Advice · Business · Kansas City · Rideshare

4. The Bad of driving for Uber & Lyft

Welcome to part two of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of driving with Uber & Lyft.

THE BAD

  1. You have to deal with people at their worst.

Any customer service job is going to have crappy people. But here, in your ride share operator capacity, you’re dealing with them in intimate confines. There is no break room to escape to, and no co-workers to call for backup. The only official assistance of Uber or Lyft is through their call centers. If a passenger gets unruly or starts to damage your property, you have to deal with them on your own or call in the police.

Caveat: these instances are exceedingly rare, at least in my experience. Out of over 1,200 rides I’ve only had four truly terrible ones.

  1. Ride share companies nickel-and-dime their drivers while increasing right rates on their passengers.

A common misconception among passengers is that we’re absolutely rolling in the dough. When a rider sees a $30 fare, they assume we’ll see at least $25 of that. They’re wrong.

This video explains in greater detail how Uber, specifically, is taking upwards of 50% of the fare. While Uber and Lyft do have their overhead to cover, it’s still down to the drivers and their vehicles to get a passenger from point A to point B. Considering that we’re responsible for all our own repairs and upkeep, taking more than half of the fare consistently adds up to grumpy customers and grumpier drivers. In addition, rates keep rising. If trends continue, Uber and Lyft will no longer be the cheaper competitor to traditional taxi companies.

  1. You’re going to sit. A lot.

There are plenty of studies proving that repetitive motion causes stress on our bodies, not to mention the health consequences of sitting for long periods of time. If you’re going to do ride share full time, prepare for a lot of both. Getting out to stretch can be difficult if you’re in a busy area and getting one call after another.

The one positive spin, personally, is that the inactivity of driving has made me focus more on exercise and yoga in my downtime. Otherwise I can just feel my midsection expanding with each passing day.

  1. It’s hard to eat healthy on the road.

For the same reasons as above, if you’re in a rush it’s easy to grab fast food, or snacks from a gas station. You don’t have a fridge or microwave to store a lunch, especially because passengers expect the trunk to be available for luggage or groceries. My number one tip would be to take advantage of your home as often as possible. If you’re five, ten minutes away after dropped off that last passenger, go ahead and pop home for a quick bite. Your wallet and your midsection will thank you.

Not scared?

Sign up for Uber here.

Sign up for Lyft here.

Tomorrow we’ll finish this roundup with The Ugly (AKA – the absolute worst parts of driving with Uber & Lyft)

4 thoughts on “4. The Bad of driving for Uber & Lyft

  1. Danielle, good points all. On the eating and exercise topic, I’ve had the opposite experience. Since leaving my corporate job and driving Lyft for fun I’m eating healthier and exercising more, not less. Maybe that’s because I’ve settled into a pattern of driving just the busy times on weekdays (mornings and late afternoon rush) which leaves the middle of the day free to hit the gym and eat a healthy late breakfast or lunch. I usually find bringing a banana in the AM is plenty of healthy snack to hold me over until I get back home. Convenience stores are just for coffee IMO. Just seeing what’s rotating on those food displays is enough to say “no thanks.”

    I’ve also been lucky on passengers here in Phoenix. 95% are great, and I’ve only had one I had to rate below 3 stars so I didn’t get matched again. But oh … the stories they generate (chronicled on http://www.between-the-lanes.com).

    Enjoying your blog….

    1. I think it’s that I’m doing this full time as my primary source of income that brings in the diet/exercise issue. If you’re only doing it part time, it makes sense that you’re doing better in that regard.

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