The last time Senior RSG Contributor Sergio Avedian covered destination filters (DFs), many, many readers expressed dismay that Sergio was so profitable. How was it possible? To ensure his success and earnings weren’t just a fluke, Sergio recently went out and drove all weekend using destination filters. What happened – and what were his earnings like? He breaks it all down below.
As a part time weekend warrior, I try to drive only when I can make the most amount of money in the shortest period of time. My SHOW ME THE MONEY CLUB membership is paying off. If I can make $40+ per hour with incentives, I will drive for Uber/Lyft. If I can’t, my car will stay in the garage.
If all drivers did that, imagine what the city would look like! Surge would be plentiful and we could all earn a living wage. In a future article, I will demonstrate how Uber/Lyft’s greed is lighting the city up and hurting passengers! At Los Angeles base rates of 60/21 cents for Uber and 80/12 cents for Lyft, it is hard to be a profitable driver.
I have written extensively about the power of Destination Filters (DFs) in the past. It seems like it is a hot topic for a lot of drivers around the country with mixed results at best. Most complain that Uber/Lyft DF is useless and that it keeps sending them in the opposite direction of their chosen destination. Well, not so fast!
31 Weekend Rides, 27 on 6 Destination Filters
I love messing with Uber/Lyft algorithms; they are written by humans after all. Over the years, every time they zig, I learned to zag and try to beat their evil ways. It adds fun to rideshare driving for me, which mostly could be downright boring.
In most walks of life AI and algorithms are running the human race these days and that’s the case with most gig economy companies. Millions of decisions per second have to be made by matching drivers to passengers; millions of food/grocery delivery orders have to be shuffled by algorithms between restaurants, supermarkets, delivery drivers and hungry customers.
Recently, with a few goals in mind, I went out and drove over the weekend. The results even surprised me! But first, what were my goals?
- Use all 6 Destination Filters (DFs) available to me on Uber (2 per shift – I wish we had 6 per day back like we used to)
- Minimum door to door miles
- Finish the 30 for $60 staggered Quest (Much lower these days than a couple of months ago)
- Work only when Uber Consecutive Ride Bonuses (CRBs) are the highest (they ranged from 3 for $11 up to 3 for $26 for short periods of time)
My Plan and My Execution: Mastering Destination Filters
With the above goals in mind, I turned on my app about 90 minutes before Uber was offering 3 for $26 Consecutive Ride Bonuses (CRBs) on Friday afternoon.
I knew the trip destination with Uber (I had accepted more than 5 of the last 10 rides). I was willing to pass on 5 rides until I got one that put me in the CRB zone.
Unlike Lyft, Uber CRBs first trip has to start in a specific zone (screenshot below). So I gave myself plenty of time to get there from the suburbs where I live. Sure enough, I was in the CRB zone with time to spare after a couple of rejected pings.
Once I landed in the zone and 3 pm came around on Friday for the juicy CRBs, I went to work.
The new goal was to stay in the zone for 3 hours and collect as many 3 for $26 CRBs as possible.
Most Uber rides are populated in this zone, with passengers traveling in all directions. So it is no coincidence that Uber has geofenced that area.
Note for drivers not in Los Angeles: Every city should have an area like this, but you have to know where and when that area is busiest. For me, it’s weekends and after work hours. Many markets have similar hours, but you have to know your city well to figure it out.
It attracts Ants to sugar, but most drivers don’t have a plan and get taken out of the zone on the second or third leg of the CRB. This zone covered a majority of Los Angeles county, and by setting the DF from one end to the other, I was able to collect 4 of the $26 CRBs on Friday with the last one being on DF on my way home. (See screenshot below on the right)
A major advantage of this strategy is that you’ll accept all rides during the time you’re spending in the CRB zone. So you’re almost guaranteed Upfront destination privileges for the next day.
The cat and mouse game between me and the Uber algorithms continued for 3 straight days. Here are the results that even surprised me.
I completed 27 out of 31 rides on Destination Filter (DF) mode, I stayed in the zone to collect as many CRBs as possible and I had put in a minimal amount of miles on my car since this strategy targets mostly short to medium rides. This is without Surge, all on Base fares.
$38 per Online, $44 per Active hour
I completed nine Consecutive Ride Bonuses (CRBs) and 30 for $60 staggered Quests.
I was curious to see if Uber made or lost money with this strategy, but unfortunately, when I took a look at the receipts, I kept getting this error message. I will however write an article about this subject when I have access to passenger receipts going back to the first day I drove a few months ago. Stay Tuned!
Is anyone else getting this? I have no problems with Instant Pay or Earnings Totals but can’t see Rider receipts.
My Results and Takeaways for Drivers
Here were my results over this one weekend:
- $44 per Active, $38 per Online Hour
- Total driven miles door to door 248 ($2.25 per mile)
- $17.35 per ride average with promotions
- $9.20 per ride including tips
A few takeaways I noticed while out driving:
- It is slow out there for drivers!
This could be due to driver oversaturation, a seasonal slowdown or the new COVID variant.
- Doing 31 rides in 12 hours definitely tested my grinding ability
As you can see, there is a 2 hour gap between Online time and Active time. A few months ago, when I first started to drive again, I couldn’t take a break from ride requests! This time, those two hours were excruciatingly long waits for pings to finish CRBs but mission accomplished!
What is your experience with destination filters like? Do you use them?
-Sergio @ RSG