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Using Lyft or Uber for Newark Airport? Read This First.

My experience driving to and from Newark Liberty Airport has taught me a few things that every Uber and Lyft passenger should know.  If you’re ready to book a ride to or from EWR, keep the following tips in mind to reduce stress and save time.

1.  Make sure your destination includes the terminal you're departing from Do not select "Newark Liberty International Airport" or "Newark Airport (EWR)" as your destination because these locations don't specify a terminal!  Always choose the destination that includes the terminal you are departing from:

The same goes for Lyft - find an airport address that includes your terminal.  Otherwise, make sure to tell the driver (which you should probably do anyway).

2.   Your driver might be waiting upstairs Getting picked up at the arrivals floor?  If your app says the driver is there but you don't see the car, he might be parked one or two levels above you (at departures). Lyft drivers often get pinged for an airport pi…
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Daily Notes - February 10, 2019

2:30pm - A Typical Sunday   If I hit the road on Sunday, it's usually because I need a few more rides to reach a bonus before the week resets on Monday morning.  Today I needed 10 more Uber trips to get a $25 bonus so I left home at 10:30 and by 2:30 I was finished, helped along by a lot of short rides (none exceeding 20 minutes) and very little downtime.  Sundays don't always go according to plan but today it worked out perfectly.

Daily Notes - February 8, 2019

8:35pm - Uber app disappoints again   For the second time this week, my Uber driver app suggested I go to a designated area to become eligible for a "consecutive trip bonus."  This area was outlined in blue and the "navigate" button appeared - tempting me to the promised land of rides and bonuses a plenty.  It ended up taking me to the absolute middle of nowhere - a dark, empty parking lot for the Longshoreman headquarters located on a lonely stretch of road with industrial buildings on one side and Meadowlands swampland on the other.
Below is the app directing my next turn into the Longshorman's parking lot.  

I made the turn and it said "You've arrived."  A few questions: What the hell is "ct_map_marker", why am I in the middle of nowhere and how can this app suck so bad?  I half expected a group of Uber drivers to be there, anxiously awaiting a flood of passengers to appear from the weeds like ballplayers in Field of Dreams, but it w…

Daily Notes - February 7, 2019

4:45 pm - Caffeine Free   Today was a typical, cool drizzly day with overcast skies in every direction, a sleepy day made sleepier by my decision to expunge caffeine from my diet for a couple days.  I've been stopping at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts a lot more recently so a couple days on the wagon might be worth a shot.  Obviously, this is a terrible idea if you can't drive safely without a caffeine fix, but for me it was just a lot of yawning and a quick parking lot snooze in Carlstadt.

This week has been plagued by late starts and today was no exception, with my first ride coming at 7:27 am.  I don't use a predefined weekly earnings "goal" but these last few days have definitely been below average so I'll probably end up driving over the weekend.

Daily Notes - February 6, 2019

6:07pm - My Extended Lunch Hour I had various tasks to take care of from home today so I was off the road from 10am to 12:30pm.  Based on my experience and reinforced by the Lyft chart below, this is a good time to take a break on weekdays.  These charts are found in your Lyft driver app at the bottom of the earnings screen.

Despite the non-existent location - New Jersey, NJ, - let's hope this is a fairly accurate prediction of demand across the entire state.  You can see the dip in demand from around 9am to 1pm, which I can tell you from experience, is absolutely the case on both platforms, although Uber does seem a little busier at this time.  If you drive from morning to evening during the week like I do, this midday slump is the best time to take a couple hours off.

Daily Note - February 5, 2019

6:05pm - A below average Tuesday   Today I started late, finished early and had a doctors appointment at 2:30pm so my earnings were only $46.21 (Uber and Lyft combined, including tolls), far below what I normally make on a weekday.  One of the perceived benefits of rideshare driving is flexible hours and the ability to "make your own schedule" but in reality, you have to get out there and drive..a lot.  Days like today will force me to drive more hours later in the week and probably a few hours over the weekend.  If you plan on doing this full-time while having a life outside of driving, you will need to drive a lot of hours, often when you least feel like doing it.  That being said, it was nice to have a light day after Monday's journey across four states.

Daily Notes - February 4, 2019

10:59 pm - Longest day ever   Today I drove 530 miles for Uber and Lyft, easily the most in a single day since I started.  It was a typical morning dropping people off at various schools around Passaic County - preschool, high school, college, I did them all.  These are usually short, uneventful and without a tip but you can't avoid them if you're working weekday mornings.

The real driving didn't start until around 1:30pm when I got a two and a half hour Uber trip from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Mansfield, Connecticut. For some reason, Uber blocks me from picking up riders outside of New Jersey but Lyft allows it, so after I dropped off the Uber passenger from Fort Lee, I switched to Lyft with the intention of doing a few more rides before heading home.

The soul-crushing moment of the day came after I picked up my third passenger in Connecticut and noted the destination- two and a half hours to Schenectady, New York, a dark, lonely drive through the middle of nowhere that lea…

Daily Notes - February 3, 2019

2:04 pm - Easy Sunday Driving   If you don't mind losing a little leisure time, Sunday driving is an easy way to pad your weekly payout with a few extra bucks.  Passengers seem more relaxed and traffic is light so you can complete long trips in less time, which is the sure-fire way to make more money per hour.  Plus you'll also get plenty of airport runs, which are great when traffic is light.

Naturally, there is very little surge pricing and occasional dead time, so keep an eye out for events (NFL games, concerts) and try to stay in highly populated, residential areas.  Bottom line, if you're driving for a bonus or just want some extra cash, Sunday's are the least stressful time of the week to get out there and earn.