Saturday, November 29, 2014

Absolute Worst Night for Ridesharing Driver

A ridesharing driver transported 8 clients to their destinations. His plan was to eventually reach San Francisco, as surge pricing took in effect and price-multiplying trips would make driving there worthwhile. Another unplanned chain of events took his night quickly downhill.

Before reaching the last rider, the ridesharing driver ran over a thick rock that somehow got lodged into the tire groove. It made the noise we hear after running over a nail. In pursuit to retrieve the client, this driver pulled over to inspect this noise and discovered a thick rock got trapped inside the tire groove. He removed this rock with his bare hands, troubleshooting this issue without any setbacks. This driver continued driving down the road.

At the pickup location, this driver learned that his client ordered the ride for another female rider. This driver confirmed the client's name and location, verifying that this female friend was the right passenger. Upon arriving at the rider destination, this driver and passenger continued their conversation about writing books.

Close to the end of this discussion, the temperature gauge began to spike up and the engine started shaking. The female rider exited the vehicle without knowing this driver would experience multiple challenges. This driver told his rider to publish her book. He told her no more waiting, just do it now.

The driver made the first right turn down a quiet Oakland residential street. He pulled over to the side of the road, noticing the engine was running super hot. In the past, all the cooling problems brought on by neve resulted in the temperature needle moving past 50%.

However, this rare event caused the water in the reservoir to boil and shoot up like a geyser. Even worse, the engine started to seize up and the belt made this weird squeaking noise. The driver raced over as quickly as he could to shut the engine down before it got damaged. The reason the driver kept the car running is to keep the heater blowing and to pour water into the radiator.

As we most know, pouring cool water in a hot engine that is shutdown could damage it. Needless to say, the driver wasted no time shutting his car down to avoid engine damage. He tried his best to avoid draining his car battery, but this plan failed miserably.

Somehow, the battery died and this driver got stranded in an Oakland neighborhood. He called for a truck to get a jumpstart. Unfortunately, the truck dispatched to this driver broke down. As a result of this, another truck from another company went out to help this driver.

Keep in mind, during this fiasco the rained poured down hard. There was enough battery power remaining to roll the windows up to keep the interior dry. This driver shared that he had to use the restroom badly. All this waiting and problems made this situation uncomfortable.

Finally, a truck arrived. For some odd reason, the jump starting station in this trunk experienced problems. It didn't produce enough juice to jump this vehicle. The driver waited at least 30 minutes so this truck driver could troubleshoot his battery charging station and send this car the right amount of power to jump it.

The radiator cap was removed before this jump to fill up the reservoir at the moment the vehicle started. All the water had poured out, so the engine would definitely heat up fast if the car turned on.

The truck driver successfully jumped the vehicle. Enough water was poured into the engine to get the vehicle running. The driver already called it a night to avoid damaging their vehicle. He took the freeway to go home.

However, the check coolant warning activated and this driver took the first exit off the freeway to find water. No stores were open before 6am and no gas stations were in sight.

This driver noticed a homeless person picking up cans. He wore a Green Bay Packer's hat. The driver left his car running, trying to get into the 7 Eleven to purchase water. This store was closed. He asked the homeless man if he had any water and would offer a few dollars to get some.

The homeless man didn't have any water in his cart, but claimed he could fill a container up in a few minutes. He requested this driver to watch his car full of cans and bottles.

This driver gave the man a few bucks to get this water. As time passed, the homeless man still hadn't returned yet. He trusted the homeless man would return with this water.

All of a sudden, the homeless man arrived back with the driver's plastic container full of water. This driver gave the homeless man more money. He thanked this homeless man for delivering on his promise and requested whether he hangs out at this location often. His goal is to give this homeless man more money because he went above and beyond to save this driver additional vehicle problems.

The driver poured water into the coolant reservoir. While on the freeway, the vehicle drove better and the coolant light didn't activate. Meanwhile, the driver still had to use the restroom.

In the nick of time, the driver reached his home and rushed up the stairs. He made it to his bathroom in time, with not a second to spare.

What did this driver earn for the night after giving 8 rides, paying out $1 per trip, and after gas expenses? $15. That's it.

What have we learned from this driver? Ridesharing drivers tear up their personal vehicles, such as cooling problem and other car issues likely to require multiple repairs. When gas prices were in the $4.50+ per gallon range, most drivers spent hundreds per week to stay on the road.

Performing ridesharing services takes a toll on drivers. Two careless passengers broke two different doors, which cost the driver $1300 out-of-pocket and kept him off the road for a few weeks.

Many nights similar to these events as described above, are common among ridesharing drivers. In the end, ridesharing drivers are left with little money, debt, and depreciated vehicles. For the most part, the best years of your car are devoted to transporting ridesharing passengers.

Ridesharing services benefit passengers. As ridesharing companies continue to reduce prices, this method of competition adversely impacts drivers. Both ridesharing companies and riders are the real winners, whereas drivers must struggle to survive many unexpected setbacks.