But I just love San Francisco!
“Whoah! Sounds like an adventure,” I responded. Trying to be more professional, I tried to change the subject. “Are you visiting from out of town?“
“Yep, from Denver. It’s so fun, and there are so many nice men here!” She answered. “I’m so bored with my family life back home. I asked my husband whether we could have an open marriage, and he was pissed I asked!”
“Well, no. Not all the way. He was on Molly and couldn’t get it up! But I still got my rocks off!“
When we got to the warehouse, she wouldn’t stop talking. Luckily, Uber pays 29 cents a minute while a passenger is in the car. It was almost as if she wanted me to give her my number the next time she was in town or something.
After sliding the “End Ride” function on the app, I was prompted to give her a rating. Of course I gave her 5-stars. She was entertaining! She gave me the same.
Some of you might be thinking I’m crazy to drive for Uber. Wouldn’t my time be better spent working on my online business or consulting, especially given I’ve got my passive income optimized? Yes, from a financial standpoint, I could make more elsewhere, but from a journalism perspective, it’s important to experience driving first hand before writing about the ins and outs of the ridesharing business. Driving for Uber is like research!
2) How does the whole thing work exactly? From signing up, to getting paid, and not wanting to drive to Timbuktu if you have somewhere to go.
After giving over 100 rides, I’ve come to the conclusion that Uber is a good way to make money for those of you who are in between jobs, underemployed, or would like to spend time with family during the day. You can drive whenever you want and start making money usually within 10 minutes of turning on the Uber partner app.
First, you’ll notice that Uber takes a 25% commission for drivers in San Francisco, which is a lot, especially since the commission is 20% in every other city
Check out the times I drove after completing my first full week. With 100% accuracy, I avoided all 16 of the busy hours where I could make more money due to their famous surge pricing.
I really dislike traffic and really enjoy my freedom, which are the main reasons why I didn’t drive during the busy hours. I’ve also discovered a driving hack where if I’m planning on playing tennis or going downtown (east), I’ll turn on my Uber partner app and with an 80% probability, I’ll pick up someone close by my house heading the same direction. It’s an easy way to make $11-$29 dollars.
$ ain’t bad for driving at most 3.5 hours a day. I was basically averaging about 2.7 trips an hour. If you’re getting excited about my earnings, study the chart carefully. Then, you see I got a $100 “Other” income, which was my promised $100 bonus for going down to the Uber driving center at 130 Vermont Street to get checked out.
In other words, my normalized earnings for doing 46 trips was really only $ ($ – $100 bonus). If I do 2.7 trips an hour on average, that’s around 17.3 hours of work, or $25 an hour after paying 25% commission, but before gas and other expenses.
So what about gas? Well, that was easy to track because I used up the $50 gas card Uber gave me that one week. Hence, take $50 / $428 = 11.7% in gas cost. Let’s just round it to 10%, because I still had gas in the tank when I got to the next week. I’m now paying 25% commission + 10% gas + ?% eventual maintenance to drive. That’s right. Before you pay taxes, you’ve got to give up roughly 35% of your gross earnings!