For a long time, the only way to travel between states and still stick to a flexible rideshare driving schedule was with Lyft. However, for some drivers, Uber has made it possible for drivers to drive between states with Uber Eats. RSG contributor Chonce Maddox Rhea breaks down this news and what it means for drivers below.
If you drive for Uber in a city that borders state lines, you may be able to earn more money with Uber Eats. Driving for Uber Eats has often been viewed as a way to supplement your Uber driving income or an alternative to rideshare driving altogether.
We’ve reviewed and compared many food delivery apps in the past and it always seems like rideshare driving often wins in terms of profitability. The trips can be longer and there are more opportunities for bonuses which can increase your pay.
Now, Uber is changing things up by allowing delivery drivers for Uber Eats to go into other states and drive.
How Uber Eats is Becoming More Flexible
In the past, drivers who tried to deliver for Uber Eats in another state would see an error message in the app that prohibited deliveries.
Now, Uber Eats drivers can go online whenever they want and even do Uber Eats in other states.
This is good news for anyone who lives in a city near the state line border or even if you’re just traveling and want to earn some money with Uber. You may not be able to drive for Uber (although you can drive for Lyft in other states) in other states when you’re traveling, but you can still deliver with Uber Eats without restriction thanks to this new loophole.
The only exception is that this is not available to drivers in all states. Drivers who sign up in California, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania still won’t be able to deliver in other states. Uber says they’re working on changing this but the limitations are due to local regulatory constraints.
Why Is Uber Doing This?
You do have to ask why Uber would make any change or adjustment. This change is likely to help improve the app, overall customer experience and hopefully to make things easier on the drivers as well.
My assumption would be that perhaps there probably aren’t enough Uber drivers doing Uber Eats deliveries. In other words, the demand from Uber Eats customers must have increased, particularly in border areas and without a commensurate increase in drivers.
Not sure how to get started with Uber Eats? Here’s our updated tutorial for how to get started delivering with Uber Eats:
Uber can be oversaturated in some cities, but Uber Eats probably isn’t there yet. I couldn’t imagine Uber allowing drivers to accept pick-ups in any city or state that they wanted, but Uber Eats clearly needs more drivers and more buzz.
It’s no secret that food deliveries tend to pay less and can result in longer wait times for drivers. One driver who tried Uber Eats in Los Angeles earlier this year stated that he ended up waiting as long as 25 minutes between orders, but the average wait time was closer to 5 minutes.
Rate Changes Coming Soon
My husband has been driving for Uber in the Chicago suburbs for over 3 years now. He opted into Uber Eats as soon as it was available in our area but prefers to just do rideshare driving since it has paid better and is more consistent overall in our area.
Recently he received his first Uber Eats order in 2 months even though he’s set the app to accept delivery orders whenever he drives. The order paid about $16 but it was for a 22-minute drive. Granted, there may not have been too many drivers available at this time but it definitely makes us wonder why he hasn’t received hardly any Uber Eat delivery requests in two months. Were there too many drivers? Or just not enough demand in the area?
Another thing that was brought to my attention is that Uber Eats will be changing their rates soon, at least in our area.
This month, Uber will be introducing a new delivery experience where drivers can see their trip and distance information upfront instead of waiting until after they pick up the order.
The new trip supplement will also be introduced as a way to make the trip more worthwhile. Factors will be taken into account like the time spent traveling to the restaurant, overall distance including the base fare.
What I’m not too happy to hear is that the base fare will be cut in order to accommodate the supplement money. This sounds reminiscent of Lyft’s new pay structure that was rolled out in select cities earlier this year.
I drive for DoorDash sometimes and noticed that they have a similar pay structure. While they don’t yet offer upfront trip information, they do supplement the driver’s pay if the customer doesn’t tip enough to meet the minimum rate.
This means that DoorDash can often get away with paying drivers less so long as the customer provides a nice tip. I can only wonder if Uber is going in the same direction with their trip supplement.
What This Means For Drivers
Uber allowing you to travel to different states and do Uber Eats deliveries can mean something different for everyone.
If you’re a rideshare driver who typically doesn’t do Uber Eats or lives in one of the 3 restricted states, it probably won’t mean much to you right now. However, if you travel often whether for work or personal reasons, you could find this new change pretty convenient. After all, rideshare and food delivery gigs are meant to be super flexible, so this is a step in the right direction.
If you live near state lines, this can open up a whole new market for you in terms of your gig economy income.
At minimum, you can give this a try the next time you’re out of state and see for yourself. Be sure to let us know if you do. I’m not sure if the upcoming rate change is related to this most recent Uber Eats announcement, but if you received a similar notification in the app let us know since it may be city-specific.
Apply to Work for Uber Eats
If you’d like to get started with Uber Eats bonus, click here to sign up. If you’re interested in Uber Eats delivery then you might also be interested in signing up to deliver for Postmates and Doordash. See a full list of sign-up bonuses and incentives for rideshare drivers and delivery services here.
Drivers, have you driven for Uber Eats in other states yet?
-Chonce @ RSG