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Old 02-02-2017, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,532 posts, read 3,683,135 times
Reputation: 4115

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As Uber continues to expand into new markets, I thought I could add some comments for newer drivers. (Could not find a thread for this topic other than this one.) Would like to share some thoughts from a drivers perspective and would welcome others to contribute...

First, this job is actually a lot of fun. You set your own schedule. You get to meet a lot of interesting people. You are in total control of your destiny, and if you are a former worker that reported to a boss (or bosses), you can throw that out the window. You are free to travel wherever you want to put yourself in the best position of attracting riders. (This can be a challenge, but after some experience, most will realize the places they need to be at different times of the day). So those are the good things.

Now, for the negatives. There are times when you are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. This happens in most markets, perhaps except for the busiest, (which mine is not). The waiting can seem like a waste of time, but you can use it to your advantage. Catch up on your record-keeping, (mileage and earnings), or simply run some quick errands in between. Listen to the radio, read a book or magazine, or browse the web.

Some things I have learned as an Uber driver. First, navigation can be your friend, but also can be your enemy. The best thing is to rely on both navigation and your innate knowledge of your area. This is why I recommend drivers to operate in an area they are familiar with. Always listen to a rider who disputes your navigation...they are the customer and they are always right.

Conversation? Always a good thing for a good rider experience, but you have to gauge who wants to talk and who doesn't. I have a couple/three open-ended questions that will break the ice. You will soon find out who likes to converse and who doesn't. But, as a driver, you must start it. It is human nature, but you will quickly find out a lot about your rider in the first 60 seconds.

Other things that Uber doesn't really talk about much...first, tips. Most do NOT tip. But it is important to note that Uber has a policy of a "cashless ride". So a tip is NOT expected. Some will, and I found that those who do are quite generous. Uber does not disallow signs that say "tips accepted", but I won't do that. I think it just puts more pressure on the rider.

The other thing that new drivers wonder about is where do riders sit? Front or back? As a male driver, I have noted that it is almost 50-50, and it is best to just let the rider choose for themselves. I will say that females generally choose the back seat, and males are mixed. I tend to believe males who choose to sit in front are more sociable and willing to strike up a conversation, but not always.

You can make Uber work for you, and you will get out of it what you put into it, (as applies to almost any other job), but I hope this post may help some of those who are new drivers, or just thinking about it. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,469,153 times
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Good post. I love Uber - first time using it was in Bangkok, Thailand. We had no idea what to expect (or to know if we would ever get back to our hotel) but it was awesome! The driver waited for me to run into a store to grab a t-shirt, then took us to our next location. The entire ride was the equal of $2.45 U(SD. We tipped him another 100 baht (about $2.75) and he was stunned - tried to not take it, then when we insisted, he grinned from ear to ear and thanked us profusely. It absolutely made our day because we realized that he truly was thankful.

We've also used Uber in Cairo, Egypt which was the ONLY time the driver went right past us without stopping - two white women stood our quite well in the depths of Cairo at 12 midnight, but he didn't stop.

We've also used Uber all over the US and are true believers in it. It's so much easier than a taxi and we've met some really nice people through it.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,214 posts, read 2,631,159 times
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Good to hear some positive experiences. Here in Europe, media and cabdriver unions tell us, that driving for Uber is like being exploited like a slave, giving up dignity and overall Uber is like the devil. All the French and German and whatever taxi drivers are revolting to keep their overpriced low-quality service in place without competition. From my experience, Uber drivers were always more friendly and helpful than cab drivers, and I love the fact that I can just pay by app and cheating is very unlikely.

Funny thing is that I always think about where I am expected to sit - front or back - and usually I go to the back. Not because I am unwilling for conversation or whatever but just because I think it is somehow expected.

By the way, do you see if a customer (partially) pays with a voucher, is something deducted from your total, or is it just that Uber pays by themselves instead?

@RooCeleste, you made a really good experience. During my last visits in BKK (and friends told me similar), cheating from Uber drivers has gone insane there. A friend recently got charged Bangkok-Pattaya long distance fee for $30, even though he just took an airport transfer which would have been like $5. And the local customer service was really unhelpful.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:55 PM
 
4,409 posts, read 1,639,451 times
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From what I hear, it's not a full time job or will it make you earn as much as a regular cab driver USED to earn.

Uber has simply chopped that full time income into two. So now, half of a full time worth work is earned by a regular cab driver and half by Uber drivers.

I think the regular cab drivers who were making a fair living after working VERY HARD are pretty badly hit by Uber.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,532 posts, read 3,683,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
From what I hear, it's not a full time job or will it make you earn as much as a regular cab driver USED to earn.

Uber has simply chopped that full time income into two. So now, half of a full time worth work is earned by a regular cab driver and half by Uber drivers.

I think the regular cab drivers who were making a fair living after working VERY HARD are pretty badly hit by Uber.
Unlike traditional cab drivers, (who usually are on shifts that can last 8 hours and more), Uber drivers can work whenever they want. Uber drivers who work full days and more can make just as much as traditional cabbies in most markets. And except for the biggest cities, the wait time for an Uber is usually pretty quick as the app finds the nearest car. Of course the other advantage is a cashless transaction, no credit cards, no cash, unless the rider choses to tip, unlike traditional cabs who expect a tip.
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Boonies
1,829 posts, read 2,733,901 times
Reputation: 2372
This is interesting! I've wondered how this Uber Driver thing worked! How do you get more info? I'm traveling to Florida in a couple of weeks and have wondered if they are available in Ft. Myers area?
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,451 posts, read 8,150,992 times
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I've used Uber and Lyft a few times, and have also taken taxis a couple times over about the last 1 to 1 1/2 years, and I've talked with the drivers on all of those trips. What was striking to me is how unhappy the taxi drivers were and how happy the Uber/Lyft drivers were. Just this past Friday, I used Lyft, and the driver was a former taxi driver, so I asked him about driving a taxi vs driving as an Uber/Lyft driver. (It was literally his first day as a Lyft driver, but he was an Uber driver immediately prior to that.) He told me Uber/Lyft was much more enjoyable and flexible, and also did not require him to make what essentially sounded like a rental payment to operate his taxi vehicle. Surprisingly to me, it also sounded like there were no additional requirements/clearances that taxi drivers needed relative to Uber/Lyft drivers to regulate/oversee the industry.

Assuming the taxi industry doesn't make a strong stand against the app-based ride-sharing industry, or the ride-sharing industry doesn't have some sort of highly damaging scandal that cuts across the industry, I think we'll see services like Uber and Lyft entirely or almost entirely replace taxis within 10 years or so, largely because Uber, Lyft, and similar services are almost always cheaper than taxis.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,451 posts, read 8,150,992 times
Reputation: 2346
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
This is interesting! I've wondered how this Uber Driver thing worked! How do you get more info? I'm traveling to Florida in a couple of weeks and have wondered if they are available in Ft. Myers area?
Based on a very quick search, Uber is available in Fort Myers.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Boonies
1,829 posts, read 2,733,901 times
Reputation: 2372
To the person who thinks I must live under a rock....just about. I live in a very rural New England town! There are no Uber drivers around here, so it's not anything I would be exposed to or have the option of using. Naturally if I am going to a large city and would like to get around, I would be curious about how the Uber thing works!
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:34 PM
 
2,412 posts, read 1,321,273 times
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I just found out yesterday that Uber is available in the Asheville NC area now. (no Lyft here yet I am told)


Unfortunately, it is only available for people who use smartphones (connected to the internet). I could apparently use it from a computer too but that would only work if I was at home - so I might be able to get one to 'go' some place but not to get home. Even cabs are hard to get (and VERY expensive) in this part of town so I was happy to hear about Uber availability and then disappointed to find out it won't work for me.


I have a vehicle so usually that is not a problem but today, for instance, I had to take my RV in for a spring checkup and leave it there overnight - about 7 miles from home and I will need to return to pick it up again tomorrow. There are a few times when a service like Uber would be a big boon for me. Too bad.
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