Senior RSG Contributor Sergio Avedian started driving again after being idle for almost two years. He is always looking to improve driver earnings through experimenting and trying to figure out the Uber/Lyft algorithms. In this article, he shares his latest findings regarding Destination Filters (DFs).
I reluctantly started driving again a few weeks ago and figured out one thing. Unlike the pre-pandemic days when drivers were fighting over crumbs left on the table by Uber/Lyft, you can make some good money out there.
As Sergio says, now is the time to sign up for services like Uber and Lyft! Get started with Uber here.
This is especially true if you are offered some bonuses. With bonuses, a driver can maximize his/her earnings by deploying driving strategies I had previously shared in my previous RSG articles.
As a beginner driver, you must adapt your driving strategies to match your bonus offered by Uber/Lyft. I have to mention that I am in Los Angeles where demand at the moment is outstripping the supply of drivers.
If you live in a major city as I do, you will be able to deploy one of my favorite strategies. It is squeezing the Uber/Lyft algorithms in a tight box via Destination Filters in order for you to complete your Quest or consecutive ride bonuses (CRBs) in a short period of time without driving too many miles.
Destination Filters Explained
I haven’t heard many good things about Uber/Lyft’s destination filters. I must say, either I am very lucky, or what I am doing works. Driving in a big city like Los Angeles helps a ton since requests are plenty and riders are traveling in every direction possible.
Uber’s Destination Filter
The screenshots above explain how you set the destination filter on the Uber platform.
Basically, you click on the search button in the upper right-hand corner, then the second screen will pop up.
Then you can click to choose a destination you want to head to and click on Set Destination or choose to add an arrival time like it is shown in the third picture.
If you set a DF without an arrival time, Uber allows you about two hours for the algorithm to put rides together for you to get to your destination. Be careful with this option, as this opens you up to all kinds of rides, even in the opposite direction of where you want to go.
The arrival time option will force the algorithm to find you rides within your set parameters. You can also adjust the time of arrival without burning a DF. As I will explain later on, both could be deployed at various times of the day depending on your location.
Lyft’s Destination Filter
The screenshots above explain how you set the DF on the Lyft platform.
With Lyft’s destination filter, you click on the menu button to the right of the Go Online tab.
The next two screens show up, and both are pretty self-explanatory. Choose one and set your DF to your desired location.
Lyft’s Arrive on Time tab will open you up to all kinds of rides and directions unlike Uber’s. You will definitely find yourself with rides in the complete opposite direction of where you want to end up.
But as you will see later on, when used with a plan in mind, it serves its purpose.
How I Use Destination Filters to Maximize My Earnings with Uber
Recently, I was out there trying to make $50 an online hour. Uber has cut its generous Quest offers to less than half of what they were a few weeks ago. However, Uber still offered some lucrative CRBs, and coupled with the plentiful surge, I thought I would go get the money.
My Quest for the weekend was 20 for $90, down from 20 for $250. I was at 15 rides to complete the Quest when I decided to set my DF strategy in action. I set it from a busy location at a busy time of the day.
In this example, it is 9 PM and I wanted to head towards home.
Pay close attention to the timestamps of the screenshots. I set my DF and set to accomplish my tasks.
I got my quest count up towards the $90 bonus ($4.50 per ride), took advantage of the 3 for $17.50 CRB, and got close to home.
The following rides explain the story. I got within 8 miles of my house and made about $100 for an hour and a half of work. THANK YOU UBER DF!
How I Use the Destination Filter on Lyft to Maximize My Earnings
For two weeks in a row, Lyft was generous enough to send me a Quest of 20 rides for $250 cash.
I thought it was perfect – let’s go and target only short rides and try to make $50 an online hour including the bonus.
I was determined to finish all 20 rides in the shortest possible time and drive the least amount of miles.
I set my DF with the Arrival Time option knowing it opened me up to all kinds of rides, even if it meant I would go in the opposite direction of my final destination. Sure enough, with two DFs offered by Lyft, I manipulated the algorithm to feed me nothing but short rides!
I drove less than 100 miles, inclusive of pickups, and stayed in the Valley. Below are my results.
$61 per online and $73 per Booked hour. THANK YOU LYFT DF!
My Take on Uber/Lyft Destination Filters
Granted, I live in a big city with massive demand. A lot of drivers will complain that DFs are a hit-or-miss proposition at best, and I would agree with that to a certain degree.
However, I always try to think out of the box when I drive, going against the grain. Most drivers use DFs to go home after a long shift where they most likely will not hit the jackpot especially if they are in a small market.
NEVER SET YOUR DF TO EXACTLY TO YOUR HOME, ALWAYS SET IT A FEW MILES PAST IT.
I always used my DFs to squeeze the Uber/Lyft algorithms to send me surge ride after surge ride, as seen above, in order to maximize my earnings. I’d rather make $100 in 90 minutes and deadhead home than hope and pray for a lucky ride to take me home.
If you drive on both platforms, which you should, you have 4 DFs between the two platforms. Use them all to position yourselves to take advantage of the upcoming surge, if you of course know the patterns in your city. Burn them all to make money and keep you in the busy areas of your city, and don’t worry, you’ll have 4 more the next day.
Am I lucky or good? I know I will get pushback about driving in a major city. I know I am lucky on that front, but I have been using these proven strategies for a very long time, so I know it works.
GO GET THE MONEY DRIVERS, IT’S FOR THE TAKING FOR NOW!
Do you use destination filters in your city? Why or why not?
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-Sergio @ RSG