Senior RSG Contributor Sergio Avedian has been idle for almost two years due to the pandemic but also he figured how to make it without rideshare, thanks to his life after rideshare. He started trading stocks very successfully during that period, but now that daily life is almost back to normal, he is out there exploring if driving for Uber and Lyft is any more lucrative than it was pre-pandemic.
Easy cash never hurts, so over the past few weeks, I went out and drove for Uber and Lyft. Since I drive on a very part-time basis, I targeted high promotions both companies were offering to bring back existing drivers.
I am definitely not looking to drive as much as I used to pre-pandemic, but when Uber and Lyft SHOW ME THE MONEY, I will spare a few hours on the weekends to make as much as I can on as few hours online as I can.
I have been at this a long time, and I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to rideshare.
It certainly was ugly right before the pandemic. Both companies had cut the rates so much that drivers were fighting with each other for crumbs left on the table. However, the pandemic forced a lot of drivers to push the reset button, and many of us learned how not only to survive but thrive without beating our cars into a pulp.
Irresistible Offers from Uber and Lyft
A few weeks ago, I received two identical offers from Uber and Lyft. I have been hearing that there is a driver shortage and both companies are trying to not only sign up new drivers but bring back their existing ones, and maybe that’s true given the promotions I received.
The promotion was to give 20 rides and get a $250 bonus, but not a guarantee like both companies had offered me in the past, with $250 cold hard cash.
Twenty rides for $250 equals $12.50 bonus per ride – that is outrageous especially if a driver can target short and medium rides. Add to that Personal Power Zone (PPZ) by Lyft and Flat Rate Surge by Uber compounded by generous Consecutive Ride Bonus (CRBs) and I am in.
I thought I would make easy cash, what I call the HIT AND RUN method these days.
The hit and run method? Make as much as I can in the shortest possible time period and shut it down until the next irresistible offer by either company comes around.
Results from Driving for Both Uber and Lyft
Here is the breakdown: $58 per online hour, $67 per active hour
11.5 hours Online Time
10 hours Active Time
20 trip fares for $341.84 ($17.10 per trip)
$250 for 20 ride Quest
$48 Consecutive Ride bonus
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Here is the breakdown: $61 per online hour, $73 per booked hour
6 hours Online Time
5 hours Booked Time
20 trip fares for $94.48 ($4.72 per trip)
$250 for 20 ride bonus
$17.96 PPZ (Personal Power Zones)
Takeaways for Drivers
Per online and active hours, my numbers were astronomic. I don’t recall making this kind of money even when rates were high and surge multipliers were in effect on either platform.
Although Lyft beat Uber on two metrics, the availability of the flat rate surge and CRBs produced almost a $700 day on Uber. I drove double the hours on the Uber platform, but I made double the cash.
Strategy was definitely involved, as I targeted short to medium surge rides on Uber and strictly short rides on Lyft, as you can surmise by the per trip averages.
Also the lack of CRBs and surge on Lyft (other than those funny pink and purple boxes) hurt my per trip average. Granted, a couple of weekends do not make a trend, but these numbers are nothing to sneeze at.
Sadly, both Uber and Lyft did not offer me the same promotions again. Message to both CEOs, SHOW ME THE MONEY, and I will drive for you!
Bottom line, I’ve had days that I grossed $1000 a day on Uber when the marketplace was not saturated with drivers and every ride was on 3x surge, but this is as good as I have seen it.
GO GET THE MONEY drivers, because as past experience suggests, good times don’t last in the rideshare game.
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-Sergio @ RSG