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    Senior RSG Contributor Sergio Avedian has been driving for Uber and Lyft for the past few weeks with amazing results after being idle for almost two years. Why? Both rideshare companies are complaining about a driver shortage and are currently offering hefty bonuses to lure existing drivers back on the platform or to attract new drivers. But will the good times last?

    I am currently deploying the SHOW ME THE MONEY model when it comes to rideshare in Los Angeles. I am committed to doing the minimum number of rides for maximum hourly gross income. 

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    As I’ve said before, now is a good time to drive for Uber (less so Lyft), so if you’re on the fence, sign up and get going!

    I have absolutely no loyalty to either Uber or Lyft, whichever will offer me the best bonus, (Quest), Consecutive Ride Bonuses (CRBs), Surge, Personal Power Zones (PPZs) etc., will have me as a driver for a few hours a weekend. 

    Strategic driving is what separates the pros from the ants. I have proven over and over that turning the app on and mindlessly driving around, accepting every ping thrown at you by the algorithms will prematurely wear your car down as well as beat you up physically and mentally.

    Cashing In as a Driver While It’s Hot

    Uber and Lyft both have been sending me offers I could not refuse for a few weeks, like 20 for $250 quests, 3 for $24 CRBs, and what seems like a constant flat rate surge throughout Los Angeles on the weekends. 

    But once I completed them, Uber slashed the quests by more than half and Lyft took it all away after just two weeks. Here are my best results from the past few weeks on both platforms.

    Uber

    $58 per Online and $67 per Active hour

     

    Lyft

    $61 per Online and $73 per Booked hours

     

    Granted as strong as these numbers are, they are a small sampling and for Los Angeles only. 

    However, full-time and part-time drivers are reporting higher than pre-pandemic gross incomes due to strong demand and a driver shortage

    But how did I fare when Uber and Lyft figured out that I was just there for the quick buck? They both drastically reduced or eliminated the Quest bonuses after just a couple of weeks.

    Are Promotions Over?

    We all know prosperity for the driver is not a long-lasting affair when it comes to rideshare. We have witnessed both Uber and Lyft slash per mile and per-minute rates in Los Angeles over and over again over the past few years. 

    Uber pays 60 cents a mile and 21 cents a minute and Lyft pays 80 cents a mile and 12 cents a minute in Los Angeles – PEANUTS REALLY! 

    Without bonuses, it is definitely a losing battle for rideshare drivers in my city, especially with horrible traffic throughout the day. Base rides are guaranteed to do two things: turn your car and your brain into a pulp.

    Since Lyft totally cut me off, I decided to strictly drive for Uber the past couple of weeks. How did I do? 

    Well, certainly my numbers took a dip without the hefty Quests, but by strategically driving, I had two consecutively profitable weekends.

    $50 per Online and $52 per Active hour $53 per Online and $55 per Active hour

     

    Pretty similar numbers for both weekends. Without the 20 for $250 Quest, these numbers are nothing to sneeze at. Averaging $50 an hour was what I targeted, and I achieved my goal. 

    Could I drive double the hours and double my gross income? YES! There is a lot of demand out there!

    Takeaways for Rideshare Drivers

    The party’s not over for the Los Angeles drivers yet. If I can average $50 plus per hour without Quests, I will drive a few hours a weekend. Although I am vaccinated and always wear a mask, I am still nervous about catching COVID. 

    Uber and Lyft both are charging the passengers almost double for each ride from pre-pandemic levels. Their hold rates are close to 50% of what the riders pay. 

    Are they going to be greedy as usual and keep taking away Quests, CRBs, and the Surge from the drivers? Past history says they will and if they do, I will definitely stop driving again. 

    I have a feeling a lot of drivers out there are joining me in the SHOW ME THE MONEY method!

    For now, enjoy what you have, this is as good as it gets! If you’re not driving yet, sign up to drive for Uber here and make them show you the money!

    How are promotions going in your city? Is the promotion party over for you?

    -Sergio @ RSG

    Sergio Avedian

    Sergio Avedian

    Sergio has been driving Uber and Lyft for about three years. He has over 4500 rides on both platforms, mostly on Uber. Sergio has a degree in finance, and worked on Wall St. for over eighteen years. In his free time, he still trades stocks and derivatives for himself and a few friends. He is also a PGA certified golf instructor, teaching golf is his passion. Sergio is married with two wonderful kids who take the rest of his afternoons/weekends between their soccer practices and golf tournaments.