200 a month. Lyft for most of my trips was taking over 45% and in several was taking 67 and 2/3 per cent Lyft quit putting what the customer paid because some of us who had been to 7th grade could figure out what percentage they were taking I will be taking them to court and charging the customer for defamation of character and suing Lyft for lost wages based on an alleged incident

    1. Charles I am Deborah Money from Orange, Ca. Uber Driver for 3 1/2 yrs. over 4,400 rides 200 deliveries 4.94 ratings over 3,500 5stars rides Drove during PANDEMIC also Deactivated.Allegations of rider I might have been under. Influence. I ask of What? Alcohol, Drugs. To much Caffeine.Show me proof. Test me. I drive only at night till we hrs.in am .95% of my passengers are people who been out having a good time and r not capable to drive. My dedication my hard work my high ratings was out weighed by. An allegation of an individual who has caused me my job. I also am not just going to walk away. My reputation has been slandered I have lost wages I had to file 2 appeals before getting an answer that took a month and 3days when I was told customer support will be in touch in 7 working days from time appeal was requested. There is no Uber Support working in an. Office as a Professional. The Uber support team who came to their final decision in permanently deactivated my account and how Ms.Nila put in email. will remain deactivated How dare they! I am beyond angry. But will not waste my energy. This is a legal matter

  5. It’s about time! I have been shorted on fares for consecutive ride promotions which I have driven long distances to fulfill. This needs to change as well. In addition, the Uber app GPS has been a real nightmare lately giving the wrong directions and getting drivers confused, making us waste time and gas and consequently making riders frustrated and having to wait much longer for rides or cancelling at the last moment. GPS improvement and better rates for drivers are necessary.

    1. I’m a senior and have been with uber for 2 years over 3500 rides.. I cant do labor work but need to work to support myself because I’m alone now husband passed away . I noticed the pay getting shorter and shorter for each ride and have complained about it only to no avail. Uber doesn’t care that myself and other drivers have pulled uber through covid lock down taking c ountless millions of people to their jobs and to their everyday places to carry on their life even though we have risk our selves from getting sick. Example ubervwas short of drivers they hired umpteen dozen far to many now their is not enough rides to go around. I appt on at 747 am this morning recieved my first ride and recieved my 2nd ride at 400 pm that is almost 8 hours later. I made $3.61 for first tripp and $7.72 for second trip. That was 11 dollars for and a hour day and I rode and stayed on the apt for the whole 8 hours. My tank is empty of $28 and don’t know where I can borrow to fill my tank tomorr. But im not promised any rides according to uber. Im yo the point of suicide. I’ve gone in debt fo t a new car. I pay c ommercial insurance to cover my riders I get an oil change once a month.help a omebody please. I m depressed and the anxiety is taken over. And no one to turn to. I m retired do I can get a regular job or able to hold it down.

    2. I have been a Uber driver in Dallas, Texas for almost 6 years mostly full time. I am becoming more and more frustrated with how little are paid. This is a very dangerous job for which we are not compensated at all. I am a senior and need this extra income just to get by. I wish they thought better of their drivers. We need better pay and more appreciation from Uber. Without us drivers they would not have anything.

    3. Uber cost me over $1000.00. 3 incidents at the beginning of this year made me stop driving for them. I like earning a buck the old fashioned way but I started losing money because of uber. First I wasn’t properly compensated after a rider spilled something in my back seat. Second on busy night I was interrupted by uber shutting down my app. Their reason was to do random background check. It took them a week to complete the process. Meanwhile I was being charged by the company that I Ieased the car from to work. Third atfer having maintenance done to the car since the facial recognition technology was not working I had to pay fees on the car again with out being able to earn. I have discussed these matters with the on several occasions and each time I was blown off.

  6. Uber has a problem with long distance pick ups. And drivers aren’t paid for it.

    1. Uber was designed for Urban markets, those of us who work/drive in suburbs and rural areas are forced to eat all the dead miles to pick someone up. The minimum fare model is based on rides of 1.4 miles or less; the minute you go over two miles to pick someone up you are wasting your time and gas. Until these ride share companies compensate drivers for pickup more than 2 miles away or increase rates, you are better off letting those rides go. Since they removed the multiplier and destinations in CA after vaccinations became readily available, drivers are not getting behind the wheel. If you are from outside of CA, you should all be fighting for these features; these are the true tools for an independent contractor.

  7. Technically, Uber/Lyft does not lie when they say drivers make $30-40 per hour. BUT, the full disclosure should be something along these lines : drivers make $30-40 per hour occasionally during peak hours, at the morning rush hour and at the evening rush hour. If a driver was to work a split every day and only work the rush hours, they would earn about $100. In between these peak hours, drivers could wait at the airport for 1-3 hours for a $15 fare or pick a different location to wait for for 45 minutes to an hour for the $5 fare. Drivers are advised to not have the vehicle running and enjoy the air conditioner while waiting for the next customer, you will not have immediate access to the next paying customer. However, drivers should be aware that all customers expect immediate service, so we place a driver on every corner for customer satisfaction, not your livable wage.

  8. Haha… Uber has always been out of control. Remember the snooty vibe they started out with black limo bs, then had to accommodate more lower priced rides, when they realized, people just want to get around, and does need limo stuff. And once again had to come terms with the fact that people do have bills to pay and life to lead, and aren’t comfortable being used and abused.
    Bunch of drivers were also owed $100 that was taken out of their uber drivers account with no clear explanation.

    People can pressure a company to act better, but will the company’s shadiness really ever change?

  9. I too questioned Uber when I compared with the rider what they were charged. In the past, Uber only took 25% of what the riders paid and drivers were paid the difference. When I questioned Uber about this, their response was “we don’t calculate it that way anymore” they also told me that I was paid correctly the miles and time for the trip. I told them that was crap, how are they to make more then us when we are doing all the leg work? Furthermore, I also noticed that they lowered our price for mileage. I’ve been driving for Uber almost four years and I’ve always been paid .98 per mile here in Santa Cruz. After reviewing a passengers breakdown I noticed That the mileage dropped to $.68 per mile. They didn’t even contact us about this pay cut. With the price of gas going up how is this fair. Prop 22 also stated to voters that drivers would also be receiving an extra $.30 per mile for car expenses and fuel,
    Which I’ve never seen a dime of that money. Instead they lowered our price per mile? I don’t get it, again this is crap.

  10. I too questioned Uber about the price difference when I compared the trip details with a passenger. I contacted Uber and their response Was you were paid correctly, the price per mile and the time it took for the ride. I’ve been with Uber for almost 4 years and they’ve always only taken 25% of what the riders paid and we were paid the rest. When I mentioned this to Uber their response was we don’t do that anymore no explanation nothing. Furthermore, while comparing the trip details I noticed that our mileage pay was cut from $.98 per mile to $.68 per mile here in Santa Cruz, Uber never even contacted us or mentioned anything about that. With the price of gas soaring these days how is this fair? The prop 22 campaign informed voters the drivers would receive an additional $.30 per mile to cover the cost a vehicle repairs and expenses such as fuel. So instead of paying us that extra $.30 per mile they deducted $.30 per mile from our mileage and I have yet to see one dime of that money Towards expenses to drive for Uber and left. I did notice that Instacart has been paying us that extra $.30 but not an Uber and Lyft. What’s really going on who do we report this to it’s not fair when we are doing all the work.

  11. I used to drive for Uber and and where at one time we made 60% of the trip now we make less than 30% if not 20%. Where alot of drivers aren’t prevelant, Uber is doubling fees and we, the drivers aren’t receiving any of that. Uber is getting over like a fat rat, even though we are using our own cars while having to maintenance and put gas in it ourselves. How is that fair? IT’S NOT!!!

  12. I seen that in Chicago , where rider are shown more and even charge more.. Uber takes a percentage but they don’t show what rate they take..

  13. I’ve been a ride share driver since it’s inception back 2011- 2012 in Washington DC. The changes since then has changed dramatically since the big 52′ inch monitors with little red dots that track drivers moment and proximity to a request. There were only Black Cars and 15% keep for the company until the January of 2014 when ride share changed their motto ; which was,” cheaper fares” and the launch of Uberx. All senior partners were invited to an Uber luncheon in which we were ambushed by the news by the news. Drivers left that day never drive for uber again. Bottom line, transparency can go along way in this industry and so will better pay for drivers. No company is to big too fail when enough of its support comes from the little guy with a big collective voice.

    1. Lyft charger customer more and give u a few dollars for being in the personal power zone and you don’t see all of the info

  14. It is even worse for Lyft drivers in Arizona. We can’t see at all what the passenger pays. We are forced to ask what the passengers are being charged and don’t know how much we have earned until the ride is over. There are often cases where the passenger pays $23 and then Lyft pays the driver $5. This is price gouging on the customer’s end and wage theft on the driver’s end and there are no laws to remedy the situation in a still young gig economy.

    1. In AZ you are able to download your weekly statement and see totals paid by customers and a complete earnings statements. In my case, last week, I found Lyft pays us 33% of the basic fare. If it were not for tips, bonuses, ride streaks and cancellations, we would basically get 1/3.

  15. How about getting that to happen in Arizona? I have over 6600 rides and 8200 deliveries with them and it’s the same here.

  16. I hate to say this but Uber has been taking advantage of the drivers all along they don’t care what the driver wants all they care about is the passenger and they want to show the stock brokers that they’re making money off our backs so why the stockbrokers are making a profit we’re breaking our backs to bring home a lousy paycheck is not worth the money was printed on Also I have insurance to pay for my car $1800 every 6 months I don’t make $1800 not even on a good day or month if I make a $100 it’s a lucky day And Uber knows that the driver’s need money and they’ll continue to work so they don’t care at all they they use us and discard us like we are nothing and they wonder why they can’t get drivers to drive it’s not worth the effort also I’ve been with Uber for six years and for six years they’ve been cheating us out of our own money I can barely put food on my table pay my mortgage pay my electricity bill pay my gas bill every month it’s almost impossible to have a living wage years ago when I worked in New York we made a lot of money but we only paid the base 10% and whoever said that uber is not making a profit is a big liar how do you think they’re both those other companies off our backs I am so disgusted with Uber that now I’m looking for other work because I cannot feed my family and what is Uber gives us out of our pay and then they try to give you a sentence where you have to pick up 90 calls for 50 bucks does that make any sense to you but the passenger doesn’t care because they get a free ride when they complain about you

  17. This is so true they need to do this Nationwide because I myself have caught them doing this very same thing .I am a driver if 6 years and caught them red handed. Ok be day I ordered a Uber to pick up my new leased vehicle to use for Uber//Lyft the 1st charge was much higher so I waited +15min..the price went down by 17.00 I logged it in and took a screenshot because I know Uber is shiesty and shady…at the end of the trip they actually charged me 5.00 more … Ok paid it . 24 hours later I got hit with a charge for almost 24.00 more their explanation: Their was a surge zone and it did not register so they adjusted my price ..BS!!! There was no surge at the spot where I live ..I had my driver app on to make sure and their wasn’t I even showed them so they said they would refund my money but never did ..a week and a half later I got hit with a 50.22 charge …for that same ride that was taken and already paid for..I told them that if they did not put my money back immediately I would report Uber to the Georgia Dept of Revenue and Federal Trade Commission take our a police report for theft of my bank account…I don’t play with these thieves…and I td them just 2 days ago that I would be suing them if this practice continues and I will Deactivate my app just to sue them…Riders and Drivers need to push back so they will get the message…their scamming each major city that they operate in and they can get shut down…

  18. And also I want to let you know that Uber thinks when they steal from the driver it’s OK they have no morals They just don’t care all they care about is money getting bigger and bigger while we get smaller and smaller it’s so it’s so sad to say that when I worked in New York I made a lot of money I moved to Florida and I can’t Support my family like I should I’m just one female driver and also if a passenger assaults a driver hypothetically showing body parts Uber does absolutely nothing to protect the driver it happened to me And I made a complaint and they said they are investigating they did absolutely nothing but I’m pretty sure the person that showed me his body parts is still getting uber or lift because it is our car we should be giving Uber 10% only and nothing beyond that New York the driver made the money and not the base but if the base had a lot of cars they made a lot of money and they were happy with what they got

  19. The truth about how Uber Taxi (its original, or true, name) is fundamentally corrupt and economically unsound to the point its death is certain can best be found by reading transportation economist Hubert Horan’s essays. They are easy to find at the leftie site http://www.nakedcapitalism.com.

  20. They are running thier drivers into the ground forast 18 hrs burger king wage, using their vehicle,gas, insurance. In order to get paid for 12 hours of drive time you have to work at least 18 hrs and if you miss aride cause the customer was a no show you lose bonus.

  21. Drivers have to understand Uber is losing money. So keeping more & more of the fare is a survival mechanism. Unless Uber raise their fares it’s a losing situation, and the driver will get the short end of the stick.

  22. Don’t know about the equity of pay ;all I know is that I don’t use ride share services anymore because of the 5 fold spike in rates. The ride share companies claim the rate increase is caused by shortage of drivers. I sense a lot of disgruntled contractors in these comments, so I have to believe it’s not a good place to work and I have to conclude that the spiral downward will continue as autonomous transport becomes a reality in the next 5 to 10 years

  23. Uber gps always brings to the back of the building, it doesn’t matter if it’s a different street

  24. Once Uber went public, their mission is to make as much money as possible to please investors and help the stock. Doing so means paying the least amount of money to drivers and lie and cheat to cover up what they are doing

  25. Uber gets over on everybody they lie about pay. They dont give promotions, boosts, quests, etc. At all anymore when you call support to ask about why your pay has dropped you cant even get an actual human on the phone. I could go on and on about how they get over on the employees. Uber, lyft are both scam artists and have only been lowering the pay even more while gas and all the other consumer rates continue to skyrocket people are sick and tired of the BS from them as there needs to be serious change. Also the GPS is never accurate in the african American communities and so forth. CEO makes 500 times what we make. People cant even afford the matienence on their cars im sick of the bullshit stop trying to bamboozle people because its catching up!!!

  26. well done ML

    are there any rideshare startups trying to compete with Uber and Lyft but nobody has heard of them? you should do a story on them.

  27. I used to drive for Lyft. I stopped doing it a while ago. They’re a gimmick now. The company takes slightly than HALF the fare. It used to be that drivers took 75% of a fare plus all tips. Now Lyft is taking more than half AND surge pricing is not anywhere near as profitable for drivers as it once was, but the drivers are the ones with THEIR own personal cars on the road. I can only guess, but I think that Lyft and Uber were never viable as “for profit” companies and that their days are numbered.

  28. Uber has been ripping off drivers by batching several delivery orders together and pay the driver significantly less than if they were individual delivery. Even though the driver have to travel extra miles to do the second pick up and spend the extra amount of time at the restaurant waiting for the food to be ready. Also because of the extra pickup in between deliveries. The food will get cold and the customer will get angry at the driver. That in turn further reduces the driver’s tips income.

  29. Uber charged a rider $44 from Irvington to Newark Airport, and paid the Uber Driver $21.76. How on earth would Uber be so wicked to drivers to take over 60% of money paid by a customer when actual services and risk goes to Drivers? The government must look into such tech fraud perpetrated by Uber and Lyft again innocent workers.
    Taking 60% of every money paid by riders and leaving 40% for Drivers is inhuman, fraud and Digital Corruption. These Drivers are also meant to pay Tax refund to IRS every tax year despite losing 60% of every trip Money to Uber company every day, week, month and Year!

  30. After driving for a year, my accountant calculated the hours,, number of rides, time, mileage, gas, food, expenses, etc., and sadly informed me that I was averaging $6 an hour. There was good news though: All expenses, including mileage were deductible. That’s where the real money was made. Two interesting points. 1) it always seemed to me that there was too little money to show for the work – and my accountant’s work proved that. 2) When I was asked to private drive a couple of times, I used the ‘rider’s app’ to figure out what I would charge and was shocked to see my hourly income raise tremendously. If it smells like a fish, it probably is.

  31. Hi uber dont give us south Africa driver’s nothing we are working not even covering our maintains money we are just working hand to mount iam with uber 7years now did 17265 trips

  32. In Michigan, we aren’t told what the driver pays. Yesterday, I drove 40 minutes to another city. That isn’t the information I was provided on the ride information. Then I was given a ride that was 14 miles away, and told destination was back towards Grand Rapids, where my market is. I set my home address as destination on the app. When I got to the pickup point, destination was 3 minutes away. I made $5. Rides with more miles driven to pickup than the miles to rider destination are marked “destination bonus available, but I am never told if I am paid the bonus or what it is. My acceptance rate is lower now because I am not accepting rides when I have to drive 2 to 3 times longer than fare. For Quests, we are required to choose the number of rides we accept to get the bonus. My goal is to provide 3 rides an hour. This week Thursday, according to the app, I was online 7 hours for 15 rides. Most pickup times were longer than the actual time I was paid for. Now I get messages stating that my lower acceptance rate effects wait times for customers and the customer experience. My concern is driving 15 minutes with no pay for a 5 minute paid ride. The perks offered for a higher acceptance isn’t putting money in my pocket.

  33. Uber and Lyft are the same in one respect I live in Baltimore and people in Baltimore are ruthless they lie they steal they cheat they lie on the driver and with dose Uber do they disqualify you Lyft does the same no investigation they don’t care because it’s another sucker waiting to take your place

  34. Please do it at the airport when it high surge take one long trip and what Benefit we can’t use half of them because we don’t drive a certain amount of hours they took away the surge multiplier and we get punished if we’re on the step five out of 10 trips and most of the trip we get are far away So ultimately there is no benefits

  35. Great article. Uber has been using two fare pricing algorithms since 2016. Charging riders a higher fare which is different than what the drivers are collecting is based on Uber’s fair algorithm called “upfront fares”. I share the breakdown and how it worked here: https://youtu.be/pxA-dNKO_s0

  36. Uber today start giving the driver a little more of the surge prices but Uber is now take a 50% please order an Uber during a high surge and take a long trip and u see Uber cut is way more

  37. I don’t understand why every time people get monopolat by uber and lyft they very greedy they won’t stop they just want people to kill their self for driving for them and they take all the money who is their to stop them very crucial this is almost slavery drivers are slave by public and uber people abuse the service and then leave you shit feedback and then uber leave you another threatened message I wish people stop driving for them that’s the only way they will learn might

  38. This isn’t the problem, nor is it the real issue. These are little surcharges that the driver doesn’t see. The real issue and where the transparency is lacking is the “Trip Fare” section of the receipt. Uber groups this all together and passenger don’t get to see that Uber makes most of its money here. Most passenger assume this is split fairly with drivers, but this is the area where based on where you are going or coming from Uber will adjust their pricing. Drivers get paid time and miles; the real issue with ride share is the per mile rates. The US government tells us that for 2021 the mileage rate is $0.56, but there are areas all over this country that Uber pays drivers less than this per mile. They use the $35 per hour as a PR tactic since most people can relate to a hourly wage, but we fought to be independent contractors and the only thing that matters in transportation per hire is the per mile rate. This should be no less than three times the government allowance if people truly care about drivers livelihood. As a driver don’t tell me about per hour rates, tell me that you are raising the per mile rate.

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