Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Real Facts on Ridesharing earnings

Ridesharing is nowhere near as lucrative now, as compared in 2012-2013. The road to decline occurred last Summer, 2014. Uber held a summer promotion to entice clients to increase their UberX usage. A 25 percent discount applied to all rides, giving clients a rather nice discount. Drivers could retain 80 percent of the original ride cost before this summer promotion applied.

The trick to unveil a summer promotion appeared to increase the rider pool and build confidence in drivers. On September 15, 2014, Uber reduced fare prices 15 percent and drivers took the hit on this discount. Soon enough, UberX drivers discovered that Uber driver earning stats were misleading to suggest income is better with this discount and that drivers would see far more business and less downtime.

The truth is that drivers would need to work longer hours, drive more miles, complete more rides, and spend more money to make the same amount of money before this price reduction. At one time, the Uber Weekly Summary disappeared for a month, so drivers didn't have access to important numbers to determine if income remained the same and/or increased. The driver dashboard had been disabled last year, which denied drivers valuable information such as daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly trip earnings and the number of rides completed in these time periods, as well as real-time star ratings.

A Lyft driver working "Power Hours" would make $300 on a 6-hour shift and could keep 100 percent of these earnings. Though gas was expensive back then, drivers saw a greater portion of their earnings. An UberX driver would need to drive 15 hours to see $300 after commission and safe ride fees. Between February and April, UberX drivers would see many surges at higher fare prices. These surges in San Francisco and the East Bay made driving lucrative. It is no longer lucrative to drive.

Drivers must park in shipping centers, on side roads, and in other places to conserve gas. Not as many rides are available, which clearly demonstrates that reducing the fare prices had no real impact on business. Drivers are not as busy. New Year's Eve proved to be a disaster for quite a few drivers. Drivers covered all red surged regions and got nothing. It is sad that real facts are masked to cloud real earnings.

Showing the average hourly earnings on the Uber Weekly Summary before commission is misleading. What are UberX drivers actually earning? They are not earning greater than $20 per hour after commission. If we calculate gas, repairs, wear and tear, toll cost, and all other expenses involved with ridesharing, a driver is probably earning less than minimum wage.

Why do drivers continue to work for minimum wage? They are stuck driving. Employers are too selective in choosing job candidates. Educated drivers and professional professional have no choice but to continue driving, because they must survive their financial storm.

Last year, an UberX driver spent nearly $20,000 on gas. They didn't make much money beyond the fuel expenses. Their luxury car tacked on a huge amount of miles to devalue its worth. A client broke their lock that cost nearly $1000. The cost of repairs and maintenance amounted to nearly $3,000. Tolls kept accumulating, costing this driver hundreds. This driver would eventually sink financially, which ridesharing primarily caused this downfall. Their life is far worse now than before taking part in ridesharing.

But for the most part, this educated driver has no other means to survive. Employers are not rushing to make job offers to this job seeker. This poor job landscape is a growing reason many drivers continue to perform ridesharing services. Give or take, ridesharing drivers are destroying their finances and devaluing their personal vehicles.

There are some cases where ridesharing drivers accept driving as a career. They take the road 60-100 hours per week, completing between 20-40+ trips a day. They spend hundreds of hours per month. When you factor in their real income, they are making only $14 an hour. This does not include the cost to operate. In Los Angeles, an UberX driver shared that he earns $10 an hour and wanted to give up driving. The ridesharing rates in Los Angeles are dismal, depressing to even comprehend.

Ridesharing makes ridesharing companies a fortune. Clients/riders/passengers save a bundle requesting rides and avoiding the high cost of gas, parking, and excessive wear and tear on their cars. Even so, these riders avoid paying parking tickets and save time. They can make calls, conduct meetings, and just sleep in ridesharing vehicles.

Ridesharing companies are reducing prices far too low. In time, ridesharing drivers will quit driving. They won't get on the road unless there are bonuses and guaranteed earnings tied into driving. Clearly, surge pricing has gone down and is rarely activated. Most rides are cheap.

An UberX driver accepted a ride request in Contra Costa County and transported this client into San Francisco. After commission, safe ride fee, and toll, this trip earned this driver $28. They drove nearly 80 miles round-trip to complete this ride. Therefore, the gas cost amounted to $12. In total, this ride earned the driver $16. It took 1-hour to complete this trip and return home.

Does this scenario sound lucrative? What about driving in San Francisco all through the red surged regions and not one client requests a ride? It takes 30 minutes to locate a ride request on a Friday night? Of course, this can change and all drivers get are small rides that make them $3.30 after commission and $1 safe ride.

What is killing drivers is collecting a $1 safe ride fee from every client and deducting this from drivers. UberX drivers who complete 100 trips per work must pay Uber $100. After the $100, Uber will deduct another 20-25 percent commission. Deduct the cost of gas and tolls. As a result, drivers are left with minimum wage earnings. They may as well work at a shopping center stocking shelves and preserve their vehicles and save time and gas driving.

This is the real truth. We haven't delved into vomiting riders who make a mess and drivers are forced to clean this mess in favor of salvaging their shift. Uber will only pay direct cleaning costs. Would you keep this smelly vomit in your personal vehicle until you could pay out-of-pocket expenses? You make nothing on vomiting riders, unless you drive for Sidecar and Lyft. They understand the consequences of vomiting riders and will compensate drivers for flat rate cleaning cost.

Uber seems to ignore the potential setback of their vomiting clients. These foul-mouthed riders don't give a crap whether they influence a driver's earnings. They don't have to clean this disgusting mess. These weak drunks leave their mess behind and go home. Uber has the nerve to pay their hard-working drivers $30-$60 to clean up this vomit mess. Who in their right mind would wait a few days to perform professional cleaning services at a car wash? They won't. This vomit must be cleaned promptly and with special care to prevent damage.

Meanwhile, UberX drivers are losing hundreds in fares. Uber won't compensate drivers for time missed in vomiting events. If you ever come across drunk riders and feel they will vomit, cancel this ride immediately. Don't depend on vomit bags. Clients won't use these bags to capture their vomit. Do not drive these lowlife riders. They will cost you a fortune. We seriously mean this. You will lose big. Uber won't make your time cleaning and time lost worthwhile.

A vomiting Lyft rider's friend vomited all over the back seat of a Lyft ride. It was like a scene out of a zombie movie. This driver lost a week of driving to restore this vehicle. It took hours to perform the initial cleaning. Additional cleaning was required to prepare this car to rideshare again.

Do you have $100+ to pay a car cleaning service? Probably not. You will need to purchase cleaning supplies and scoop up the chunky, acidic mess. Nothing is worse in ridesharing than a vomit event. The cost of gas, poor payment structure, and reduce fares complicate this matter. You are not earning the same income as before. How can you afford to cover the cleaning cost? Uber won't pay you for a few weeks. They must submit a request to charge the client responsible for this mess.

Ridesharing is not lucrative anymore. Clients assume drivers are making a fortune. They are not. They are stuck performing this ridesharing job. However, most drivers act professional and show respect for clients. The independence to drive whenever holds more value than income.

Ridesharing companies are no longer advertising higher earnings; they are relying on driving whenever and as much as you want. No guaranteed earnings of $35-$45 per hour. It is tough to make $15 per hour after deducting gas expenses and toll cost. It is more like $13-$14 an hour.

Long trips pay less. Short rides for the minimum pay $3.30. The incentive to drive is no longer there. You must complete 20-35 trips over a span of 15+ hours to make up to $300 after commission, safe ride fee, toll cost, and airport tolls. Ridesharing expenses resemble cellular phone fees.

Clients will secure a UberX and make drivers wait for them. At the base rate, these drivers will lose money waiting an hour without moving. The only real way these drivers can generate good fares while waiting is to operate under a surge of 1.9X-3.0X. At 1.0, drivers will make $15.60. Minus $1 and another 20-25% and drivers are making $10 or less in that particular hour.

If drivers are not operating under a surge and clients request them to wait an hour, tell them it is best they request another UberX ride later. Do yourself a favor and don't sit and wait an hour on a standard ride. It is disrespectful of clients to make drivers wait for chump change. These drivers are losing out on good rides, which require motion to accumulate fares. Waiting time is simply unappealing, unless surge pricing is factored into the equation.

The real facts of ridesharing are disclosed to convince drivers that performing driving services is lucrative. There is always an agenda to generate massive income. Just know that you must take care of yourself to make money. Your clients are tipping you like they do taxis.

Sad but true, Uber hasn't integrated a tipping feature to reward their UberX drivers. San Francisco clients rarely tip drivers. It probably occurs a few times per 1000 rides. East Bay, Contra Costa, and North Bay clients are by far the best tippers. If you want tips, go drive in these regions. Until Uber decides to add a tipping feature, ridesharing drivers will continue to operate in the shadows of taxi drivers.

Taxi drivers make tips, receive cash fares, get paid for credit card transactions much faster, and can pick up hailing riders. Ridesharing drivers must wait 8-10 days to receive pay for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday trips. Thursday trips take exactly 7 days for drivers to receive this pay. Weekend driving will pay drivers out in 4-6 days. Unlike before, working four full days may not earn you what one shift of driving 15 hours on Lyft during 'Power Hours' back in 2012 and 2013.

Lyft drivers once earned $1000-$1500 to drive 40+ hours on weekends. Invest 5 days into driving and you won't clear this amount. Lyft drivers didn't pay commission during 'Power Hours.' New UberX drivers are paying out 25 percent commission. With extremely cheap prices mirroring potential earnings, ridesharing is not as lucrative and will potentially set you back.

Once repairs and maintenance cost ground your ride, you are not authorized to drive another unapproved vehicle. If you purchase a vehicle using Uber financing, you will be making payments for many years and will be forced to choose driving as a future. In 3 years, this new vehicle will incur major wear and tear. It will have at least 200,000 miles. If you drive excessively, expect 300,000 in 3 years. It is likely you will still be making payments on this beat-up ride.

Now that you have the real facts, you can make an informed decision to become a ridesharing driver. Ridesharing is not what it used to be, back when drivers earned a bundle and prices were much higher. It is a rider's world, where the cost to travel is extremely affordable. These facts are true for all ridesharing companies available in your city.

Car health, personal health, and financial stability are equally important factors to consider. If drivers struggle in any of these areas, they will likely sink into a muddy pit. In essence, new ridesharing drivers must drive smart to sustain ridesharing.