The Best Ways to Boost Your Rideshare Driver Earnings

It happens to all rideshare drivers sooner or later: everything is going well, you’re staying busy, and then BOOM! No requests. Whether it lasts half an hour or longer depends on where you live, but during times like this, there are still ways to make money while on the road. RSG contributor Paula Gibbins shares the best ways to boost your rideshare driver earnings below.

The whole point of driving for Uber or Lyft or any other service is to make money. And the best way to make money is to be sure to drive when demand is high and you’re able to stay busy. I’ve written before about how you can maximize your earnings while driving part time, but what if you’re a full time driver or a driver who wants to have a more flexible schedule (no 9 to 5)?

This is where knowing a few good tips and tricks come in, from both part time and full time drivers. And in addition to the tips I’ll outline below on how to maximize your time on the road, you may also want to consider signing up for another rideshare company, like HopSkipDrive. As you’ll see, they actually pay more than Uber and Lyft and their busy times line up well with when Uber and Lyft are slow. So you can work for both and make more!

Maximizing Your Time on the Road

When and where you drive is key to making the most money. Know your city and the ebbs and flows of driving. There are going to be situations that are more fruitful for you and others that are not worth the time and effort on your part.

For example, in my city of Minneapolis/St. Paul, it’s beneficial to drive early in the morning on Mondays because there are a lot of airport runs. Some people hate the airport, and a lot of that depends on the city they are in. Mine is easy to get into and out of and a lot of the trips end up being longer distances which feels like I earn even more since I’m not dealing with multiple pick ups within the downtown area.

Rush hour trips

Others LOVE downtown. You’ve got to get out there and see what feels right to you, but learn those times when it’s worth it and those that are not. It will make all the difference for your stress levels as well as your earning potential.

It might be worth driving around downtown when it’s raining. You’ll get a lot of quick trips in a row that don’t go far, simply because passengers don’t want to walk a half a mile in the rain, so you can get a good streak going and rack up your Uber Quest bonus quicker. Other times it might be difficult to maneuver downtown because of construction cutting off your main roads and causing congestion that slows you down to the point of taking 30 minutes to go 2 miles.

Along those same lines, drive when others are not. When I see the queue is 100+ at the airport, that tells me there are too many drivers out and about, meaning I won’t be getting many, if any, requests. I’ll go offline, go home and hop back on later when it seems like the tides have shifted or use an app like Gridwise to go find a hot spot.

If you don’t enjoy driving in the evenings on the weekends, consider getting out in the morning the day after. You’ll be likely to catch several people needing rides back to their cars or back to their own homes. In Harry’s book The Rideshare Guide, he calls these the walk of shame rides 🙂

Focus on the incentives. If there’s a guarantee or a quest, and you meet them, it’s free money for doing what you’d normally be doing anyway. Just be sure to follow the rules of whatever incentive you’re focusing on. One wrong move and your consecutive streak bonus could slip through your fingers.

Use your destination filters. Lyft gives you more throughout your day so you can head in the direction of where it’s hopping while continuing to pick people up along the way. I use mine through Uber in order to snag a ride or two on my way to my regular 9-5 job and on my way home in the evening. It typically makes me more than enough to fill my gas tank for the week.

Speaking of gas, use our Getupside promo code to save money on every gallon of gas you buy!

Here are tips on how using destination filters can help you earn more:


Find more strategies that we’ve compiled for you in the article 31 Tips & Strategies Uber+Lyft Drivers Use To Make More Money.

Slow Times While Using Uber and Lyft What to Do When You’re Not Busy

We all know it’s slow during the day on weekdays after rush hour in the mornings. If you are a full time driver or need to drive during these hours, it makes sense to fill in the gaps with different types of driving.

Consider doing deliveries for DoorDash, Postmates or any other kind of delivery service. You can find a list of companies and their sign up bonuses here. This may help fill up those dull afternoons and midday lulls.

If you force yourself to stay out and only be online for Uber and/or Lyft, you’re wasting gas, time and energy. It will quickly lower your per-hour earnings and leave you frustrated. Adding delivery is a great idea, but if you really prefer driving people vs. food, you might also want to consider other rideshare companies like HopSkipDrive.

How HopSkipDrive Can Help Drivers Earn More Reliably

HopSkipDrive is a service provided mainly to help bridge the gap, allowing drivers to pick up and drop off children safely and legally without a guardian along for the ride. You should all know by now that it is against Uber and Lyft’s terms of service to transport minors under the age of 18 by themselves so this is a good solution to protect yourself and your passengers.

They have served 6,000 schools according to their website and have driven 650K+ kids since they started. HopSkipDrive is currently available in Southern California, Northern California, Colorado, Virginia/District of Columbia, Arizona and Washington State:

hopskipdrive map

Take a look at the video below, where Paula describes her experience driving for HopSkipDrive.


Paula mentions you can get a ride series where you’re scheduled to pick up the same child daily or on a regular basis. This helps you plan your day and normalizes your schedule. It also helps ensure that you’re filling in slower gaps during the average day driving for Uber or Lyft.

HopSkipDrive also tends to be busy in the early morning and mid-afternoon when kids need to get to school or home from school.  Uber and Lyft may be tapering off around that time. With HopSkipDrive you’ll be able to keep earning throughout your day if you plan it right.

Driving with HopSkipDrive

With HopSkipDrive, cancellations really matter since they don’t want you to leave a kid stranded. The company gives you a free booster seat so you have one on hand when you drive kids young enough to need one still. It’s nice not having to tackle that expense yourself.

Peak times with HopSkipDrive tend to be the mid-afternoon, around 2-5pm when schools let out as well as early morning, around 6-8am when school starts. This helps fill in some of the gaps that you might experience from Uber and Lyft. Those time periods tend to be lulls on those platforms and you can help fill in your time by driving for HopSkipDrive during that time instead.

Overall, earnings per trip tend to be higher for HopSkipDrive since they charge more.  On average drivers make over $20 per trip and over $32 per hour. Take a look at the chart below from HopSkipDrive to see how driver satisfaction compares between HopSkipDrive and Uber:

hopskipdrive earnings

With having scheduled rides, you’ll want to do your best to keep them organized so you can go easily from one to the next without much downtime in between. Look at the locations and times and accept the ones that make sense for you. It’s difficult to cancel a ride once you’ve accepted. So make sure you’ll be able to get to your next one on time.

HopSkipDrive also guarantees you’ll earn $1,000 in your first month if you complete at least 40 trips. You can learn more and sign up here.


When you’re out driving, you want to stay busy. That’s what you’re out there for, to make money and make the most of your day. A lot of folks will diversify and sign up for Uber and Lyft or throw a delivery service into the mix but if you want to stick to rideshare, you’ll need to figure out a way to make money during slow times too – and that’s where a company like HopSkipDrive comes into play since they are busy when Uber and Lyft are slow.

The worst thing to do during a lull is get frustrated. If you do that, you’ll find yourself just seething with anger about how much money you’re not earning instead of being productive during that time. If you need to, just take a break. Eat lunch. Stretch. Go to the gym. Run a quick errand. Do something that will keep your mind off of what you’re not earning and then get back into driving when the conditions have improved for your earning potential.

Drivers, how do you handle lulls or breaks in activity as a rideshare driver? Do you go home or have you signed up with other companies, like delivery or HopSkipDrive? Let us know below!

-Paula @ RSG