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    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:

    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

    In 2018, Uber announced Uber Pro to recognize drivers’ hard work. When it launched, the program was “developed with [driver] input to offer competitive perks that make driving with Uber even better.”

    Uber has been revamping the Uber Pro program since then, including expanding perks, tiers, and more: Uber Revamps Uber Pro Program With Cash Reward And More

    At the time, we had senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur cover the announcement below:

    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 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 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:

    • Blue (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.

    For example, this ride contributes 3 points.

    Uber will also provide drivers with status updates:

    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:

    A Few Extra Perks from Uber Pro

    As you look at the rewards sheet above, you will notice that the Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels will be given valuable information upon accepting a ride.  You will be told the duration 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 complete 3,000 trips and maintain the Gold, 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

    Uber Pro Card

    In late 2022, Uber announced it was partnering with Marqeta, Mastercard and Branch to launch the new Uber Pro card, which offers faster payments and fuel rewards for drivers. Learn more about it here: NEW Uber Pro Card For Drivers Announced | Will It Be Worth It?

    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?

    With Uber Pro, there are four status tiers: Blue, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. To reach Gold, Platinum or Diamond tiers, you’ll need to do two things:

    1. Earn points: Each tier has a certain number of points that you’ll need to reach in order to get access to that tier’s rewards. You earn points by completing trips.
    2. Keep your rating to 4.7 or above and cancellation rate to 3% or below.

    Points are accumulated over fixed three-month periods (for example: 1 August to 31 October). When you earn enough points to reach each higher tier, you’ll unlock that tier’s rewards right away. You’ll keep access to those rewards for the remainder of the three-month period and for the next three-month period so long as you continue to meet the rating and cancellation rate criteria. Points will then reset at the start of each new three-month period.

    2. How do I earn points?

    You earn points by completing trips. During off-peak times, you’ll earn 1 point for every trip, and during peak times you’ll earn 5 points.

    3. What are the 5-point hours?

    Earn 5 points for each trip you accept or complete during the below hours:

    • Monday – Thursday, 7am – 9am and 5pm – 7pm
    • Friday, 7am – 9am and 4pm – 11:59pm
    • Saturday – Sunday, 12am – 5am and 9am – 11:59pm

    Watch: Lyft’s Response to Uber Pro

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

    -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.