I am newly re-activated on Uber. I took the class for lousy drivers in San Francisco and passed the test. So I decided to take a road trip to The City from Sacramento to try out my shiny new 5* that shows on my driver app.
It was a great day. Down to my old stomping grounds, the San Francisco Peninsula, with stops in the City by the Bay , on the way there and back, to see if it really does rain money in San Francisco.
Up at 5am and took an Uber ping starting at Kaiser emergency on Morse then almost to the freeway just to get warmed up. (Luckily no blood, just a gal with a sore tooth). And I was on my way !
From there I drove to the casual carpool at Suisun / Fairfield and picked up 3 pax for the carpool lane (they even paid $1.50 each) who showed me the ropes and off we drove. As we went across the Bay Bridge, I breathed deeply and thought - home at last - after all these years. The City for me was the place to visit from the 'burbs down the Peninsula.
Sacramento is hard for me to drive in. I haven't lived here long, never got out much and Uber is always taking me to places I've never been, on roads and freeway on/off ramps I have never navigated before. I always seem to be driving native sons of Sacramento. There are no hills for landmarks, and I still hold my breath on a new on ramp until I am safely merged onto the tiny freeway, and try not to let my fear of being side-swiped by that semi right next to me , show.
Half way across the Bay Bridge, my fear of semis is gone. I know the Bridgeso well, that I can escape while they are still thinking about applying the brakes.
So I drop off the pax, find an alley off Mission to wait - and open the apps. It was like Christmas morning. The entire Financial District was lit up pink, some parts dark pink - at 8am on a Wednesday. No bogus surges like we get in Sacto that last 20 seconds. Solid pink for 2 hours straight. Within two minutes I got both a Lyft and an Uber ping and went with the Uber and stayed with them for the next 2 hours. First ride was a minimum, at 2X surge, so $7.50 net for just 10 min work. Works out to $45/hour. Pax was curbside, polite, explicit with directions, a real pleasure. We were a team getting her where she needed to go. This was the job I thought I had signed on for.
This was my very first surge fare - I kid you not - since I started Christmas 2014. It was fun.
No time to indulge. Again Ping! Driving through The City on streets I didn't know was nothing like Sacto. My body could feel the City, I instinctively knew where the Bay and Breakers were. The hills I knew, Van Ness, Gough, Fell, all street names known to me from long ago.
The next ride was in a dark pink area I had seen as I waited. Again, the perfect pax. Curbside, polite, worked with me, giving directions not barking orders. The ride was stunning. Through a nice part of town, Victorians, down the panhandle of Golden Gate Park where people were out with their dogs, enjoying, relaxing, even as the City was deep in rush hour. When I dropped off the pax, saying a cheery goodbye - using her name as I was taught in the class - I saw that what should have been a $10 fare had been on a 3.5x surge. $37.5 net to me. Could the young woman in her nice apartment have possibly known what she had agreed to?
No time to think. My third ping came right away. The ride back to the Financial District was more normal. Pax gave me directions, but omitted a crucial turn. Stuck on Bush, which she had explicitly said she didn't want to do, with no possible recovery. Got her there in the end, but not the perfect pax as the first two had been. Fare only $12 net. No surge. But I was smiling and happy. We ended at Pier 1, the Ferry Building with the stunning view of the Bay and the Bay Bridge on the Embarcadero. I decided to leave this fairy tale with the happy ending and headed south.
And so went my 1.5 morning hours in The City. Yes, Virginia, it IS raining money in San Francisco! Every day, twice a day, for several hours at a time.
On the way back to Sacto that night, I nipped off the freeway and did two fares. Both surges, $20 for 20 minutes of work. Then back on the freeway...
Life is good.
I checked my ratings, a safe 4.75 and went to bed happy.
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