Uber Driver’s Guide to Boston

Driving for Uber in Boston can be profitable if you know what you’re doing. The traffic, crazy roads, and impatient drivers make driving for Uber interesting, to say the least.

But with the right plan and plenty of patience, you can earn a decent income driving for Uber in Boston.

Driving for Uber in Boston

Boston has a high demand for Uber rides, so knowing how to qualify as an Uber driver in Boston can help you earn a decent side income.

For most people, it’s easy to qualify to drive for Uber, as long as you are at least 21 years old with one year of driving experience. However, if you’re under 25, you need three years of driving experience.

You must also drive an eligible vehicle that’s 15 years old or newer and carry proper vehicle insurance.

Massachusetts also requires a secondary background check that takes longer than the standard Uber Checkr process. It can take up to 3 weeks, sometimes longer.

Boston Uber Driver Tips & Strategies

Your car is your office, so knowing where to position yourself, what areas to avoid, and where to spend time to make the most money is important.

Any tips and strategies for driving for Uber in Boston involve knowing your way around and understanding the traffic patterns.

Even people who have lived here all their lives can’t figure out the madness of the street layouts with winding roads, one-way streets, and impassable highways.

busy streets in boston for rideshare drivers

Sometimes, the one-way streets or ‘do not enter’ restrictions change throughout the day. If you aren’t aware of them, you could add 30 minutes or more onto your drive.

heavy traffic in boston for uber drivers

  • Pick a zone and stay in it: This creates the most efficiency, allows you to get to know the area well, and keeps you safe. You’ll drive fewer miles but must get to know the busy times in the zone to make it well worth the effort.
  • If you go downtown, stay there: Don’t try to drive back and forth between your zone and downtown; it won’t be worth your time. Instead, try to get one ride into the city, stay there for the duration of your shift, and then catch a ride back.
  • Drive Cape Cod sparingly: You can make good money driving ‘down the Cape,’ but don’t do it during busy times, or you could add 2+ hours to your trip. Keep this in mind for your trip to Cape Cod and on the way back, too, as you could hit traffic on your deadhead miles coming back.

Boston Uber Driver Hotspots

Boston has many major tourist attractions and you’re bound to find people in need of rides to and from.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Fenway Park
  • Gillette Stadium
  • TD Garden
  • Xfinity Center
  • MGM Music Hall at Fenway
  • Roadrunner
  • Paradise Rock Club
  • Old State House
  • Castle Island
  • Cheers
  • JFK Presidential Library
  • Charles River Esplanade
  • Newbury Street
  • Acorn Street
  • North End
  • Theater District

gillette stadium in boston is a busy area for uber drivers

Boston PD closes off Causeway Street and many of the side streets near TD Garden before and after events, so you may be heading to a pickup that you cannot get to due to police barricades. Be prepared to communicate with your customer if the pick-up is at one of these spots.

If you want to focus on neighborhoods, there are certain areas with the most pickups and drop-offs.

Busy Neighborhoods

  • Boston/Cambridge
  • Back Bay
  • North End
  • Alston/Brighton
  • Cambridge
  • South Boston
  • Dorchester

Because each area is so different, choose and stick with the one you know best to reduce time spent looking for directions.

You’ll get to know the best routes, traffic patterns, and even what riders need to make the most of your time driving for Uber in Boston.

College Areas

If none of the areas above speak to you, there are always the college areas, as Boston has many.

  • Harvard
  • MIT
  • Boston University
  • Boston College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • UMass
  • Tufts

You’ll find these areas are the busiest on the weekends during the day.

Boston Airport

Of course, there’s always the airport, but use caution if you choose this option.

While BOS is a central hub for travelers throughout New England, navigating the airport is challenging. It has many closures and backed-up traffic due to ongoing maintenance.

The average ride is a quick dropoff for visitors or business people, usually $8 to $10, so it may not be worth your time.

If you choose airport runs, avoid them on Sunday afternoon as traffic backs up for an hour or longer, making your trips much less profitable.

boston uber driver at the bos airport

The Longwood Medical Area

The final area to consider is the Longwood Medical Area, which has 21 world-class medical and academic institutions, including Children’s, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham & Women’s, and Tufts Medical Center.

There are over 150,000 jobs and almost 3 million appointments a year between the facilities, creating many ride opportunities for doctors, nurses, techs, students, and patients.

Best Times To Drive for Uber in Boston

Knowing the best times to drive for Uber in Boston is crucial so you don’t go during dead times or when traffic is too heavy.

  • Early mornings: 4 AM to 8 AM on weekdays
  • Afternoons: 2 PM to 7 PM on weekdays
  • Evenings: 10 PM to 1 AM on most days
  • Evenings: 9 PM to 2 AM on weekends

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make in Boston?

Boston is one of the most expensive cities to live in, so how much you can make driving for Uber is important. The average one-bedroom apartment costs as much as $2,000 a month!

Uber states the average earnings are $28 an hour, but you can make more than that in Boston if you do it right. I make $40/hour on average, working 15 to 30 hours per week.

boston uber driver earnings

You must pick the right areas, get to know them inside and out, and be able to provide excellent customer service. It also helps if you find the surge times to work, as you’ll increase your earnings just by driving at the right time.

We are fortunate in Boston that Uber offers a lot of Boost + bonuses that pay $1.50 to $4.50 per ride. These occur at least a few hours daily; combining them with regular surges can increase your earnings.

boston uber driver bonuses

We also see a lot of Uber Quests in Boston. Weekend Quests are the highest paying, with $200 to $400 bonuses for 100 trips. Weekday Quests exist, too, but they are much lower paying, usually $30 to $90.

To make Quests work for you, look for shorter rides you can complete quickly. Hang out near bars or large employers when you know there will be a large influx of ride requests and rack them up to reach your Quest quota.


Alternatives To Driving for Uber in Boston

Driving for Uber in Boston isn’t for the faint of heart! Fortunately, there are other opportunities, too.

Of course, there’s Lyft if you want another rideshare service, but if you want something different, consider the following:

Is Driving for Uber in Boston Worth It?

Planning, position, and patience are the keys to successfully driving for Uber in Boston.

Driving for Uber in Boston can be worth it if you are a good driver, know the area, can drive in bad winter weather, and are comfortable creating a strategy that works for you.

In other words, plan your strategy, position yourself in the hot spots at the right time, and have patience.

There will be traffic, road hazards, and frustration. But patience goes a long way when earning a living driving for Uber in Boston.