Every month, Harry goes live on YouTube to share all the latest rideshare news and answer questions from current or interested drivers like you.
This month’s November live Q and A was all about Uber Beacon, how to handle third-party riders, and Lyft reducing their destination filter opportunities for drivers.
Feel free to view the original YouTube live below, but here’s a quick rundown of everything to keep you up-to-date on the latest rideshare news and happenings.
What should someone do if they’re deactivated? It seems all too common with drivers these days.
A common question we always tend to get is about unfair deactivation. It’s surprising unfortunate because anyone can get deactivated these days. Harry recently found out that a popular rideshare Youtuber was suddenly deactivated over what he says was a false claim. RSG contributor, Jay, was deactivated a while back over a clerical error.
One thing you can do to fight back against unfair deactivation is to keep a dashcam in your car. This can provide you with some evidence to combat the deactivation if you feel you made no errors on your part. If you feel you may have a legal case against Uber, your footage can come in handy. Try to keep at least 2-3 days of footage on your dashcam at all times since you may get a report of an incident hours or even days later.
How should rideshare drivers handle a situation where a passenger has a young child that should be in a booster seat?
Every state is different with their booster seat requirements, but there is often a weight limit that parents should adhere by. Parents would be responsible for bringing a car seat or booster seat with them if they need to use Uber or Lyft with their child and most of them do. However, when they don’t, it puts drivers in a tough position where they have to understand the risk and liability.
Most drivers would rather do the trip and make the money instead of cancelling it or waiting around 5 minutes for the cancelation fee. For this reason, you may want to purchase a cheap booster seat to keep in the back of your car just in case.
You can find some pretty affordable ones on Amazon that are likely worth it if that means you’ll reduce your liability and cancel fewer trips due to this issue. Uber and Lyft tend to shift the responsibility and risk onto drivers by not offering any training or assistance to help in this particular area, which isn’t fair.
What’s the deal with Uber Beacon?
Uber Beacon is a hardware device (only available in select cities as of now) that lets you find your ride easier. It uses satellite and sensor technologies to do this along with syncing to the passenger’s app.
Harry is planning on testing this out soon and featuring it on the RSG YouTube channel soon since this can be very helpful in certain areas to help passengers and drivers locate each other quickly.
Is Uber’s insurance is dropping them soon?
Yes, we did do an article about Uber’s insurance company dropping them by the end of the year. This probably won’t mean that much for drivers other than the fact that if you get into an accident while driving for Uber, you will no longer be dealing with their insurance company. It’s also a good reminder to get some quotes for rideshare insurance if you haven’t done so already.
Has anyone gone through Lyft’s 20-minutes safety training program?
Lyft has recently rolled out a new mandatory safety training program that drivers must take. Drivers should have received a notification on their phone, but it’s raised lots of questions surrounding why Lyft would force contractors to take unpaid training – especially if they’ve been driving for Lyft for a while and haven’t ever received a complaint.
One reader said that they received $5 after completing the training and five 5-star rides, but that’s really not much. Still, all drivers must complete the training by December 15th if they want to keep driving with Lyft, so it doesn’t really leave anyone with a choice.
What’s your take on third party riders?
A third-party rider is just when someone calls a ride from their account but for another person, and Harry did a lot of this while driving in L.A. For example, a guy may order an Uber for his girlfriend. It’s usually not a big issue unless you feel something is very off.
It’s best to get a heads up from passengers though so you actually know who you’ll be picking up. GoGo Grandparent is a good example of how third-party rides can be ordered and executed well. This is a ride-ordering service for the elderly that partners with companies like Uber and Lyft.
Some drivers even say that they favor third-party rides that allow them to deliver packages instead.
Why do Uber and Lyft limit destination trips?
Uber limits you to 2 and Lyft was at 6 but dropped down to 2. Drivers were upset about this but Lyft said that not that many drivers were using destination filters. We think that sounds sketchy because why get rid of it if not that many drivers are using it anyway?
Harry’s best guess is that when drivers use destination filters, the number of available drivers in the area goes down. If you can only use one direction, now any ride that you would have taken in the past that may be going the other direction can’t be assigned to you. ETAs would likely increase, which wouldn’t be good for them.
How will AB5 affect drivers in other states? Will Uber and Lyft stop doing business in CA?
AB5 is the legislation that recently passed in California, intended to make rideshare drivers be treated as employees. It is supposed to go into effect January 1st, 2020 but Uber and Lyft have basically said that they’re not going to change anything. The short answer is that nothing is going to change in the near future, but it may turn into a big long legal battle.
AB5 is important for drivers everywhere to pay attention to because now other cities and states are looking at this AB5 legislation and minimum wage laws, so they could easily be headed in a similar direction. We will see what happens there. Uber and Lyft may ignore it and let the courts work it out, which could take years.
Uber Lyft and Doordash have a new California ballot measure called “Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act.” Thoughts on this?
Uber and Lyft are putting forth a ballot initiative where they’re looking to pay drivers a minimum wage based on drivers’ engaged time. If you assume a driver is engaged ⅔ of the time, which is actually pretty reasonable, it ends up that you’re making minimum wage after expenses. A lot more negotiation and compromise that needs to happen there.
3,500 rides and counting, 3.5 years part time. Getting tired of all the mileage on my new car (was new).
It’s important for a lot of full-time drivers to understand how much it’s costing you and how many miles you’re putting on your car. The more you drive, the more you need to think about your expenses. You can use a Schedule C to write off all your losses for the year so you can hopefully deduct them.
The bottom line is to determine how much your car is costing you to drive and how much you’re making per hour. From there, you can determine whether you want to keep driving your car or if you’d like to consider a flexible option like a rental through Fair and HyreCar.
I do not understand how Uber can claim that a destination filter works for the driver.
Harry’s favorite feature after tipping was instant pay and the destination filter. In the past, if you were planning for one last trip on your way home you had to hope that you got something and wouldn’t have to just go back home empty-handed (called deadheading).
With the destination filter, you can now get a ride on your way home. You can also use the destination filter during the day. Harry did a podcast with Sergio recently, who’s a surge-only driver in L.A, and he uses the surge and destination filters strategically during the day to earn a decent hourly rate.
Why do drivers wait in airport lots for hours to get a $8.00 trip?
Most of the time, it doesn’t make sense to wait in airport lots for passengers. If you get rematched with a passenger on your way out, obviously that’s a good thing. Most of the time, there are a lot of drivers waiting in the queue at the airport lot and it’s not worth your time.
In most cases, you can go to an area near the airport and still get plenty of trips.
Don’t forget to join us on the next live Q and A and be sure to continue the conversation in the comments with your thoughts on destination filters, third-party riders, and Uber Beacon.
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-Chonce @ RSG