Friday, September 12, 2014

Ridesharing drivers who drive full-time struggle

Ridesharing companies target financially-strapped people who need extra money quick to balance out their chaotic lives. The truth about ridesharing services is that most drivers struggle to make ends meet. They're lucky to make enough money to pay bills, get gas and eat food, rather than cover car repairs, gas, oil changes, and routine maintenance services. The drawbacks of ridesharing services are that drivers focus on short-term income to make skimpy weekly earnings and look past long-term gains.

For example, ridesharing drivers invest their vital resources (gas) to drive Monday-Wednesday. Payment for these trips won't arrive until the following week. Meanwhile, the upcoming Thursday deposit is allotted to pay rent, car payments, credit cards, food and other bills. There is no money remaining to afford gas, therefore, drivers will drive sparingly and end their shifts earlier than expected to preserve gas.

This is where ridesharing gets tricky. Once a driver is broke, they lack the available funds to fuel up and drive on busy weekends. Gas is everything. Without this resource, ridesharing is impossible.These drivers choose to eliminate weekday driving which can be lucrative during morning and evening commute hours.

Another major challenge is the cost of repairs. A broken door, worn out tires, bad brakes, busted axle, windshield crack and/or any vehicle problem may cost ridesharing drivers valuable shifts. Auto repair shops have been known to retain vehicles for a week. During this downtime, drivers are sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Unless ridesharing is their secondary job, they lose out big.

Drivers may plan to drive one night, but then decide to take a rest and go out the next night. Unfortunately, this driver discovers in the morning that an unplanned repair will set them back a few weeks. They don't have funds readily available to make immediate repairs.

No driver wants to transport any clients with a broken door, especially when this can go against their star ratings. Clients are very particular and unforgiving. It's not worth risking driving privileges to make short-term income. Once a driver is deactivated, they won't be reconsidered again. For the most part, ridesharing drivers must protect their long-term income.

Full-time ridesharing drivers run into challenges to get on the road. It is evitable that financial obstacles will influence ridesharing. If a driver lacks gas, they will be out of commission. The cost of commission is another setback, as most ridesharing companies take 20 percent of all earnings. Car repairs, recurring maintenance services, car insurance, registration renewals, water, snacks and other expenses cut into the overall earnings.

At one time, Lyft implemented Power Hours to pay drivers 100 percent of all donations received during these hours. This soon changed once competition among the top ridesharing services lowered fares, implemented Happy Hour, and/or charged for phone subscriptions. Good incentives are offered to entice drivers such as guaranteed hourly earnings, no commission, reduce commission, and a bonus. All of this evaporates in time, and drivers end up working more hours and earning less money.

Ridesharing companies make drivers believe that reducing fares will increase their ride requests. What drivers fail to realize is that they'll increase the number of trips and earn the same amount. Instead of taking 2 trips per hour, drivers are making 3-4 trips to earn the same the hourly earnings.

It is a trade-off to lower fares because now drivers are transporting clients from the Marina to Downtown for $10, unlike the typical $15-17 fare before this reduction. Perhaps, drivers are working harder to make identical earnings and this makes them think they are busier. The trip breakdown shows them that longer trips cost less, and shorter trips take longer since clients are rarely ready.

Reducing cost per mile and per minute charges will influence driver earnings. Furthermore, failing to integrate filters into apps will increase pick-up times. Drivers who decline rides may lose out on promotions where 80-90% of ride acceptance is required to qualify. It won't make sense to accept a ride 45-50 miles away because there are no drivers in another further out region. Clients are inpatient and enjoy rushing drivers, even when knowing this driver is driving 20-30 miles to reach them.

It is highly unlikely clients will wait longer for a shorter ride. Clients enjoy cancelling rides, and use their free pass on long trips where drivers exhaust their resource to provide a moral service. There is respectful to watch a driver travel many miles, and then cancel them the moment they reach a pick-up address. It is sin to do this. Why worry when there are penalties to deter this action?

Ridesharing is a part-time job, at best. If you plan to survive on ridesharing services, sooner than later you will fail. Costs associated with maintaining vehicles and affording gas are too great. After gas, repairs, and wear and tear on vehicles are factored into this ridesharing discussion, drivers are earning less than fast food workers and assume major risks while driving around on busy city streets.

With all these drawbacks, drivers who perform ridesharing services on weekends notice greater flexibility and higher earnings. If any resources are invested on weekends, these drivers know they will get paid on the following Thursday morning. It is way better to invest money on weekend driving, as these earnings are quickly paid out.

Going out on the roads on Sunday can be worthwhile, where these fares are included in the next direct deposit three days later. Flexibility of working more hours and in different areas are what make ridesharing services popular. In essence, full-time driving is recommended if drivers use hybrid and more economical vehicles to transport people. Bigger cars require larger expenses. Nonetheless, these larger vehicles can transport more riders and make carrying heavy luggage much easier.

Be smart and develop a rideshare system that works best for your situation. Don't overdo ridesharing because your personal vehicles may suffer extreme wear and tear. Protect your vehicle since they are a vital component to keep you on the road. Good luck!

Happy Ridesharing!