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Thursday, February 05, 2015

"Hey Uber, No Customers" said UberX Driver

Two Uber drivers waited at a traffic light. One Uber driver got the attention of another Uber driver. He said, "Hey Uber!" This Uber driver turned to his left and asked if this driver drove for Uber, too.

The Uber driver nodded his head and confirmed his Uber status. It seemed as if he was in stealth mode, awaiting a ride request to finally give him a ride during an apparent surge throughout this region.

The Uber driver to the right said, "Do you know that there is a surge right now? It's a good surge." This Uber driver positioned on the left side responded, "No Customers!"

These two Uber drivers provide that being positioned in surged regions won't increase ride requests at current surge prices. For the most part, UberX drivers who depend on the heat map may lose valuable time and money. It is up to clients to submit ride requests.

Red heat areas don't necessarily suggest higher probability to get rides. UberX drivers may cruise through an entire red region and get nothing. The heat map is telling the driver there is high demand. However, this demand can shift if clients postpone a ride request in result of high surge multiples.

The Uber driver heat map has been hugely inconsistent and a big disappointment. Drivers are losing the game trying to gravitate toward these regions, believing that red zones translate into instant ride requests. Meanwhile, drivers in non-surged regions are scoring all the rides.

Our best advice is to just drive in areas where riders may require ride services. Don't depend on the heat map because this strategy will cost you money. Ride requests reach drivers from outside of a surged regions, which a standard ride is unappealing during busy times. The time it takes a driver to reach this location, pick a client up and complete this trip may will influence their hourly earnings.

These two Uber drivers realized that driving in surged regions won't guarantee them rides. The Uber driver, positioned on the right side, took an intersecting street to break away from the other Uber driver. He knew that cruising alongside this driver would decrease his chances to receive a ride request. Therefore, the driver drove away from this red surged region and finally got a ride request.

Don't let the heat map fool you into believing a particular region will increase your earnings. If there is a Giants game, the heatmap is accurate to reveal this high demand. Once a driver secures a ride request, they will probably never return back to this location to take advantage of surged trips.

UberX drivers want 2.0-3.0X+ rides. These trips pay multiple times the standard fare. It is smart driving to complete these rides to increase efficiency. Driving at the standard rate won't make drivers money. Gas, time, wear and tear, commission, and $1 safe ride fee go against UberX drivers.

Know the red surged areas that will deliver instant ride requests at higher prices. There are regions which clients won't delay a ride request to save money. UberPool is one option to maximize earnings. Clients are increasing usage of UberPool, as this is a current promotion of $5 to ride anywhere in San Francisco and $15 outside of the city. If these UberPool rides are secured at surge prices, clients won't fuss about this rate. They are taking advantage of this $5 promotion to save money.

UberX drivers who receive UberPool requests on weekday and weekend mornings under high demand can increase their hourly earnings. Search for information on events, such as running races, conventions, and other events. Drive in areas where people may request a ride to reach these special events. Hang around downtown during evening commute hours (weekday) and after the bars close (Friday & Saturday late night). Clients are likely to request rides from downtown to their homes.

There are customers out there. UberX drivers just need to use strategy to secure rides. Don't rely on red surged regions and low frequency of ride requests during this moment to discourage you. Know where to go at good times. Think like the client rather than depend on heat maps.

Good luck. Happy Ridesharing!