Anyone else driving for Uber or Lyft? Riders and drivers, any good experiences? Or bad?

I’ve been driving for about 3 months and two things I’ve enjoyed are meeting people and having nice conversations, and also seeing San Francisco sites again on a regular basis — The City has changed a lot in the 20 years ago since I moved away.

The conversations and interactions are often pleasant and enjoyable, and not just small talk but often it is. But for those who want to talk it can be fascinating and engaging. The money and tips are okay, and sometimes can actually be pretty good.

I’ve given about 700 rides combined, with both Uber and Lyft, so I’m not a new driver. For riders, have you had good experiences? Or bad? What about any drivers out there, how do you like it?

I have not driven for either but I have a really good friend who has.

He started primarily because of tuition expenses for his daughter.

Overall, he has enjoyed it. He has very high ratings and has talked about lots of good interactions with passengers.

He said he tries to keep a basket of snacks and waters. He also keeps various playlists on his phone that he can give the passengers a selection. He said only one bad time where he was in a college town (for his regular job) and decided to drive and picked up a group of drunk students. He was glad they were being responsible and not driving, but one was on the verge of passing out and they were taking videos and pics that would not have looked good if they had been released (I mean who wants to have pics of themselves messed up like that floating around). He did have those green bags like they have in the hospital and gave her one. He also suggested that the other students were not being good friends taking pics of their friend in that condition. He said he was not sure, but he did get a bad rating that night, so his guess was it was this group.

I don’t like talking to strangers, so I do not think I would be very good at being a driver.

Drivers don’t have to converse. They don’t have to entertain. They’re there to drive. That’s the job requirement. Conversing isn’t. It just happens to be one aspect I enjoy.

Yesterday I worked 7 hours, drove 125 miles, and pulled in $215. $30 an hour isn’t bad, and I’ve done better.

I know that one or two other Dopers have posted their experiences driving for Uber…

:: searches ::


Ask the Uber Driver by drachillix

Coming up on 2 months as an Uber/Lyft driver by Boyo Jim

I tried using Uber, but for some reason, they didn’t want to accept my credit card. After receiving NO help from their support page, I said “screw it” and went with Lyft.

They were more than happy to take my money.

Cheaper than a Taxi, and also faster.

You’re leaving out the cost of operating your car, which some sources estimate to be $0.60 (and that’s assuming 15K miles/year, which you’re probably exceeding). So 125x 0.6= $75, which drops your hourly rate to $20. Not shabby, but not quite as good as it looked at first glance.

Does your insurance company know you’re using your car for business, and are you paying premiums that reflect that? How much more than standard insurance does that cost per year, and how much does that lower your hourly rate?

If you’re not paying insurance for business use of the car, have you considered what could happen if (Og forbid) you’re in an accident and a passenger is injured?

Cabs are far from ideal, but I’m concerned that “ridesharing” is taking advantage of drivers and putting users at risk.

FYI, I have used Uber and Lyft. I’m just concerned about the lack of regulation and accountability.

I use Uber often here in Chicago, especially with their Uber pass which gave me $7.99 rides for a month after paying an initial $20. I work stupid hours and hate playing games with the CTA at night and especially Sundays, regardless of the time of day.

I recently had to give my first 1 star ratings this week. I had not one, but two drivers get completely lost taking me to work. I work near the Sears Tower, a very major landmark. Twice this week, two drivers were so fascinated by their GPS they would have driven me right into the Chicago river if the GPS had told them to.

Still, I’ll keep using Uber over taxis. So tired of taxi games with the credit card machine being ‘broken’ or their very creative routes and the sudden loss of the English language when I call them out on that game.

In the San Francisco area, Uber and Lyft are popular and convenient ways to get around. And yes, drivers are supposed to change their auto insurance. I don’t think Uber or Lyft check that. In my case, they have not.

My post 8 above was in response to this, commasense. There is a little extra cost for the insurance, and Uber/Lyft did not check to see if I had that on my policy.

Some days the interactions with riders can be great. Once, a couple visiting from Indianapolis and touring San Francisco for their first time needed a ride from the South of Market area to Fisherman’s Wharf. They wanted to see the popular scenic spot. Uber (or Lyft, can’t recall which, I often use Uber as a generic for both) routed me to take Taylor Street north to the Wharf. And yet Hyde Street, just 3 blocks west and parallel to Taylor (a little out of the way, since we came from the east), is much more scenic an approach to the Wharf, down a high hill and a steep descent with great vistas of the bay, Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge to the N and W, and Coit Tower to the E.

If you’re visiting and taking only one cable car ride, the Powell & Hyde line northbound is by far the most scenic. Second most scenic is California Street westbound, but Powell & Hyde NB beats it hands down.

After checking with the couple, that they had the time flexibility to take the scenic route, I ignored Uber and we went that way and engaged in happy conversation — they were pleasantly surprised that I would do that for them, and they’d see a part of San Francisco they wouldn’t be getting on their visit. They weren’t planning to take a cable car. We talked about life in Indianapolis, the Speedway’s long straightaways where you can drive alongside it on Georgetown Road (it’s long!j, and the fun Broad Ripple District.

Once on Hyde, I pulled over and stopped where it was safe for them to get out and look at the cable moving beneath the tracks. The sound is unique, too. They enjoyed that.

At Lombard Street, that ‘crooked road’, I offered to drive down at no extra charge. They loved it and were tickled. It was a bright, sunny day and the view was fantastic. At the bottom of Lombard I offered to stop and live park out of the way (this was during the hectic tourist season) so they could step out and snap the typical tourist selfie with the Lobard twists rising above and behind them. That took an extra 3-5 minutes but they loved it.

Then, for another extra 5 minutes I offered to loop back around (Leavenworth to Union and back to Hyde if you’re familiar), and drop down Filbert Street from Hyde to Leavenworth. Giving them advanced warning before I topped over the sharp cliff with its dramatic drop, that stretch of Filbert is one of the steepest streets in SF. And it’s on the same hill as Lombard. The two streets tackle the grade in different ways, Lombard with its 5 tight left-right twists and scenic beauty, and Filbert with its straight and dramatic drop that’ll leave your heart in your throat. It’s a good comparison. And it’s a bit of a thrill ride, lasting 10 seconds.

All in all it was an extra 15 minutes, and they really enjoyed it. I like being not just a driver, but a good ambassador to our lovely city and for its visitors. That was one of the better days driving, and the brief experience gave them much joy.

In the end, it was about a $13 ride. And they were very kind and generous and handed me a $20 cash tip as they exited my car. Very nice!