FORTUNE -- We're making it up with volume.
That seems to be the message Uber is sending to its UberX drivers in Boston, many of whom apparently are planning to 'strike' this afternoon by not picking up passengers. Their complaint is a recent fare cut, which slashed some prices by 30%. For example:
For the uninitiated, UberX is an on-demand ride service much like the traditional Uber, except with "regular" cars rather than black towncars or SUVs. Less luxury, lower cost. It also is the part of Uber that has come under the most competitive pressure from other VC-backed startups, most notably Lyft.
So it's been cutting its prices all over the place, including in Boston. An Uber spokeswoman declined to say if the UberX price changes affect service profitability, but disputes the notion that they are costing drivers money. Instead, she argues that they have increased usage so much that drivers actually are making more now than they were before.
From a related Uber blog post, which came after news of the 'strike' broke:
As we've seen in other cities, lower fares have resulted in greater gross income for the transportation providers we partner with. In fact, Boston's uberX drivers are earning 22% more per hour since Boston's uberX fares dropped a week ago. This additional income has also resulted in a 5% increase in the amount of time that drivers are spending on the system, resulting in 30% more income per week for drivers since our price cut last week.
It will be interesting to see if this data satisfies UberX drivers in Boston, who are said to number around 500.
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Some details beyond the dollars.
FORTUNE -- Last month we reported that Uber was in talks with Google Ventures and TPG Capital for a massive fundraise that would value the company well north of $3 billion.
AllThingsD got the goods yesterday afternoon via a Delaware filing, which showed that Uber raised a total of $361 million at a $3.4 billion pre-money valuation. Fortune followed late last night with a scoop about how that Uber's two new board members will MOREDan Primack - Aug 23, 2013 12:32 PM ET
Senior Google exec and private equity titan join Uber board of directors.
FORTUNE -- On-demand car service Uber is adding a pair of heavy hitters to its board of directors, in conjunction with a new $360 million fundraise led by Google Ventures and TPG Capital.
Fortune has learned from multiple sources that David Drummond, Google's (GOOG) chief legal officer and senior VP of corporate development, and TPG Capital co-founder David Bonderman have MOREDan Primack - Aug 22, 2013 11:29 PM ET
Ride-sharing company Uber nears large new funding round with some unexpected investors.
FORTUNE -- On-demand ride service Uber is in advanced talks to raise at least $150 million in a new round of funding from some unusual sources, Fortune has learned.
Private equity firm Texas Pacific Group is expected to lead the round after beating out several other bidders, in one of its very few deals that would not include majority ownership. MOREDan Primack - Jul 25, 2013 10:24 AM ET
Uber CEO and NYC taxi commish sit down for a chat in Brooklyn.
FORTUNE -- On-demand car service Uber is not currently raising new venture capital funding, according to comments made by CEO Travis Kalanick last Friday at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn. It also hasn't raised any new capital since late 2011, nor have its early employees or investors sold any shares via "secondary" transactions.
This comes nearly two months after MOREDan Primack - Jun 18, 2013 8:33 AM ET
A popular startup's growing pains in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
By Hunter Walk, contributor
FORTUNE -- While my hometown of New York City recovers from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there's been a different verbal maelstrom here in Silicon Valley: The question of whether Uber NYC's "surge pricing" is gouging or simply an effort to balance supply and demand.
Uber's an algorithm-driven company which responds to emotion with facts. However, especially in MORENov 2, 2012 11:37 AM ET
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