What would it be like to earn $500 in one day of driving? The Rideshare Guy is starting a new series that you can expect to see most Fridays: Driver Feature Friday! We’ll highlight a driver who has reached out to us to share their driving strategies, earnings (good and bad!), and advice for other drivers.

    In this edition, we have Tony from New Jersey, who shares what driving in NJ is like (and a $500 day!), how pandemic driving has affected him, and his tips for new drivers.


    Much like the rest of the country, some rideshare drivers have taken the pandemic very seriously and followed all expected protocol. Others, like “Tony” from New Jersey have followed their own rules of safety and reasoning, unapologetically.

    Want to share your own driver stories and experiences? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter – we’ll put out the call there for future Driver Feature Friday stories!

    Quick summary:

    • Tony made $500 in one day of driving!
    • He found that driving during the pandemic actually resulted in higher than regular earnings
    • Ready to hit the road with rideshare and take advantage of these earnings? Sign up to drive with Uber here!

    Breaking His Own Personal Earnings Record During the Pandemic

    Tony strictly drives for Lyft in NJ since Uber deactivated him for being reported for not wearing a mask one too many times.

    Uber did give him warnings after each incident, but they didn’t seem all that serious. “I figured if something bad was gonna happen they’d give me a more stern warning,” explained Tony. “It didn’t happen until 6 weeks after I was deplatformed, they sent me a nasty-gram, but by then it was too late.”

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    Despite being deactivated by Uber, Tony was still able to achieve something amazing for himself recently with Lyft. He beat his own personal daily record by over $100.

    driving in new jersey

    He grossed approximately $53 an hour for this day of driving.

    For this particular day, there was a weekend promotion available where if Tony completed 20 rides, he earned an extra $250. He decided to go for it and knock it out in one day.

    Plus, when he went to log out for the day, Lyft sent him a notification that if he stayed online and did 3 extra rides within a short time frame, he would receive another $15 extra for each ride.

    How does he go for almost 10 hours straight? Tony says he usually has a cooler in the car with him full of sodas to keep him going, but he also tends not to stop to go to the bathroom or eat.

    “Where I live in New Jersey is very densely populated,” said Tony. “Typically, once I turn [the app] on, I get one ride after the other until I shut it off. Occasionally I’ll have a couple of 5 or 10 minute gaps, but that’s rare.”

    Pandemic Driving: Then and Now

    Tony began driving during the pandemic because his other side jobs were not keeping him busy enough due to shutdowns. He said that driving during the pandemic was better than now (not quite post pandemic, but now there are more drivers on the road) because there were nonstop rides and nonstop surges and bonuses being offered. Tony drove full-time during the height of the pandemic, when fewer drivers were out.

    “Most days I can make $160 and that usually takes between 6 and 8 hours,” said Tony. “If I hit $200 it’s a really good day.”

    When asked if he’ll likely stick with doing Lyft driving for a while, Tony said that he’s not looking to ditch it anytime soon. One main reason is because he is unvaccinated and intends to stay that way, at least for the time being.

    Tony looked into getting other jobs, but with several employers requiring workers to be vaccinated, it’s getting more and more difficult to find other work to do.

    As Tony explains, “That’s one of the benefits of driving for Lyft; the vaccine is not a requirement right now. I think a lot of people agree with me.”

    Beating Your Own Personal Earnings Record: Tony’s Advice

    With approximately 2,300 rides under his belt, Tony has plenty of driving experience and wants to share some tips with drivers looking to be successful.

    1. Drive during the day

    One tip he has is to drive during the day. Not because of rowdy passengers, necessarily, but because “it’s easier to see where you’re going.” Even if you know the area well, it’s just easier to see where you’re headed and easier to find pickup locations.

    Tony also mentioned that driving in New Jersey is unlike driving anywhere else.

    “We have our own set of rules,” Tony explained. “I mean, the laws are the same, but the rules are different—take my word.”

    One example he gave is if the speed limit is 55, everyone is going 75. “If you’re going 55, you’re a hazard to the other drivers.” [Note: RSG does not encourage you to drive over the speed limit; please follow all of your local traffic and speed limit laws.]

    2. Drive safely and be aware of what your passenger’s actually want

    That brings us to his next tip: go with the flow and get your passengers to where they are going.

    “They don’t want to have to look up from their phone because you’re accelerating too quickly or stopping too quickly,” said Tony.

    He also advises, “Be sensitive to the people in the car. Some people just don’t like to talk. Other times they do.”

    One thing he does is rarely have the radio on. He’ll turn it on specially if a rider requests it, but for the most part has it off.

    3. Keep your car neat and clean

    Tony also says it helps a lot to keep your car neat and clean. He has WeatherTech floor mats which are easy to take out and clean.

    Something that rubs some drivers the wrong way is when a passenger requests taking a different route. Tony doesn’t mind it. If his passenger wants to take a different way, he’s happy to oblige.

    How has pandemic driving been for you lately, if you’ve been on the road? Are you still making or beating your personal earnings goals?

    Ready to drive for Uber or Lyft? You can get started with Uber here.


    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula has been writing for the Rideshare Guy since the fall of 2018. The main focus of her articles has been breaking news, reviewing new apps, driver experiences and more. Prior to her time with the Rideshare Guy, Paula worked as a writer and editor for various publications including local newspapers, sporting goods catalogs, online merchandise and more. She currently has a full-time job editing for a top beauty company and enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in weekly trivia.