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Showing posts from January, 2019

Daily Notes - January 31, 2019

9:45 am - Hoboken surging   One of the busiest mornings I've seen in Hoboken with 200% prime time all over my screen.  Some people who usually walk to the PATH station will opt for a car when it's 7 degrees outside.

3:00 pm - Injured passenger   As a full time driver, it's only a matter of time before you get an injured passenger.  I found this unfortunate soul at Hackensack Medical Center, where she was brought to my car in a wheelchair and deposited into the backseat, clearly upset the hospital "didn't find anything broken" from her getting hit by a car earlier in the day.  I asked if she had anyone at home to assist but couldn't get a straight answer.  So now we're driving to Lodi and all that's going through my head is - why me?

I learn upon arrival that she can't walk unassisted and no one's home.  So I hoist her out of the car and into the courtyard.  She can barely stand, it's 12 degrees outside and her daughter isn't pickin…

Daily Notes - January 30, 2019

10:48 pm - Misleading info in Lyft app   Early this morning, I got pinged for a Lyft pickup in Teaneck, NJ, just a few blocks from my current location.  The ride request pop-up stated "Long ride, 45+ minutes."  But when I started the trip, Google Maps estimated only 32 minutes to the destination.  Why the discrepancy? Maybe Lyft and Google are computing different arrival times for the same destination, but a thirteen minute difference on a thirty-two minute ride?  Something doesn't feel right.

I noticed the same issue with Uber - the ride request pop-up sometimes shows a trip estimate much longer than the actual trip.  Maybe both platforms are tricking the driver into accepting a ride they might otherwise reject, so they show "45+ minutes" knowing damn well it's only 32.  But this doesn't make sense, as some drivers will reject the trip because it's too long.

9:02 pm - Roadside inferno  A little action out there today!  Driving home after my last dro…

Daily Notes - January 29, 2019

7:04 am - Earnings number not updating   I dropped off my first passenger six minutes ago and my Uber screen still shows $0.00 as today's earnings.  I first noticed this bug last July and immediately called driver support.  They said not to worry, my trip was in the system and will be included in my pay. A few minutes later the earnings number did update. But why this annoying delay? And why hasn't it been fixed 6 months later?  Uber released numerous app updates since July, including a complete redesign a couple months ago, but this core function still breaks from time to time. I can't imagine why a company with over 2000 software engineers can't fix something like this.

I noticed the same bug in the Lyft app a couple months back but their recent update appears to have fixed it.

10:53 am - At the Bayonne courthouse   I spent the last two and a half hours at the Bayonne Municipal Court dealing with a traffic violation I received a couple weeks ago while driving for Ube…

Daily Notes - January 28, 2019

10:15 am - A few short trips   Started at 7:15 this morning, later than usual, but already did nine rides with Lyft totaling $49.55.  In New Jersey, $3.71 is the minimum amount a driver can receive for a single ride so you'll see this number a lot if you're doing short trips.  This morning I had four shorties with durations ranging from 2 to 5 minutes.

Daily Notes - January 25, 2019

The Newark Airport Rideshare Wait Lot  9:15 am  I decide to leave Jersey City and try Lyft at the Newark Airport "Rideshare Wait Lot".  I enter the queue at 9:49 a.m. with 68 drivers ahead of me.

10:32 am  37 to go and I get pinged for a Terminal B pickup. I've never “skipped” the queue before but this time, with a bunch of riders still ahead of me, I get a ride.  Maybe this is a Platinum Rewards perk but Lyft's rewards page has no mention of it.

12:23 pm  After a couple trips, I head back to the Lyft airport queue and find 78 drivers ahead of me.  Since I started driving in June, I've been here maybe six times and never twice in one day but for the sake of this post, I return in hopes of skipping the queue again.

1:06 pm  Now I remember why I hate this place.  There are 54 drivers ahead of me after nearly 45 minutes of waiting.  I turn on Uber, hoping for a faster moving queue, but running both apps simultaneously is a battery killer (particularly when your car is…

Daily Notes - January 24, 2019

6:25 am - Audio problems   Problem with the audio on the Uber app this morning - the voice is elevated and it's playing through the phone speaker, not my headphones, so the passenger hears it.  This is the voice from the Uber app, not Google maps. There's a similar problem with audio cues in the Lyft playing out of the phone speaker instead of the headphones.  These minor irritations are incredibly annoying at 6:30 in the morning.

8:15 am - Spontaneous outburst at a crossing guard   This paid municipal employee was standing on the corner, half-waving his stop sign below the waist while chatting with a parent and children across the street.  He didn't move into the crosswalk or hold up the sign but his body language confused the hell out of me.  I rolled through the crosswalk, thoroughly annoyed.  “What the fuck are you doing!” I yelled, forgetting that I had a passenger in the back seat.  I occasionally have these outbursts with an empty car (it's Jersey) but I never…

How to Calculate Your Hourly Earnings Driving for Lyft and Uber

How much are you really pulling down per hour, driving for Lyft or Uber?  This could be the most important number to track, as it will help you adjust your driving week to week and ultimately help you decide if rideshare driving is right for you.  Start by logging into your Uber account and navigating to your payments page.  For Lyft, go to your driver history page.

I drive a 2012 Toyota Camry LE and 90% of my driving takes place between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm, Monday through Friday in North New Jersey.  During the two weeks discussed below, I only drove for one platform.  The week I drove for Uber (UberX only), my Lyft app was never turned on and vice versa.  If you split your time between platforms, you can still calculate earnings/hour as described below but if you run both apps simultaneously, this method will  not provide a reliable earnings/hour number.

Here's the math for computing your earnings per hour:

[(Trip Earnings + All bonuses + Tips) / Online Hours] - Vehicle cost per …