Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This week's board question: Should Uber pay us $15 an hour?

David in Denver posted this in a Uber drivers group on Facebook, "I think us Uber drivers should be paid $15/hr minimum."

My response to this was:
"I make over twice that driving for these TNC services. Maybe you are not driving the right areas. Concentrate on areas which will bring you longer rides like train stations, airport hotels, and cruise ship terminals."

The Uber marketing concept if TNC is short rides around the neighborhood, which sounds perfect for bar hoppers. The last thing a driver needs is an angry incoherent drunk who ends up getting pepper sprayed on YouTube because he refuses to exit the car after not cooperating with the driver.  Also, we don't take kindly to people who drink like pigs and puke in our nice cars.

A driver can make 4 or 5 runs an hour doing short runs about $2.50 each or find a place where longer runs are requested for a much better pay off.

The solution to this is to find a high traffic area with a higher caliber of clients. Los Angeles and Orange Counties are full of these areas.

Union station is good, so are areas near greyhounds terminals and metro stations. For the most part you are going to pick up passengers who are commuting to and from work.  Los Angeles has a cruise ship terminal in San Pedro. When I sit at the Carnival Cruise terminal in Long Beach I am often pinged from across the harbor because there are no drivers there.

These cruise ships often are fully booked and let out the 2000 passengers, one third at a time, for US Customs. So you can expect about 3 hours of service at the Princess Cruise terminal. Many want to go to LAX or Glendale.

Check the San Pedro Cruise ship info site for arrivals:

Places to avoid, Frat houses, college campuses after 6PM,

Another tip is know the addresses of the good quality hotels where you drive. Park in an area somewhere between 2 or 3 of these and that could earn you a long trip across town.

OC areas to avoid, are CSU Fullerton after 6PM. In my experience CSU Fullerton students are the rudest and worst behaved children you could have in your car.

Places to watch out for:
Inglewood Forum has a UBER/LYFT pick up and drop off area. If you stop anywhere else in the lot you could find a ticket in your mail box.

John Wayne airport has cops that are very eager to fine TNC drivers. Know the rules and make sure you do not pick anyone up in the departures area. Do not park inside the airport but there area lots across MacArthur where you can wait for your pings