Contents:

7 min read

    7 min read

    Have you ever read an article online about rideshare driving and thought, ‘what?? That’s not true!’ It happens to senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur pretty regularly, and in today’s article, Jay outlines some of the biggest myths he’s read about rideshare driving.

    As a senior contributor for RSG and the YouTube channel, I research all new and developing stories in the rideshare driving arena.  Many times, I read a story and I say to myself: “That’s B.S.!”  Anybody who has done just a few months of driving would say the same thing.

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    Here are a few recurring stories that drew my ire.  I don’t believe them to be true.  Let’s see what you think.


    Story #1: Driving Is Easy.  Jay Says “BS!”

     

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    Driving for Uber and Lyft is not easy. Making $100 per hour doing anything is not easy.  If it were, everyone would be doing it.

    Back in 2016, I had read about an Uber driver who made a solid six-figure income as an Uber driver. However, he made most of his money selling gold jewelry to his passengers. Therefore, he had to drive his passengers while also negotiating the prices for his jewelry. That is not easy.

    When evaluating what it takes to make a decent living from rideshare driving, one must consider several factors.

    1. Car: Keep your expenses down by driving a fuel-efficient car (like the ones we recommend in the article ‘best cars for rideshare drivers’).
    2. Both Uber and Lyft: Work in a market that offers both services so you can reduce wait times between pings. Make sure to sign up with a referral code!
    3. High Demand Market: Work in a market that has strong demand for both services.
    4. High Rates Market:  You will make more money when the per-mile and per-minute rates are relatively high.
    5. Good Personality:  You have to be able to work with your passengers to earn high ratings and generate strong tips
    6. Side Hustle: Whether you are selling gold or silk scarves, have a Cargo box in your car, or advertisements painted on your car, those extra revenue streams all add up.

    Story #2: Rideshare Driving Sucks.  Jay Says “BS!”

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    If it sucks, don’t do it. Really.

    Driving is not for everyone. Some people don’t have the temperament to do it consistently well over a long period of time. Over half of drivers quit before hitting the six-month mark, according to our Uber Driver Survey.

    However, driving for Uber and Lyft does not suck.  It is a beautiful job with an opportunity to meet and learn from amazing passengers.  Driving is all about your perspective or mindset, just like life. Life is either a cabaret, old chum, or it is an old silent era black and white film.  One is full of colors and sound and movement and energy and aliveness, while the other is rather grim and despondent.

    I believe the folks who sign up and then quit have had unrealistic expectations. As I said in #1 above, driving is not easy.  Many new drivers come in thinking driving is a piece of cake. While it is easy to get started, it is not easy to do it well.

    Driving certainly is not easy to do it well over a long period of time.  Our minds and our bodies get tired.  Unless a driver manages both, then driving can suck. Anything will suck to someone who is physically and mentally tired all the time.

    If you are not playing the long game, driving can be a difficult gig. But driving does not suck.  It is a tremendous opportunity to make some money, work when and where you want, and use that freedom and flexibility to support you in doing what you want in life.

    Story #3: Uber and Lyft are Evil.  Jay Says “BS!”

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    Are Uber and Lyft bad for the world? Many articles think so. I don’t – let’s debunk some of the current ‘reasons’ why Uber/Lyft are so terrible.

    Traffic Congestion

    The claim here is that because of Uber and Lyft, there are more cars on the road.  More cars on the road lead to more carbon emissions, which leads to climate change.

    When I was driving a taxi last year in San Francisco, this was the major complaint of taxi passengers.  They did not use Uber or Lyft because, in their opinion, the rideshare cars were flooding the streets of the city they love.  Traffic was terrible and Uber and Lyft were the cause.  However, when we look at the data about Uber and Lyft traffic congestion, we see that Uber and Lyft only account for 1% to a max of 12% of all cars on the road.

    Actually, San Francisco was the highest with 12% in the city of San Francisco, and 2% for the greater bay area. Cities like Chicago and Seattle only had 2% infiltration of rideshare vehicles. These are hardly huge percentages. Instead, the bulk of the congestion was due to private vehicles and commercial vehicles.  It is not Uber and Lyft cars emitting most of the CO2 in the environment, it is you and me driving to work in our private vehicles.

    We are a car culture, and in most markets, 99% of the cars on the road are not Uber and Lyft vehicles.

    Poor Treatment Of Drivers

    This is a story of relativity.  If you and I compare what drivers could earn in 2016, compared to what drivers can earn now, we will see about a 20% decrease.  Where I could earn $2,000 in a 50 hour week back in 2016, 2017 and even early 2018, now in 2019 I could only earn $1,600 in that same amount of time.

    That is a significant drop.  In the past, I could earn a $500 bonus for driving just 120 trips. I had multiplier surge. I had a total of eight destination filters. The game has changed. No question about it.

    Now, let’s look at what it feels like being a new driver.  You just lost your corporate job and you have a family to support. You have some savings, but you would rather not have to dip into those funds.

    Instead, you check out Uber and Lyft in your city. You explore some YouTube videos and watch some drivers share about earning $20 per hour.  It is not a huge amount of money, but it is better than sitting at home watching your savings dwindle. It is not hard to get started. Within a few days, you and your car have been approved. If you don’t have a car, there are many ways you can secure one, like using a vehicle marketplace.

    Then you make your first drive. The passenger is pleasant and happy you are taking her to the airport.  Your career has officially begun.  As you drive, you learn the areas to drive, the best times to drive, how to use the final ride feature and the destination filters.

    You are bringing money in, cashing out at the end of each day, and finding time to send out those resumes to pursue a new job.

    This is the story of many drivers. It is my brother Dave’s story.  This is not an evil story. It is a story about hope and surviving a challenge and getting back on your feet.

    Key Takeaways

    Rather than believe a story, go out and find out for yourself.  You can’t learn to ride a bike in a seminar.  You have to get on the bike, learn about balance, fall a few times, and then you will get it.

    Driving is not easy, it does not suck and Uber and Lyft are not evil. Uber and Lyft are in business to make a profit, just like every other American enterprise. There is nothing Uber and Lyft has done that any other company would also have done to reduce expenses to generate more profits.

    It is the world we live in. Here in the United States, you can start a company and earn millions.  Or you can complain and moan about your situation in life. Those of us who were born here forget that millions of people try to cross our borders for a chance to work hard and succeed. We are a harsh country, but we are also a land of opportunity.  It is easy to forget that fact.  Be safe out there.

    Readers, do you agree with Jay’s assessment of the news out there about Uber and Lyft? Is it easy? Is it the worst? What do you think?

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    -Jay @ RSG

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur, a graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, is a full-time driver with over 26,000 rides. Jay has a driver-focused podcast: Rideshare Dojo with Jay Cradeur. When Jay isn’t writing articles or making videos, he is traveling the world. You can see what Jay is up to at www.nomadjay.com.