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7NEWS Request: Denver Uber Drivers Sleeping In The Cars

Have you ever slept in your car?

  • Yes

    Votes: 21 58.3%
  • No

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • Rarely

    Votes: 3 8.3%

  • Total voters
    36

Reporter7

New Member
Hi -- I am a reporter with 7NEWS looking into a story about local Uber drivers sleeping in their cars after reading this article about the national trend which this forum is not allowing me to link. Do you do it to make extra money? Do you know someone who does? Would you be willing to talk to me on camera about it?
 

105398

Well-Known Member
People don't do that here, unless they're completely homeless, or taking a nap at the airport parking lot in queue for a ride.

The reason it was/is a big story in San Francisco is because of the variance in rates from towns within a few hundred miles (Sacramento, Fresno, etc). San Francisco pays the higher driver rates, is a dense market which makes it worthwhile/profitable to work; thus people commute in for mega multi day shifts. I'd surmise the same holds true for Chicago (mentioned in the article too), which has many medium/small markets within a few hundred miles.

I'd posit the Denver driver base is almost entirely within the Denver/Boulder metro area, with a few coming in from Fort Collins/Springs, but that's not far enough away that one has to regularly sleep in their cars, save for the rare nap if completely wiped out.

We doesn't have a tertiary catchment area that would draw in commuter workers who make it a regular thing.

You might find one person who's on really rough times, but that sample would not be representative of any "commuter / car camping" population base here - and therefore not a true story for Denver.
 
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ColoradoRockies

Active Member
I do think we have a number of homeless people that are drivers. Check into the number of drivers that spend the night in the DIA holding lot. Always 10-20 cars out there between 2am-5am, with absolutely no passenger flights inbound.

Good for you if a story comes out of this; it will help educated more pax to the low rates and the very real world impact that their "cheap" rides have on drivers.
 

I_Like_Spam

Well-Known Member
A number of cab drivers used to customarily sleep in the cab lot at Pittsburgh International back in the day.

Its not surprising that some Uber drivers are following in their footsteps during the current era.
 

105398

Well-Known Member
^^ I support looking into these depressing anecdotes. It's a different situation than the article discussed (voluntarily working til exhaustion in a different city), however if it brings light to the high personal costs of the "gig" economy and its cheap rates, (and the plight of those who unfortunately solely rely on that income) it would certainly be worth it.

Rather than focus on greedy money hungry drivers I hope you might show what's behind a $7 cheap 3-4 person ride, and why those rates are unsustainable - and why there is such a churn of drivers. Not unlike media interns :smiles:

In fact, an economics teacher chatting alongside your Uber drivers would be quite apropos.

here's the story in reference: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-23/when-their-shifts-end-uber-drivers-set-up-camp-in-parking-lots-across-the-u-s
 
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Daisey77

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure there's one gentlemen who has either fell on really hard times or is truly in fact homeless. There've been a couple of times and I'm at Final Approach, in the morning, and he's showering in the single stall bathroom.
 
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Reporter7

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
I wonder if he would be willing to talk to me. If so, my phone number is 720-785-3682.

Thanks for this thoughtful replies. Where is the holding lot?
 

mattadams

Well-Known Member
I have my suspicion that a number of uber drivers are really taxi drivers who saw it as a more profitable opportunity, which I can't really knock them for... but like others, I'm constantly floored how many cars seem to be in the holding lot "overnight", meaning around 1am-5am, when literally no flights will be coming in and the chance for a ride is practically nil. I guess the way they might see it, it's a relatively safe lot, has restrooms, nobody is going to bother you... so why not? I just hope, speaking as an uber passenger (also a driver... lol) that they find a good place to shower :smiles:. Planet Fitness is $10/month and you can take showers whenever you want. Maybe money well spent? :smiles:
 

ATG

Active Member
I sleep in my minivan when i have a ride to the mountains and is late at night(hoping to get a return ride in the morning) I only do it a few times.
 

105398

Well-Known Member
I've car camped in my SUV many times. I have a nice tent but if not hiking in it's just as comfortable and quieter too. I've slept in the back of my SUV if doing a long road trip too, which in summer nighttime temps is perfectly comfortable with a light sleeping bag, and no reason to pay $70 for a motel to crash for 6-7 hours.

But I've always joked that if you wake up in a Vanagon or camper in the forest or alongside a lake it's fun, adventurous, and romantic. But if you do the same thing in the city, in someone's neighborhood, you look like a destitute hippy. Same thing - different perceptions.

or you could be like this guy and combine your gigs:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/nyregion/airbnb-taxi-rental-new-york.html
 

AvsUberJunkie

Well-Known Member
I saw a driver stop one of the lot overseers and ask him if the new lot location would be closed overnight.
He was told it would remain open.
Interpret that how you want...
 

graphicgenie

Well-Known Member
Could you also mention Uber/Lyft driver only makes $10/hr on avg in Denver after Uber/Lyft 25% commission, gas, wear/tear on vehicle. $100 data/month, car washes, clean interior, tires, etc.

Taxi charge 50% more for the same ride (in an former police car, so you're seating where criminal sat first) 90% of the passengers will tip the driver

Uber/Lyft 50% less for the same ride with on-demand virtual vehicle gps with ETA,, better services with a 5 stars rating system and 90% of the passengers do not tip??? Yeah, passengers treat us like a vending machine... sometimes they bang on us to get their soda

What' up Uber/Lyft drivers! 7News is listening.... got any thing else for them to report on heres the chance.
 

Daisey77

Well-Known Member
Could you also mention Uber/Lyft driver only makes $10/hr on avg in Denver after Uber/Lyft 25% commission, gas, wear/tear on vehicle. $100 data/month, car washes, clean interior, tires, etc.

Taxi charge 50% more for the same ride (in an former police car, so you're seating where criminal sat first) 90% of the passengers will tip the driver

Uber/Lyft 50% less for the same ride with on-demand virtual vehicle gps with ETA,, better services with a 5 stars rating system and 90% of the passengers do not tip??? Yeah, passengers treat us like a vending machine... sometimes they bang on us to get their soda

What' up Uber/Lyft drivers! 7News is listening.... got any thing else for them to report on heres the chance.
50 % less?? We are 1/3 of the cost! 66% less and the average is way less than $10/hr too. sorry man don't mean to be a bubble popper. LoL Reality bites.

But yeah I'm on the same page with you

I saw a driver stop one of the lot overseers and ask him if the new lot location would be closed overnight.
He was told it would remain open.
Interpret that how you want...
I wonder if it's the same guy I saw :frown:
 

NinjaBlack

Well-Known Member
Well if 7 news is listening... perhaps they can tie together the homeless (which by the way is so much more admirable seeing them working rather than on the corner begging) and the fact that Uber treats the drivers like crap and how they saturate markets with drivers giving them more $ and individual drivers pay keeps going down to the point where it's becoming less of a viable job. However, if I was homeless and i could get a car rental from Uber to serve as my job, my transport, and my house -- heck yea. If the market gets more saturated there may be more homeless.
 

papavbnmomo

Active Member
I sleep in my car some nights but not homeless. I like to start at 4am close to downtown, so if I get a late night pax that I drop off after midnight, it will take me 30 mins to get home, change, sleep, wake up at 315, get ready and be out by 330am, I would rather just sleep in the car for a continuous sleep for 4 hrs than just sleep maybe 2hrs at home.
But if news 7 is listening, how about comparing what pax pays and what drivers earn...
 

Daisey77

Well-Known Member
7 News could get a thousand stories from us. A lot of them would be more prevalent than the sleeping in your car storyline. If the interest is there, I'm more than willing to be the messenger / middleman for everyone. That way we all don't get deactivated
 

Reporter7

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
THANK YOU for all the replies! Again, let me know if you find a driver who sleeps in his car and is willing to talk on camera.

I sleep in my car some nights but not homeless. I like to start at 4am close to downtown, so if I get a late night pax that I drop off after midnight, it will take me 30 mins to get home, change, sleep, wake up at 315, get ready and be out by 330am, I would rather just sleep in the car for a continuous sleep for 4 hrs than just sleep maybe 2hrs at home.
But if news 7 is listening, how about comparing what pax pays and what drivers earn...
Would love to interview you! Please call me at 720-785-3682.
 
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