• UberPeople.NET - Independent community of rideshare drivers. It's FREE to be a person and enjoy all the benefits of membership. JOIN US! CLICK HERE

How do drivers like Ride Austin?

Recoup

Well-Known Member
Basic service is $1.50 base, 99/mile, 25/minute, $4 minimum... you keep all of it. Premium and lux pay more and you keep 80%. In-app tipping.

I average $10-11 per ride and 2.4-2.5 rides an hour. I drive downtown Friday and Saturday nights, mostly, and knock off well before closing time. When I've worked through to 2:30am I've definitely seen good multipliers--I just don't enjoy dealing with heavily intoxicated people.

R|A customer service is lame; fortunately you don't need it much. Onboarding requires fingerprinting (which you will have to pay for), and a trip to the city transportation office, and an inspection of your car at R|A's office.

Yeah, I like driving for them.
 

Tex Tile

Active Member
Basic service is $1.50 base, 99/mile, 25/minute, $4 minimum... you keep all of it. Premium and lux pay more and you keep 80%. In-app tipping.

I average $10-11 per ride and 2.4-2.5 rides an hour. I drive downtown Friday and Saturday nights, mostly, and knock off well before closing time. When I've worked through to 2:30am I've definitely seen good multipliers--I just don't enjoy dealing with heavily intoxicated people.

R|A customer service is lame; fortunately you don't need it much. Onboarding requires fingerprinting (which you will have to pay for), and a trip to the city transportation office, and an inspection of your car at R|A's office.

Yeah, I like driving for them.
$10 Average per ride sounds pretty impressive. Too bad I got kicked off their platform the first two weeks because I wrote them criticizing their BS, half baked initial roll out. Including but not limited to the fact that they were/are fishing for their silly charity thing, which is in Direct competition with...HELLO...Driver Tips! Which they didn't even offer until months after the roll out. "Lame" customer service is putting it mildly. They can straight go F themselves.
 

Recoup

Well-Known Member
Wow, Tex Tile, I'm sorry to hear that happened.

I did hear that the rollout had, let's say, technical issues and I still get the random stupid "oops" message now and again from the app.

I can't complain about the round-up feature, though, as that's what qualifies them for non-profit status and allows us drivers to keep 100% of base+mileage+minutes+tips. In my experience (n=1) it does not compete with tips--if anything, it primes the pump for pax generosity.

I may be imagining it, but it seems when I specifically mention "they've raised $x for Central TX Food Bank" or Austin Pets Alive or whatever, pax open their wallets a little more.

Last week was my best yet--drove 23+ hours (usually more like 10-15 hours) and earned $603+ for an average $26.06/hour.

When I read on these forums about the games Uber plays with drivers, I feel pretty fortunate to drive for R|A. But it's clear your experience was different from mine. Sorry, man... who do you drive for now?
 

TNCTopher

Active Member
Of the numerous options available in Austin, Ride|Austin is becoming the most popular. They are raising the booking fee and passing along credit card processing fees to the PAX. On standard rides (UberX), the driver still gets 100% of time and distance based upon the $.99 per mile and $.25 per minute. They just updated the tip/rate driver screens and it seems that the PAX has noticed.
 

TNCTopher

Active Member
What are the highest multipliers you guys are seeing on Friday / Saturday bar closing times?
3x or 4x recently. The issue is that with the other apps available to the PAX the impact is diminished. Most drivers aren't reacting well to the other apps and lack the intestinal fortitude to hold out for best multiplier. As soon as R|A turns on Priority Fare (multiplier) the other popular app (Fasten) lights up with normal fare requests. It takes about 30 minutes for it all to sort itself out, and maximum earning to commence.
 

Tex Tile

Active Member
Wow, Tex Tile, I'm sorry to hear that happened.

I did hear that the rollout had, let's say, technical issues and I still get the random stupid "oops" message now and again from the app.

I can't complain about the round-up feature, though, as that's what qualifies them for non-profit status and allows us drivers to keep 100% of base+mileage+minutes+tips. In my experience (n=1) it does not compete with tips--if anything, it primes the pump for pax generosity.

I may be imagining it, but it seems when I specifically mention "they've raised $x for Central TX Food Bank" or Austin Pets Alive or whatever, pax open their wallets a little more.

Last week was my best yet--drove 23+ hours (usually more like 10-15 hours) and earned $603+ for an average $26.06/hour.

When I read on these forums about the games Uber plays with drivers, I feel pretty fortunate to drive for R|A. But it's clear your experience was different from mine. Sorry, man... who do you drive for now?
I drive for Fare, Fasten and Getme and I do fine. Can't even count how many times I've heard "Best driver ever". Too bad that Ride Austin values my not sending them a complaint email more than they do what I would have brought to their platform. No biggie though...I bash them every chance I get and as there is an oddly high percentage of my riders who dislike their app because it's buggy or crashes...I usually just play off that.

I do respectfully disagree about priming the pump though. It's just against human nature. People aren't going to give away $2 to charity and then also turn around and give you $2. Just seems counter-intuitive, especially if their ride was only $8 or whatever. And that's not to say that it doesn't happen I just see it as way more of a barrier than a net positive a far as tipping goes. I don't drive at that time but maybe it's different later at night when people's wallets get a little looser.
 

Recoup

Well-Known Member
Well, the charity round-up option is just that, a round-up to the next dollar. If the fare is $10.71, it rounds up to $11.00; if the fare is $9.17 it rounds up to $10.00. The maximum charity donation per ride is therefore 99c, and the average would be 50c. More importantly, the rider opts in once, when they first download and set up the rider app--from then on, the app does the round-up automatically.

My point being, charity round-up doesn't require any decision on the pax's part on a trip-by-trip basis, and therefore is psychologically somewhat "invisible." Set and forget. I don't see this competing with tipping at all. Tipping is on a trip-by-trip basis, and it is front and center when the trip ends.

As always, YMMV. Just sayin' that my personal experience (again, n=1) tells me that pax do not hold the charity round-up against me when making the tip/no-tip decision. I think it goes the other way--if you indirectly characterize them as generous people (because they're donating to charity), there is a subconscious tendency to want to reinforce that positive self-image by being generous to you, their driver, as well. The book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive has lots of good examples of how this works.

I gather that you tried R|A in its early days and were turned off by the v.1.0 glitches, and I get it. If I had formed my opinion of them while they were working out the bugs, I would probably feel the same way. I'm glad the other TNCs are working out for you.
 

Tex Tile

Active Member
I would have loved to stay with them but they rudely shut me out for a simple email that might have had the word bullshit in it. They just struck me as a bit of a holier than thou, puzzy footing kind of operation so it just is what it is. It's a shame though...I'm prob the most AUSTIN guy driving for rideshare right now. Their loss. :smiles:

Thanks for the info on the round up feature. If that's truly the way it works then I stand corrected.
 
Still can't understand why someone would drive for a company who is gonna take 2$, 20%, or however much they take, when you can drive and get 100%. Maybe math wasn't their strong subject. IMO
 

El Gato

Active Member
Still can't understand why someone would drive for a company who is gonna take 2$, 20%, or however much they take, when you can drive and get 100%. Maybe math wasn't their strong subject. IMO
5 mile ride that takes 15 min...
R|A $4.95 for mileage + $3.75 for time = $7.75 Payout
Fare $6 for mileage + $3.75 for time = $9.75 x .80 = $7.80 Payout + more if it is peak pricing as both the mileage & time rate increase too

Add in that the Fare app allows you the ability to build a client base, the ability to secure more rides by searching the available requests tab for the folks who like to schedule their rides, plus the referral revenue gets you another 10%. Advantage Fare.

Now looking ahead to tax time. That 20% that Fare took, and their $2 booking fee as well that never effected your pay comes back here in the form of a business expense and thus brings your taxable income down. In TY 2016 alone, I deducted $1,578 from my taxable income for that 20% cut they took, and another $966 in rider fees that they took from the pax but had no effect on my pay. That's $2,544 less in taxable income. Lets play with math to see how this effects my taxes in a hypothetical R|A:
Using Turbo Tax I am currently sitting at $105 in taxes owed after driving with other TNC's last year not R|A.
If I eliminate the 20% fees but keep the rider fee (R|A also has a $2 booking fee) my taxes owed jumps to $345 a savings of $240.

Not really so simple math when you get into taxes. Using a simple math example of comparing two rides with both platforms gives only a .05 edge to Fare. Throw in hypothetical increases with peak pricing, the referral bonuses, building a client base, having more rides available via the scheduling function, and pull away more from that $.05 gap, at non peak time, with bringing taxes down...I would say it's not slam dunk Fare kills it, but I would say there is more advantage to driving with those guys. Although, this is a controlled experiment here, and as we all know out there it can be very different. ie) maybe there are just way more pax on R|A and driver A using exclusively R|A completes 30 rides in a week, while driver B using Fare exclusively completes on 20 rides in a week. Now that small margin that Fare had over R|A is potentially wiped away....just so many variables...


In the end, it seems to be working for everyone, and I think the only real way to make this work is to drive for multiple platforms...no one company has the market and pax will flip around from app to app as well in search of the closest driver no matter base costs (except for surge/peak pricing). That is the one silver lining with Uber....everybody had that app, and there was no shortage of finding rides anywhere in the city, except when the driver pool over saturated the market (which was good for pax)
 

Recoup

Well-Known Member
5 mile ride that takes 15 min...
R|A $4.95 for mileage + $3.75 for time = $7.75 Payout
Fare $6 for mileage + $3.75 for time = $9.75 x .80 = $7.80 Payout + more if it is peak pricing as both the mileage & time rate increase too
You left out the R|A base fee of 1.50, and also 4.95+3.75 does not equal 7.75... so your 5 mile/15 minute example should look like this:

R|A. $1.50 base + 4.95 mileage + 3.75 time = $10.20 payout

I'm not actually sure you can deduct pax-only fees from your taxes (nor for that matter whether it's kosher to deduct Fare's cut from your net--surely it should come off the gross?), but that's between you and the IRS... I just wanted to point out that you understated the R|A payout by about 30%.
 
Last edited:

El Gato

Active Member
Oh you are correct. Forgot about the base fare which for Fare is actually $2. So adjusting both of those:

R|A. $1.50 base + 4.95 mileage + 3.75 time = $10.15 payout
Fare $2.00 base +$6.00 mileage + $3.75 for time = $11.75 x .80 = $9.40 Payout but $13.36 @ x1.5 Peak

So it would appear then that R|A wins out unless Fare is peaking. What this also mean is that with Fasten at the same rates as R|A but taking that 20% (or whatever their cut is) why in the world would drivers be on that platform? Maybe someone can shed light on that one, cause I just don't know enough about them.

The tax thing is legit. https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2722277-what-can-an-uber-driver-deduct

More so then that link, this topic as had been discussed at length in the tax forum of this site, as well as from tax professionals I have spoken from. Basically, it is a gross fare that we collect from the customer as an independent contractor that we then cough up to our partner in business (Fare, Uber, whoever) and then deduct it is a cost of doing business on our taxes. I know it's odd because we never see that money in the first place, since for convenience sake for all parties as soon as payment from the pax is received the fees are taken out and given to our partner immediately. Think of it this way, if we didn't have an electronic version to run the credit card, then the customer would pay you that full fare in cash. Our partner would then ask us to cut them a check for their 20% cut, as well as the rider fee. It's like having having your taxes deducted from your paycheck in a job w/ a W-2, pay the IRS up front as to not have to do it come April 15.
 

TNCTopher

Active Member
Oh you are correct. Forgot about the base fare which for Fare is actually $2. So adjusting both of those:

R|A. $1.50 base + 4.95 mileage + 3.75 time = $10.15 payout
Fare $2.00 base +$6.00 mileage + $3.75 for time = $11.75 x .80 = $9.40 Payout but $13.36 @ x1.5 Peak

So it would appear then that R|A wins out unless Fare is peaking. What this also mean is that with Fasten at the same rates as R|A but taking that 20% (or whatever their cut is) why in the world would drivers be on that platform? Maybe someone can shed light on that one, cause I just don't know enough about them.

The tax thing is legit. https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2722277-what-can-an-uber-driver-deduct

More so then that link, this topic as had been discussed at length in the tax forum of this site, as well as from tax professionals I have spoken from. Basically, it is a gross fare that we collect from the customer as an independent contractor that we then cough up to our partner in business (Fare, Uber, whoever) and then deduct it is a cost of doing business on our taxes. I know it's odd because we never see that money in the first place, since for convenience sake for all parties as soon as payment from the pax is received the fees are taken out and given to our partner immediately. Think of it this way, if we didn't have an electronic version to run the credit card, then the customer would pay you that full fare in cash. Our partner would then ask us to cut them a check for their 20% cut, as well as the rider fee. It's like having having your taxes deducted from your paycheck in a job w/ a W-2, pay the IRS up front as to not have to do it come April 15.
Fasten doesn't take a 20% cut. They charge $.99 per ride and then a credit card processing fee of 2.3% and $.33 per ride. For short rides, Fasten is the loser.
 
Top