Bay Area drivers, come join me tomorrow, September 20 from 1-4 p.m. for Lyft’s Driver Appreciation Day. There will be complimentary car washes, oil changes, inspections, live music, food and more. Plus, I’ll be signing and giving away copies of my book, The Rideshare Guide. More information on the event and how to RSVP here. Space is limited so make sure you RSVP!
As drivers, we always seem to get the same questions: “how long have you been driving?” “do you like driving?” and more. Sometimes you’re up for answering those questions, but other times you may not be sure how to respond. Senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur covers the most commonly asked passenger questions and how to tackle them below.
Each day, day after day, passenger after passenger ask the same questions, as if you and I have never been asked them before. It is funny to hear these evergreen questions. I often feel like the Queen of England, as she meets her next new Prime Minister (she has had 12 Prime Ministers during her reign!).
So let’s have some fun and discuss the same old questions we all hear day in and day out. Sometimes, the way you answer these questions can make the difference between a 4 or 5 rating and whether or not you get a fat tip.
Common Questions All Rideshare Drivers Get from Passengers
Which Do You Like Better, Uber Or Lyft?
If you are in a city that has both services, this is far and away the first question many passengers ask. Lately, since I have been driving primarily for Lyft, I answer “Lyft.” The follow up question is then “Why?”
I tell them I prefer Lyft because they offer a better bonus program at $500 per week, and I find their app to be far more driver friendly. I also often comment that the Lyft passengers seem a tad bit more friendly. I draw a comparison to Lyft passengers being more like dogs, and Uber passengers being more like cats. The Lyft passengers always like to hear this.
Do You Live In The Area?
In the San Francisco market, we are experiencing a gold rush. Drivers come to San Francisco from as far as Los Angeles to drive our hilly streets in search of a $1,000 weekend.
Passengers find this very interesting. They like to know if their driver is local, and if not, how far away has the driver come to work. When I tell the passengers I am a Bay Area native, they exclaim, “you are one of the few!”
Some drivers who come from far away will work 3-4 days in a row, and instead of getting a hotel room or an Airbnb room, they will sleep in their car.
If you do this, I highly recommend you don’t tell you passengers about this. I have had many passengers tell me how they felt uncomfortable being in a car that someone had slept in. Some things are best kept to ourselves.
Can You Really Make A Living Doing This?
Passengers are curious. Some of them are fishing for information because they may want to be a driver. Since they see so many people driving for Lyft and Uber, they want to know what the buzz is about.
I tell my passengers that if you work hard and work smart, you can make a living doing this full time. If I have a passenger who seems like a good prospect to become a driver, I will tell him or her that I work 50 hours a week and make over $2,000 per week.
I give these prospects my business card and tell them I have videos that teach them how to drive in San Francisco and how to sign up and get started. If the passengers know you are a hard worker, they are more likely to give you a tip.
Do You Like Driving?
This always seems like a silly question, but one I get fairly often. Lately my response has been “Well, I certainly hope so.” I explain to the passenger how I enjoy meeting so many people each day. I share my joy at exploring the city of San Francisco and learning more about the neighborhoods, restaurants, vistas and unique events.
I share my enthusiasm for travel and the flexibility rideshare driving affords me. Being positive and upbeat sets a good tone for a great tip.
You Must Have Some Stories… What’s The Worst Drive You Have Had?
Sometimes I am not in a story telling mood. In that case, I tell them that all the rides have been good. If I feel like sharing, I tell the story about the sleeping millennial I had to wake up upon arrival. He did not like being woken up, and he threw several profanities my way: “Who the f___ do you think you are!”
It was weird and unpleasant. But if out of 20,000 rides, this is the worst, I suppose I have been very fortunate.
What’s The Best Drive You Have Had?
If I want to keep it short, the answer is “They are all good!” My long answer involves an airport run with mountain climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin.
I had seen Chin’s film, Meru, and even wrote a blog post about it. We talked about tours in the blue mountains, life and death, men and women, his upcoming movie and some challenges of life. It was fantastic. Jimmy was the real deal, sincere, friendly, and open to a deep conversation. By far, this was my best ride. It was not my most profitable, but it was my best.
What’s The Longest Ride You Have Had?
Some passengers are curious by nature. I tell them about my three and a half hour ride from San Francisco to Salinas during Friday afternoon traffic. My passenger slept most of the way. I made $140 on that ride.
I have had many trips up to the wine country, which is about two hours away. But the most expensive ride was a one-hour ride from San Francisco to Foster City (one hour south) at a 5.5X surge. I made $170, which is definitely the best per hour earnings of my career.
Anyone Ever Puke In Your Car?
Morbid curiosity leads to this question. I am happy to tell my passengers that I don’t drive at night. When I started driving, I tried the night driving and came close to having passengers vomit in my car, but it never happened.
I then show the passengers my barf bags and let them know I am ready should they feel sick. This makes most passengers laugh. A happy passenger is a tipping passenger.
How Should You Handle Common Pax Questions?
Passengers ask many questions. Weekend passengers and tourists tend to ask more questions. Commuting passengers rarely ask questions.
When you get asked a question, use your responses as a time to earn a high rating and a good tip:
- Keep it positive
- Share funny and interesting stories and answers
It is all part of the show we put on for our passengers. Enjoy the process and earn bigger tips along the way. Are there any questions that you get asked I missed? Please share below in the comments. Be safe out there.
Drivers, what questions are you most frequently asked?
-Jay @ RSG