The last time we put out a call for record-breaking rides (and earnings), you delivered! James E. shared that he regularly does 130 rides a week, a number we found astonishing (and no else broke!). However, on a recent call for record-breaking rides on our Facebook page, we found one driver who truly shattered the record. RSG contributor Paula Gibbins interviews this Las Vegas driver who gave over 300 rides – in one week! – and how he did it below.
Everyone has their great weeks where they get more rides than they’ve ever had before and earn more money than they anticipated. But what about record-breaking numbers? Let’s take a look at Jason Howard, who completed 304 rides for Lyft in one week and then shattered his own record a couple of weeks later with 331 rides.
Here’s a quick introduction to Jason. He started driving for Lyft in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 31, 2015. He uses the Express Drive program with Lyft to use a vehicle without having the debt of owning his own vehicle. He’s recently moved to the Las Vegas area and that’s where he completed his record weeks.
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How Jason Broke the Record in Number of Rides Given by a Rideshare Driver in One Week
How does someone accomplish these kinds of record-breaking numbers? For Jason, the week of 304 was just an average week with nothing special going on. The week of 331 rides, there was the opening weekend for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament along with St. Patrick’s Day falling on the Sunday before.
Contrary to what many drivers might have done, Jason actually skipped driving for the holiday and focused on people needing rides home and other needs on the morning after. “As passengers start to recover and get moving about, there is an increased demand compared to a regular non-holiday Monday,” explained Jason.
He started that week off at 5 a.m. on Monday and worked until the app forced him off for the mandatory 6-hour break. After that break, he went right back online. “By the end of the first day,” he said, “I had been online for the maximum 16 hours we are allowed and had completed 60 rides. At that point, I knew I had a chance for a record week. So, I just did 14 hour shifts followed by 6- to 8-hour breaks.”
And he repeated that cycle all week. As you can see, it paid off:
How Can Other Drivers Get More Rides?
Now, that’s not to say that every day as a Lyft driver is easy. “It definitely has some trying days,” said Jason, “but for the most part, I really do enjoy it. I’m extremely new to Las Vegas and rideshare has given me the opportunity to meet new friends and truly learn my way around the city.”
Though, with those trying days, he admitted he doesn’t really have any wild, crazy or weird rides to share, saying “I’ve had a very vanilla experience” even after having completed over 12,000 rides in his rideshare driving experience.
Get to Know Your City
Jason does have some strategies he utilizes that may help others who are just starting out, or who have even been driving for a while. He tends to ask lots of questions about the area where he’s driving so he can learn the area as best he can. This can include knowing which areas to frequent and which to stay away from.
“While the Las Vegas Strip can be amazing from 3-7am, it can be a horrific nightmare jammed with traffic at 11pm on a Friday,” Jason explained. “Generally speaking, avoiding traffic is the number one most important tip I have for high ride counts. It doesn’t matter how many requests are coming in if you can’t get to them and get them where they are going quickly and efficiently.”
Get to Know the Operating Hours of Businesses in Your City
Another thing Jason does to keep things efficient and to know where his rides are coming from is taking note of when he drops off employees at large organizations that have shift changes such as warehouses, call centers and businesses that run 24-7. Jason explained, “If I am near any of the locations close to a shift change, I’ll head close and almost always get a ride from an employee heading home.”
Keep it Moving
Though he understands that many people prefer staging and have success doing that, Jason prefers to keep moving. “I like to make passes through approved pickup locations,” he said. “If I see 10 people looking at their phones, then looking at the cars like they are waiting for a ride, I’ll be more likely to make a second pass through the pickup area. If I roll through and see one or two people and 10 cars waiting, then I’ll continue on to a new section.”
Another thing Jason does is look at the passenger app to see if there are drivers nearby. “I like to position myself away from as many drivers as possible,” said Jason. “I like to work on the edges of busy areas where I have a decent chance of not only getting a passenger leaving a hot spot destination, but also have a chance at a request from nearby residential areas.”
His recommendation is to learn your area as best you can. Research is the key. “Rideshare is a lot like cooking,” Jason said. “In the kitchen there are thousands of ingredients a chef can use to prepare an amazing dish. Well, every city has thousands of buildings, restaurants, attractions, roads, shortcuts, highways, and tools available for drivers to utilize. The more ingredients you learn to master, the more successful you will be.”
In thanks for Jason sharing his experience with us, we’re giving him a $100 Amazon gift card. He simply sent an email letting us know of his success and was great at answering my questions. If you have a tip or story idea for us, send us an email, and if we feature it, you’ll get $100, too!
What’s the highest number of rides you’ve given in one week?
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-Paula @ RSG