Area promotions? What do they mean?

tkman

Active Member
In Ottawa Uber has promotions for different areas. Downtown usually has something like a 1.5x promotion. I don't understand what that means. If a regular fair is $4 and it is in the 1.5 promotion area does that mean it would pay $6 instead? What happens if you pick up a meal from within a 1.5 zone and deliver outside that zone to an area that is 1.2x or no rating? What if you pick up a meal in a 1.2x zone and deliver to an address in a 1.5 zone? I was delivering in a 1.2 zone and had to make a delivery that took me to a 1.4 zone. The 1.2 zone had been a little slow so I thought the 1.4 was an indication of greater demand for deliveries and reduce supply of drivers. I waited 10 to 15 minutes and nothing. Headed back to my 1.2 zone and received a delivery right away. This has happened a few times. I do not see the need for increased deliveries in the higher zones. This has me wondering what the zones really mean.
 

Launchpad McQuack

Well-Known Member
It very much depends on which pay model Uber has you on.

The old pay model was:

Pickup Fee + Dropoff Fee + (Miles)*(Mileage Rate) + (Time)*(Hourly Rate)

For this pay model, Pickup Fee, Dropoff Fee, Mileage Rate, and Hourly Rate are all fixed numbers. For example, in my market the numbers were:

Pickup Fee = $1.35
Dropoff Fee = $0.90
Mileage Rate = $0.54 per mile
Hourly Rate = $5.80 per hour

Miles and Time were the actual mileage and time from the restaurant to the customer.

For the old pay model, a 1.5x boost meant that you would make 50% more on the same delivery because they applied a 1.5 multiplier to the entire formula above.

The new pay model is:

Base + Supplement

There may be a formula for calculating Base. If there is, Uber doesn't share it with us and I have been too lazy to analyze the data to figure out what it is. Even if it there is a formula for calculating Base, it doesn't really matter because Supplement is an arbitrary number that is selected in order to make the delivery pay whatever Uber is willing to pay.

For the new pay model, a 1.5x boost doesn't really mean anything. This is because the 1.5x boost is only applied to Base, not to Supplement. Since Supplement is an arbitrary number, it is a simple matter to reduce the Supplement by the amount of the boost so that the delivery pays the same. So for the new pay model, a 1.5x boost does not mean that you are making 50% more for the same delivery. Most of the time, I can't tell the difference between 1.8x boost deliveries and base rate deliveries. The only real difference is that the 1.8x boost deliveries have smaller Supplements.

If anything, I have found that deliveries tend to pay less when we have a 1.8x boost because most drivers look at the 1.8x boost and think they will make more money if they drive during this time. This creates an oversupply of drivers, so Uber doesn't need to increase the Supplement amount in order to get drivers to accept deliveries.

Regardless of boost, the most lucrative time to drive is when most drivers aren't.
 

tkman

Active Member
I find the whole Uber signals about supply and demand confusing. It would be good if they were easier to understand or more consistent with each other. At any time I can see a promotion multiplier. An area has a 1.4x or a 1.2x etc. As well there can be color indications on the map - red area, orange area - where red is showing higher need for drivers. As well there can be $1 showing which I assume means there is a $1 bonus on each delivery. At the time driving there can be the text "you are in a busy area expect deliveries soon". What I find frustrating is to do a pickup in a 1.2x zone and deliver into the 1.5x zone and be told I am in a busy area and get no deliveries for 15 minutes. I then head back to the 1.2x zone where I prefer and I get deliveries. As well if I do head for one of the "hot" areas it can change in the time it takes to drive there and all of a sudden a 2$ bonus zone becomes a 1.5x zone etc. Very quickly changes. Frustrating. I understand it is a dynamic business and that is the nature of the market but still frustrating on the ground trying to work with this.
 

DJJoeyZ

Well-Known Member
I just switched from UE to give Door Dash a try, in my area (Phoenix) their promotions suck, you can only sign up for one certain area at a time, and once you’re out of that area it’s either deadhead back to the promo area or accept deliveries with no promotion.
 

Rose511

Well-Known Member
In Ottawa Uber has promotions for different areas. Downtown usually has something like a 1.5x promotion. I don't understand what that means. If a regular fair is $4 and it is in the 1.5 promotion area does that mean it would pay $6 instead? What happens if you pick up a meal from within a 1.5 zone and deliver outside that zone to an area that is 1.2x or no rating? What if you pick up a meal in a 1.2x zone and deliver to an address in a 1.5 zone? I was delivering in a 1.2 zone and had to make a delivery that took me to a 1.4 zone. The 1.2 zone had been a little slow so I thought the 1.4 was an indication of greater demand for deliveries and reduce supply of drivers. I waited 10 to 15 minutes and nothing. Headed back to my 1.2 zone and received a delivery right away. This has happened a few times. I do not see the need for increased deliveries in the higher zones. This has me wondering what the zones really mean.
I am confused also I just take the most profitable orders...the surges and promotions are always confusing.
 
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