How long do you think it takes to *really* know how to drive downtown?

I used to work downtown and I walked all over and rode my bike but I didn't drive it. Totally different beast.

I know I'm @@@@ing myself out of a lot of trips because I hesitate to go over where the GPS loses its mind. I've made a couple of loops around @@@@er Dr. but don't really feel comfortable. I'm also hesitating to drive super early in the morning because I'm worried someone will be in a hurry to get downtown to North South West Lower Alley Street and I'll get them lost.

Had a request today where it actually did make sense to go lower Wacker - going North down LSD, Wacker exit, lower Wacker, right on Columbus - instead of Upper Wacker, to Michigan, to Illinois (oops that's upper, U-turn), to Ohio to Columbus.

Obvs I went upper because I was scared of what was down there and didn't trust anything at all about the directions from GPS. Pax was nicely like wtf u doin?

And I'm like

Idk maam. Idk.
 
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Prius13

Well-Known Member
I used to work downtown and I walked all over and rode my bike but I didn't drive it. Totally different beast.

I know I'm &%[email protected]!*ing myself out of a lot of trips because I hesitate to go over where the GPS loses its mind. I've made a couple of loops around &%[email protected]!*er Dr. but don't really feel comfortable. I'm also hesitating to drive super early in the morning because I'm worried someone will be in a hurry to get downtown to North South West Lower Alley Street and I'll get them lost.

Had a request today where it actually did make sense to go lower Wacker - going North down LSD, Wacker exit, lower Wacker, right on Columbus - instead of Upper Wacker, to Michigan, to Illinois (oops that's upper, U-turn), to Ohio to Columbus.

Obvs I went upper because I was scared of what was down there and didn't trust anything at all about the directions from GPS. Pax was nicely like wtf u doin?

And I'm like

Idk maam. Idk.
Lolz. Am in same boat as you are.
 

UberBeemer

Well-Known Member
I would bet that if you drove in the loop area every day it would take at least a few weeks, but not more than a couple of months. And, if you don't do it regularly, you can forget certain details. Don't sweat it, and if in doubt, call the passenger.
 

jarofchili

Member
I used to work downtown and I walked all over and rode my bike but I didn't drive it. Totally different beast.

I know I'm &%[email protected]!*ing myself out of a lot of trips because I hesitate to go over where the GPS loses its mind. I've made a couple of loops around &%[email protected]!*er Dr. but don't really feel comfortable. I'm also hesitating to drive super early in the morning because I'm worried someone will be in a hurry to get downtown to North South West Lower Alley Street and I'll get them lost.

Had a request today where it actually did make sense to go lower Wacker - going North down LSD, Wacker exit, lower Wacker, right on Columbus - instead of Upper Wacker, to Michigan, to Illinois (oops that's upper, U-turn), to Ohio to Columbus.

Obvs I went upper because I was scared of what was down there and didn't trust anything at all about the directions from GPS. Pax was nicely like wtf u doin?

And I'm like

Idk maam. Idk.

First tip: Do Delivery!! This way you can actually get paid to learn loop & lower wacker without pax breathing down your neck.

Lower wacker is scary at first but within a week or two you'll see it's pretty simple as long as you're always aware of your position relative to a few landmark streets. So the trick is just to familiarize yourself the major entry/exit points along Lower Wacker.
There are only 3 or 4 exits you really need to care about right now.
Your major points of reference are

Harrison/290 <--> Randolph <--> Michigan <--> Stetson <--> Columbus <--> LSD

When you have some time, ideally late in the evening, enter and exit Lower Wacker from each of those points. Plug in destinations near the entry/exit points into your GPS to simulate being on an actual trip. And that's it! What you will soon realize is 95% of your trips through Lower Wacker begin and end on these streets.

Remember, at all times you're down there you want to know where you are in relation to those four intersections. With time, this will be all become second nature and you won't even have to think about it. Then soon after, just in the normal course of driving, you will naturally discover a couple other, more advanced, entry/exit points. But those can wait.

And one other thing: When you first get the trip and again periodically before you go underground LOOK AHEAD at the route in your GPS. Look to see which streets you'll be turning on BEFORE you go underground and MEMORIZE them. As you already know, the GPS directions are useless on Lower Wacker. When you're still new you need to be able to anticipate the turns and be prepared well before you get down there.
I too used to sh*t bricks every time a trip took me down there because I was deathly afraid of getting lost.

Also, what has helped me a ton is that my dashboard shows compass headings and that saved my bacon on multiple occasion. Good luck and every single regular city Uber driver has gone through what you're going through now.,
 
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driving312

Well-Known Member
To get to know the Loop, Lower Wacker, Lower Michigan, Upper and Lower Illinois, Stetson, Upper Columbus, Lower Columbus, Lower Lower Columbus, Lower Lower Randolph, Quincy, Canal also known as Riverside....to know which streets are faster and when...to know how the Loop behaves morning, lunch, afternoon rush, and these times when it rains or snows...and then to master and memorize EVERY ALLEY in the Loop to use as shortcuts and when they are prone to being blocked, memorize every vanity building address and the real locations of lobby entrances and if those entrances are locked after 6pm, and then again master the time of day and congestion levels that dictate what route is best, and simply scanning ahead changing your route by playing the green stoplights...and doing it all without even thinking about it.
...nevermind when there is an accident, the bridges are up, movie filming, parade/protest, falling ice street closures, Critical Mass bike rides, or simple construction changes...

Look...it takes years of driving it every day...eating, breathing, and sleeping it.
Just be glad you weren't driving the Loop during the two Wacker Drive rebuild projects or when Obama's pre-presidential motorcade was a daily thing.

Don't worry about it...you're just never going to get the opportunity to experience every scenario or use these elite tactics using the rideshare platform, so don't try to. Navigation and simply asking the pax how they'd go will work 99% of the time for you. Wasn't that easy?

Traffic and pax being late is NOT YOUR PROBLEM. Get pax from point A to point B following the rules of the road. Don't go out of your way and risk an accident/getting a ticket for a couple dollars. Pax are not your friends and you owe them nothing. You'll never see them again in your life after the ride.
 
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Pchi

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure, but if I keep at it with my 7 year plan I might get recognition from Uber corporate.
 

LEAFdriver

Well-Known Member
And one other thing: When you first get the trip and again periodically before you go underground LOOK AHEAD at the route in your GPS. Look to see which streets you'll be turning on BEFORE you go underground and MEMORIZE them. As you already know, the GPS directions are useless on Lower Wacker. When you're still new you need to be able to anticipate the turns and be prepared well before you get down there.
I too used to sh*t bricks every time a trip took me down there because I was deathly afraid of getting lost.

This is the best piece of advice. On WAZE....just tap on the top black bar that is telling you where your next turn is. It will give you a drop down list of all of the next anticipated turns. So anytime you will be going on LOWER anything.....check out where you will be exiting and what the next 1-2 turns will be. Also, if your pax is a local, most likely this is a route they take every day. Don't be afraid to ask them their preferred route. Between the GPS and the pax directions....you should make it to the destination with minimal confusion. :rolleyes:

One other thing....if you can, download the Google maps for the city. This way you are not dependent on satellite connections and you will not lose connection when in the Lower streets or surrounded by the skyscrapers. I myself, prefer Waze....but if I know I'm going anywhere near the loop, I'll open Google maps and input the address there also. As far as I know, you can't download area maps on Waze....but that may change here in the near future.
 

TreKronor

Member
Kinda wish people would stop talking about Lower Wacker... SHHHHH.

How long to learn? Years. And when you think you've got it, there will be a construction project to really screw up EVERYTHING you've learned. Example, right now near Upper Wacker and Columbus they have it all jacked up for a new building that's being built and a Wacker extension - used to be able to do nifty U-turns, regular turns, all that - now, none of that. Have to go around a few blocks to get anywhere (can add a good 5 mins).

I used Lower every day for about 2 years, and at the end of those two years I was still finding areas I didn't know existed. Lower is by far the most fun and simultaneously confusing way to go around the city - especially with passengers who've never been there.
 

qiaoxiaopang

Well-Known Member
I used to work downtown and I walked all over and rode my bike but I didn't drive it. Totally different beast.

I know I'm &%[email protected]!*ing myself out of a lot of trips because I hesitate to go over where the GPS loses its mind. I've made a couple of loops around &%[email protected]!*er Dr. but don't really feel comfortable. I'm also hesitating to drive super early in the morning because I'm worried someone will be in a hurry to get downtown to North South West Lower Alley Street and I'll get them lost.

Had a request today where it actually did make sense to go lower Wacker - going North down LSD, Wacker exit, lower Wacker, right on Columbus - instead of Upper Wacker, to Michigan, to Illinois (oops that's upper, U-turn), to Ohio to Columbus.

Obvs I went upper because I was scared of what was down there and didn't trust anything at all about the directions from GPS. Pax was nicely like wtf u doin?

And I'm like

Idk maam. Idk.

Please don't live the life of a noob. I'm guessing it make take you 1-3 months. Even less if you drive very frequently around the loop. You will get better as you drive and experiment driving around every street. Trust me, you'll get to a point where it will come second nature to you and you won't need GPS very often if you know a street and know a shortcut. There's nothing bad down there.... I would say the City of Chicago Auto pound at lower lower wacker is the bigger monster in compared to the bums down there. At least they don't rape you as bad as the city does.

 

blackjackross

Well-Known Member
To get to know the Loop, Lower Wacker, Lower Michigan, Upper and Lower Illinois, Stetson, Upper Columbus, Lower Columbus, Lower Lower Columbus, Lower Lower Randolph, Quincy, Canal also known as Riverside....to know which streets are faster and when...to know how the Loop behaves morning, lunch, afternoon rush, and these times when it rains or snows...and then to master and memorize EVERY ALLEY in the Loop to use as shortcuts and when they are prone to being blocked, memorize every vanity building address and the real locations of lobby entrances and if those entrances are locked after 6pm, and then again master the time of day and congestion levels that dictate what route is best, and simply scanning ahead changing your route by playing the green stoplights...and doing it all without even thinking about it.
...nevermind when there is an accident, the bridges are up, movie filming, parade/protest, falling ice street closures, Critical Mass bike rides, or simple construction changes...

Look...it takes years of driving it every day...eating, breathing, and sleeping it.
Just be glad you weren't driving the Loop during the two Wacker Drive rebuild projects or when Obama's pre-presidential motorcade was a daily thing.

Don't worry about it...you're just never going to get the opportunity to experience every scenario or use these elite tactics using the rideshare platform, so don't try to. Navigation and simply asking the pax how they'd go will work 99% of the time for you. Wasn't that easy?

Traffic and pax being late is NOT YOUR PROBLEM. Get pax from point A to point B following the rules of the road. Don't go out of your way and risk an accident/getting a ticket for a couple dollars. Pax are not your friends and you owe them nothing. You'll never see them again in your life after the ride.
Thx. Great advice. I'm a Chicago native----while I was gone from the city for over 30 years during my career, it took a few weeks to get reoriented. I made a few recon trips around every nook and cranny on Lower Wacker Drive to get back to speed on it. Also, you need to MEMORIZE the one-way orientation of every major downtown street, where you are allowed to turn at intersections at rush hour, and where they change from one-way to two-way and vice versa. That will help you negotiate around choke points.

Know where the construction zones are----they are the number #1 cause of traffic delays in the downtown area. Learn to navigate your way around them. Otherwise, that $6 ride will end up costing you.

If you decide to accept a pool ride in downtown, do not accept additional riders. It's a fool's errand to try to chase down another rider in downtown. Not worth it.

Also, know when to ignore GPS when it tells you to get on the downtown expressway ramps and then get off at the next exit. That usually requires you to traverse four lanes in heavy traffic within a 1/4 mile . Try doing that in traffic and you will surely end up getting into a accident. Know the alternate routes. An experienced driver can pull that off from 2AM-6AM on weekends----though you need to watch out for motorcycles speeding through the Hubbard Cave as they like to crank it up in that area late at night. Tough to spot them going in excess of 100MPH.

Use the diagonal streets like Clybourn, Elston, Grand Avenue, Archer, Ogden. They can make traversing the city a lot easier. Avoid Milwaukee Avenue, its a traffic trap--- unless you are working the 00-0400 bar closing boost zone. Get familiar with the boulevards----Augusta, Sacramento, Logan, etc. No buses, trucks or shopping areas to slow down traffic.

Use Ashland and Western Avenues to make longer N/S trips on the north side. They are both wide, especially Western Avenue after the recent upgrade.

I've been driving Uber going on 3 years and am still learning areas of the city that I did not normally travel in---particularly the southside and southshore areas.

Your last paragraph is spot on. Riders are not your friends. You are not responsible for your riders' time management issues. Just get them safely from point A to point B and "have a nice day". No one should give a rat's ass about getting 5 stars or 1 stars. It's a meaningless metric.

If your main concern is getting Driver Badges for your "Conversation" or being an"Entertaining Driver" then you are a fool and are driving for the wrong reasons. You are not responsible for keeping your rider entertained----this isn't a Caribbean cruise ship. If it's conversation you crave, go to your local neighborhood tavern and shoot the breeze to your hear's content. Or go to an open mike night at a comedy club. You never know, you might be a budding "entertainer".
 
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quesie

Well-Known Member
I used to work downtown and I walked all over and rode my bike but I didn't drive it. Totally different beast.

I know I'm &%[email protected]!*ing myself out of a lot of trips because I hesitate to go over where the GPS loses its mind. I've made a couple of loops around &%[email protected]!*er Dr. but don't really feel comfortable. I'm also hesitating to drive super early in the morning because I'm worried someone will be in a hurry to get downtown to North South West Lower Alley Street and I'll get them lost.

Had a request today where it actually did make sense to go lower Wacker - going North down LSD, Wacker exit, lower Wacker, right on Columbus - instead of Upper Wacker, to Michigan, to Illinois (oops that's upper, U-turn), to Ohio to Columbus.

Obvs I went upper because I was scared of what was down there and didn't trust anything at all about the directions from GPS. Pax was nicely like wtf u doin?

And I'm like

Idk maam. Idk.
I grew up here and I learn something new everyday. I would also add to the above post, use common sense. Many GPS will insist that you pick up/drop off in an alley. This is almost always a very bad idea. Exceptions would be Alley-type streets like Garland Ct.
 
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Mad Medic

Well-Known Member
I used to work downtown and I walked all over and rode my bike but I didn't drive it. Totally different beast.

I know I'm &%[email protected]!*ing myself out of a lot of trips because I hesitate to go over where the GPS loses its mind. I've made a couple of loops around &%[email protected]!*er Dr. but don't really feel comfortable. I'm also hesitating to drive super early in the morning because I'm worried someone will be in a hurry to get downtown to North South West Lower Alley Street and I'll get them lost.

Had a request today where it actually did make sense to go lower Wacker - going North down LSD, Wacker exit, lower Wacker, right on Columbus - instead of Upper Wacker, to Michigan, to Illinois (oops that's upper, U-turn), to Ohio to Columbus.

Obvs I went upper because I was scared of what was down there and didn't trust anything at all about the directions from GPS. Pax was nicely like wtf u doin?

And I'm like

Idk maam. Idk.
Thought I knew the city well enough when I 1st started driving Uber cause I used to live in the city a very long time ago plus I knew how to get to all my favorite spots, you know, Soldier Field, Museums, Beaches, a few good restaurants or clubs.

Turned out I didn't know crap about the huge huge city of Chicago, other than the very little I actually knew from my very small world.

Yeah, knew some spots, knew the highway system pretty good (except using 90 or LSD as shortcut routes) knew the basic N-S and E-W streets but I soon realized their was way more I didnt know then I'd thought I knew. Who knew Chicago had "Little India?" Not me, until Uber.

I lived south side city as a child and into my late 20s. I guess I thought I really knew the "city" because I'd head north on the Ryan and it'd get us to where we wanted to go. Turns out I knew (know) the south side very well, west side pretty decent, actually the far eastside ok, Taylor St., little village,some of the Loop and very little of the north side.

Before Ubering I always referred to myself as a city guy. It's been 20 years now since I've moved to the suburb of Plainfield. Ubering made me realize pretty darn quick that I was no longer that city guy. Somehow I turned into one of those- a suburbinte. Took me a little time just to get my bearings back. Took longer to realize their was (still is) a whole lot of Chicago I did not know.

I started Ubering in the burbs but all Uber roads lead to the city. I used to get a pax to the city and if somewhere I wasn't familiar with, I'd cut the app off until I got back to an area I knew. That sucked, too many dead miles.

Then I purposely did Chicago for three weeks straight 6 nights a week to become much more familiar with it. Less traffic roads until dawn helped a lot.

Never Ubered the city during morning rush hours. Once I'd get the 4am or 5am trip to the airport I'd work my way back home.

I actually loved learning the city more. Each trip I'd be amazed at some new condo development I'd see in what were once crap areas. Didnt even see the new Trump hotel until after Ubering, it was that long since Ive been to that part of the city.

One thing that I did with my pax (and still will if in a jam) is that I was honest and direct with them. I had no problem striking up a little conversation by saying "hello I started out tonight driving in Naperville near where I live but the Uber app led me here to you in the city" 99% of the time my pax would be awesome about it. 98% would ask me where was Plainfield at cause seems they dont know. They've heard of Naperville though.

Regarding doing Uber downtown in the morning, I was the same way, too timid to do it when everyone in a rush to get to work.

What changed it for me was simple. It was economics. Driving the midnight shift your always driving for regular rates or some little 1.3 or 1.4 boost. Usually to get 1.3 or 1.4 you gotta be by Humbolt Park area after 3am. Downtown always regular rates and Lincoln Park or Lakeview either regular, 1.1 or 1.2 at the most.

I would catch a little surge sometimes after a Cubs game, concert or some other events but that never lasted into dawn, much earlier would end.

Downtown does suck at 7am, 8am with all the traffic but one day I did it, caught surge and realized I made more $$$ in 4 trips then I did at other times doing nine trips.

I did it again. Then again and then again. I am by nature a night person but did learn that I could make more money by not going towards home before the morning rush.

I no longer consider myself a noob but I also know I'm far from the experience many other drivers have and the one thing they have in common is that they drive smarter, not longer. I'm learning how to get better at that now, suggest you focus on that as well. That includes downtown in the day time, good airport runs, not chasing surge but being there when it happens. I just happened to learn it happened when and where I wasnt so I changed my shift times and locations some.

I'll still do a 1.8 or 1.9 Boost before I chase a 1.3 surge. Used to take any ping came my way. That would end up with one long ride and out of the boost area so unable to catch a 2nd.

A little different now. Today for example there was 1.9 Boost 7am to 10am Humbolt Park area and other easily traveled roads. Downtown or Near North side had 1.1 going.

It still comes down to luck sometimes over skill but now I kinda knew where to be in that 1.9 zone to get the nurse going to Rush to work and catch another pax in the 1.9 zone instead of getting a pax going to Berwyn. Little better odds now getting that 1.9 fare headed to the loop and then maybe be in the loop when it does surge to something decent.

Today I got lucky and I think some also has to do with starting to be a smarter driver.

Even though Boost was 1.9 in the zone I was in this morning, I saw how many people were in the streets (cause now I know where to be in the grid) but I stayed off line until I was positioned where I wanted to be. Saw that downtown was starting to surge this morning, saw the heat map getting wider and more red.

Stayed where I was in my 1.9 zone (but where I wanted) and then felt the surge would spread to there as other drivers raced for the loop surge. Then the 1.9 zone was at 2.4 the 2.7, 3.1, 3.5 and then my fixed location hit 3.7 so I went back on line and took it.

Got her to the loop at surge, then caught surge in the loop.

Long post and I'm sorry. I could go on as well. I'm not bragging how I did well today or how I'm starting to do better.
I am proud though that I've been learning how to drive a little bit smarter and not as long as I used to in order to make the same amount.

It's tough to make decent money doing this. I've done the12- 13 hour driving shifts, only to make $100 so learning to do that in 6 hours will make you a better driver.

I owe thanks to this forum somewhat for learning how to do this. I am most proud that I never logged on as a noob and asked the forum to tell me all the tips, tricks and where all the hot spots are.

GO FOR IT! Get your car down in the loop for that AM rush hour of people needing to get to work. You mentioned about being a little bit afraid. Don't be. Each ride you give, each area you drive and when you drive will provide you more and more insight as how to get better at this and earn more per hour.

Also, if you haven't really really read this forum in detail - do it! There are over 300 pages of thread topics that if you weed out the little petty stuff or sarcastic comments, will provide you with a wealth of knowledge.

Good Luck with the morning commuters!
 

isosconfig

Active Member
First tip: Do Delivery!! This way you can actually get paid to learn loop & lower wacker without pax breathing down your neck. Lower wacker is scary at first but within a week or two you'll see it's pretty simple as long as you're always aware of your.....

Simply the best intel on the forum--word for word.

Dooood, you forgot to mention ITS FUN---once you know---bank those curves at 70MPH. God, I love to drive!
 

blackjackross

Well-Known Member
Thought I knew the city well enough when I 1st started driving Uber cause I used to live in the city a very long time ago plus I knew how to get to all my favorite spots, you know, Soldier Field, Museums, Beaches, a few good restaurants or clubs.

Turned out I didn't know crap about the huge huge city of Chicago, other than the very little I actually knew from my very small world.

Yeah, knew some spots, knew the highway system pretty good (except using 90 or LSD as shortcut routes) knew the basic N-S and E-W streets but I soon realized their was way more I didnt know then I'd thought I knew. Who knew Chicago had "Little India?" Not me, until Uber.

I lived south side city as a child and into my late 20s. I guess I thought I really knew the "city" because I'd head north on the Ryan and it'd get us to where we wanted to go. Turns out I knew (know) the south side very well, west side pretty decent, actually the far eastside ok, Taylor St., little village,some of the Loop and very little of the north side.

Before Ubering I always referred to myself as a city guy. It's been 20 years now since I've moved to the suburb of Plainfield. Ubering made me realize pretty darn quick that I was no longer that city guy. Somehow I turned into one of those- a suburbinte. Took me a little time just to get my bearings back. Took longer to realize their was (still is) a whole lot of Chicago I did not know.

I started Ubering in the burbs but all Uber roads lead to the city. I used to get a pax to the city and if somewhere I wasn't familiar with, I'd cut the app off until I got back to an area I knew. That sucked, too many dead miles.

Then I purposely did Chicago for three weeks straight 6 nights a week to become much more familiar with it. Less traffic roads until dawn helped a lot.

Never Ubered the city during morning rush hours. Once I'd get the 4am or 5am trip to the airport I'd work my way back home.

I actually loved learning the city more. Each trip I'd be amazed at some new condo development I'd see in what were once crap areas. Didnt even see the new Trump hotel until after Ubering, it was that long since Ive been to that part of the city.

One thing that I did with my pax (and still will if in a jam) is that I was honest and direct with them. I had no problem striking up a little conversation by saying "hello I started out tonight driving in Naperville near where I live but the Uber app led me here to you in the city" 99% of the time my pax would be awesome about it. 98% would ask me where was Plainfield at cause seems they dont know. They've heard of Naperville though.

Regarding doing Uber downtown in the morning, I was the same way, too timid to do it when everyone in a rush to get to work.

What changed it for me was simple. It was economics. Driving the midnight shift your always driving for regular rates or some little 1.3 or 1.4 boost. Usually to get 1.3 or 1.4 you gotta be by Humbolt Park area after 3am. Downtown always regular rates and Lincoln Park or Lakeview either regular, 1.1 or 1.2 at the most.

I would catch a little surge sometimes after a Cubs game, concert or some other events but that never lasted into dawn, much earlier would end.

Downtown does suck at 7am, 8am with all the traffic but one day I did it, caught surge and realized I made more $$$ in 4 trips then I did at other times doing nine trips.

I did it again. Then again and then again. I am by nature a night person but did learn that I could make more money by not going towards home before the morning rush.

I no longer consider myself a noob but I also know I'm far from the experience many other drivers have and the one thing they have in common is that they drive smarter, not longer. I'm learning how to get better at that now, suggest you focus on that as well. That includes downtown in the day time, good airport runs, not chasing surge but being there when it happens. I just happened to learn it happened when and where I wasnt so I changed my shift times and locations some.

I'll still do a 1.8 or 1.9 Boost before I chase a 1.3 surge. Used to take any ping came my way. That would end up with one long ride and out of the boost area so unable to catch a 2nd.

A little different now. Today for example there was 1.9 Boost 7am to 10am Humbolt Park area and other easily traveled roads. Downtown or Near North side had 1.1 going.

It still comes down to luck sometimes over skill but now I kinda knew where to be in that 1.9 zone to get the nurse going to Rush to work and catch another pax in the 1.9 zone instead of getting a pax going to Berwyn. Little better odds now getting that 1.9 fare headed to the loop and then maybe be in the loop when it does surge to something decent.

Today I got lucky and I think some also has to do with starting to be a smarter driver.

Even though Boost was 1.9 in the zone I was in this morning, I saw how many people were in the streets (cause now I know where to be in the grid) but I stayed off line until I was positioned where I wanted to be. Saw that downtown was starting to surge this morning, saw the heat map getting wider and more red.

Stayed where I was in my 1.9 zone (but where I wanted) and then felt the surge would spread to there as other drivers raced for the loop surge. Then the 1.9 zone was at 2.4 the 2.7, 3.1, 3.5 and then my fixed location hit 3.7 so I went back on line and took it.

Got her to the loop at surge, then caught surge in the loop.

Long post and I'm sorry. I could go on as well. I'm not bragging how I did well today or how I'm starting to do better.
I am proud though that I've been learning how to drive a little bit smarter and not as long as I used to in order to make the same amount.

It's tough to make decent money doing this. I've done the12- 13 hour driving shifts, only to make $100 so learning to do that in 6 hours will make you a better driver.

I owe thanks to this forum somewhat for learning how to do this. I am most proud that I never logged on as a noob and asked the forum to tell me all the tips, tricks and where all the hot spots are.

GO FOR IT! Get your car down in the loop for that AM rush hour of people needing to get to work. You mentioned about being a little bit afraid. Don't be. Each ride you give, each area you drive and when you drive will provide you more and more insight as how to get better at this and earn more per hour.

Also, if you haven't really really read this forum in detail - do it! There are over 300 pages of thread topics that if you weed out the little petty stuff or sarcastic comments, will provide you with a wealth of knowledge.

Good Luck with the morning commuters!
Mad Medic, it's refreshing to see someone speak honestly about what it takes to achieve little bit of success at this game. Your points made me look back at my own driving experience. I thought I knew the city but also came to the realization that I knew jack shit about the south side----the opposite of your situation. I was pretty familiar with the North and West sides. Driving with Uber really opened up my eyes and cleared up the common misconceptions of the south side for this northsider. Its a vast part of the city and it's surrounding suburbs. I learn something new on every single trip there.

I like your comment about needing a little luck on top of skill------so true when Uberin'g as well as in the rest of life's little moments. I considered myself a pretty experienced and skilled soldier. But I've always known that the bullet with my name on it could take me out at anytime.

Thx for sharing your thoughts.
 
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