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11 min read

    11 min read

    Uber is releasing a new way to reward drivers with increased earnings and discounts on everything from gas to college tuition. This new program is called Uber Pro, and today, senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur breaks down how this new program works and how it will help drivers earn more.

    New! Uber Pro is now available in the following locations:

    instacart

    Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, NYC, Orange County, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond.

    Prior availability: Boston, Chicago, D.C., Denver, New Jersey, New Orleans, Phoenix, Orlando, Seattle, and Tampa.

    Uber Eats couriers will also be able to access the Uber Pro program as well, if they deliver in one of the cities Uber Pro has expanded to.

    New for Uber Eats-only drivers: Uber is now offering the same Pro program to Uber Eats-only drivers, called Uber Eats Pro. Learn more about Uber Eats Pro here.

    Uber Pro

    I count myself among the thousands of driver who feel undervalued, under-appreciated and underpaid.  While Uber and Lyft have paid lip service to appreciation of their drivers, very little has changed in how much we are paid or how much we are recognized.

    Recently, I sat in on a presentation in which Uber unveiled their new Uber Pro program in an effort to remedy many of the issues and complaints rideshare drivers experience.

    Watch: Jay Breaks Down How Uber Pro Works

     

    Uber Acknowledges Drivers’ Concerns

    Uber listed as the top three driver concerns:

    1.  Being Recognized 

    We as drivers often feel like chattel.  We work tirelessly driving passengers from point A to point B.  Our driving experience is gamified so that Uber and Lyft can get the most out of us as possible.

    For those of us who have driven for many years, racking up thousands of trips and a high rating, we are treated just like the new guys, often getting less desirable bonuses due to our allegiance.

    2.  Earn More Money

    Wouldn’t it be great if we all worked on a level playing field, and those of us who performed better than average were paid a little bit more? Every sales organization has rewards for top performers in the form of cash and prizes.  With Uber and Lyft, there has never been any incentive to perform at an elite level, other than to make more money by working more hours.

    3.  Off-Road Ambitions 

    According to Uber, over 50% of drivers are entrepreneurs who are not only driving but also working on their next big venture.

    Uber Pro wants to help drivers in their entrepreneurial pursuits

    Uber asked themselves the question:  Is it possible for us to support our entrepreneurial-minded drivers so that they can drive and also move forward in the pursuit of their long-term goals and visions?

    Another Concern – How To Reduce Churn

    This is certainly at the front and center of both Uber and Lyft’s business plans. According to a Stanford study, 68% of Uber drivers quit within 6 months. This means Uber and Lyft must constantly be looking for and enticing new drivers with expensive incentives.

    If either company can solve this problem and keep more of their experienced drivers beyond the six-month mark, stability and profitability will be increased.   Now let’s look at what Uber Pro is offering the driver and ask ourselves the question:  Will Uber Pro keep more drivers driving for Uber and engender newfound loyalty?

    Related article: Essential gear every rideshare driver should have

    Understanding Uber Pro – The Basics

    Uber Pro is a program to reward drivers who perform at a high level. Drivers will be divided among four categories based on driving activity and performance. Those categories are:

    • Partner (The Starting Level)
    • Gold
    • Platinum
    • Diamond (The Highest Level)

    Each category is achieved based on a point system. To unlock rewards, drivers need to maintain a 4.85 star rating and a low cancellation rate. Drivers earn points during fixed 3-month periods, and the points they earn in one period go toward unlocking status (and more rewards) in the next.  Drivers earn points on every trip they complete with Uber.

    image of Uber Pro

    Point system for Uber Pro

     

    For example, this ride contributes 3 points.

    Uber will also provide drivers with status updates:

    image of status updates for Uber Pro

    Status updates for drivers with Uber Pro

    So we can see here in this example that 1,500 points are required to achieve the highest level of Diamond. Required points at each level will vary by market.

    What Do Drivers Get from Uber Pro?

    What is in it for the drivers? Can drivers make more money? Can drivers save money on expenses? What other goodies are included? This chart shows you what you can earn based on your achieved category:

    image of driver rewards Uber Pro

    Uber Pro Rewards

    Let’s break this down to dollars and cents.  Let’s say you are a full-time driver.  You drive for 40 hours a week and earn $1,500 per week.  How would this new program impact you?

    Let’s assume you are at the highest level, the Diamond level.  We can now add 6% to your earnings.  That would be an extra $90 in your pocket each week.  Over one year (50 weeks), that is an extra $4,500. Thank you, Uber!

    Let’s say you spend $20 per day, or $100 per week on gas.  The gas savings of 5% is $5 per week, or $250 per year.  It’s not a great deal of savings, but it is still a savings.  It’s important to note that this gas savings applies to any gas you purchase, at any gas station, using your Uber Debit Card.

    You can often find similar discounts with a gas credit card, which is a good idea if you do a lot of driving.

    A Few Extra Perks from Uber Pro

    As you look at the rewards sheet above, you will notice that the top two levels, Platinum and Diamond, will be given valuable information upon accepting a ride.  You will be told the length and direction of the ride.  I consider this to be a huge improvement in Uber’s program.

    If I am focusing on short rides during rush hour, I can very easily cancel a long ride that takes me out of the downtown area.  This was never available before.  This puts quite a bit of control back in the hands of the driver.

    Uber also guarantees faster airport pickups for Platinum and Diamond drivers, which will also increase the profitability and earnings per hour of those designated drivers.  Platinum and Diamond drivers will skip the line entirely to get priority pick ups. This is another excellent incentive.

    The Arizona State University (ASU) Connection

    If you maintain the Platinum or Diamond level, you will be entitled to free online courses at ASU.  This benefit can help you or a member of your family earn a college degree while you are driving.

    image of tuition assistance Uber Pro

    100% tuition coverage for Uber Pro Platinum or Diamond drivers

    This is quite an opportunity for drivers: free education from an accredited university.  Uber is excited about this new offering.  I think they are on to something here. I believe this will not only allow drivers to further their own education, or that of a family member, but it will also engender tremendous loyalty towards Uber for providing the opportunity.

    Walk Before They Run

    Uber will be trying out this program in a few select markets.  This will be an opportunity to try it out, work out the bugs, and tweak it as necessary.  If you are not in one of the trial markets, sit tight as Uber expects to roll this out nationally very soon:

    New! Uber Pro is now available in the following cities:

    Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, NYC, Orange County, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond.

    Uber Eats couriers will also be able to access the Uber Pro program as well, if they deliver in one of the cities Uber Pro has expanded to.

    Previously, Uber Pro was available in the following locations below. Drivers in the new cities will receive a notification pop up in their Uber app if they qualify for Uber Pro.

    image of Uber Pro cities

    Not all cities (or NJ) will see Uber Pro right away

    Eligible drivers can learn about Uber Pro, see available rewards, and track progress toward their goals directly in the rewards section of the redesigned driver app.

    👉Related article: Essential gear every rideshare driver should have

    Cash Back Offers on Gas Until September 15

    Uber is also offering the following to some Uber Pro Platinum drivers until September 15:

    • 12% Cash Back when you pay for gas with the Uber Visa Debit Card
    • 13.5% Cash Back when you use it to pay for gas at Exxon and Mobil

    cash back offer for uberpro platinum drivers

    Fair Perks for Uber Drivers

    Fair, a company that helps drivers get rideshare ready vehicles quickly, is also offering new perks to Uber Pro drivers in the form of Fair Credits. These Fair Credits can be applied to the cost of a Fair car, making your Fair rental cheaper or even free. Fair Credits are tiered based on your Uber Pro status:

    Uber Pro Gold:

    • Fair in CA and GA: Drivers receive $10 in Fair Credits at the end of each month as long as they maintain Uber Pro Gold status and have a Fair car at the end of the month.
    • Fair in select markets outside CA and GA: Drivers receive an automatic discount for $120 off their initial Fair start payment of $500.

    Uber Pro Platinum:

    • Fair in CA and GA: Drivers receive $20 in Fair Credits at the end of each month as long as they maintain Uber Pro Platinum status and have a Fair car at the end of the month.
    • Fair in select markets outside CA and GA: Drivers receive an automatic discount for $140 off their initial Fair start payment of $500.

    Uber Pro Diamond:

    • Fair in CA and GA: Drivers receive $40 in Fair Credits at the end of each month as long as they maintain Uber Pro Diamond status and have a Fair car at the end of the month.
    • Fair in select markets outside CA and GA: Drivers receive an automatic discount for $160 off their initial Fair start payment of $500.

    California drivers – click here to download the Fair app and get your first week ($185 savings) free!

    Drivers in other states – click here to download the Fair App and get $100 off your Fair car rental (or enter code “RSG100” at checkout)

    Summary of Uber Pro

    Good for Uber for talking to drivers and listening to their feedback. With Uber Pro, drivers who drive often and well will be rewarded with better pay and a nice collection of ancillary benefits, none the least of which is time and direction notification on rides.

    If you have been an Uber driver, this gives you even more reason to stick with Uber.  If you are like me, a Lyft driver, then this new offering provides an opportunity to reevaluate my driving options and make an educated decision.  Uber has certainly made it a close race.  For that, we can all be grateful.

    Uber Pro FAQs

    1. What are the exact terms for Uber Pro?

    You must earn points to access the different tiers and rewards in each tier.

    • You will earn 1 point for every trip completed for: UberX, UberPOOL, Express Pool, UberXL, UberSelect, UberWAV, UberBlack, and UberSUV

    Each trip, along with any Uber Eats trip, will count as an Uber Trip for Uber Pro. You will earn an additional 2 points (for a total of 3 points) when you either a) pick up a rider and begin a trip or b) complete a trip (or delivery) during the following times (these are called the ‘3 Point Hours’):

    • Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 10 a.m, 5 – 7 p.m., 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
    • Friday – Saturday 12 p.m. – 5 a.m.
    • Sunday 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.

    2. What happened to the 3–6% bonus pay for Platinum and Diamond drivers?

    Those pay bumps have been discontinued. Some areas never even showed it as an option, so I’m sorry if you’re confused by this. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t put yourself through the ringer about it. For those who were excited by it, I’m sorry to say that it’s going to be a thing of the past if it isn’t already.

    3. What will happen to Quests?

    Beginning on November 29, 2018 in Uber Pro launch cities, Quest promotions will only be available to drivers with Uber Pro Gold, Platinum or Diamond status and availability may vary by location. One thing many drivers have noticed since Uber Pro rolled out is that the amount you can earn through quests has gone down — some would say significantly. 

    4. Do drivers start from zero or are previous driving habits taken into account?

    For drivers in the Uber Pro program, your tier status will be determined by:

    1. The Points earned as you drive.
    2. Acceptance and cancellation rates.
    3. Star rating average over the past 500 trips.

    If you have completed fewer than 500 trips, the Star Rating is based on the average Star Rating of all lifetime trips.

    Points are earned during a fixed 3-month period. At the start of a 3-month period, your status is determined by the points you earned in the previous 3-month period. At any time you can move up tiers and unlock more rewards if you earn enough points for the next status and maintain high ratings.

    Watch: Lyft’s Response to Uber Pro

     Readers, what do you think of Uber Pro? Will it benefit you?

    Earn up to $25 an Hour with Instacart!

    instacart-1Instacart is hiring like crazy right now and offering many perks to drivers, including no under 5 star ratings and more. Sign up here.

    -Jay @ RSG

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur, a graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, is a full-time driver with over 26,000 rides. Jay has a driver-focused podcast: Rideshare Dojo with Jay Cradeur. When Jay isn’t writing articles or making videos, he is traveling the world. You can see what Jay is up to at www.nomadjay.com.

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