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New with questions

Discussion in 'People' started by KBecks, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. KBecks

    KBecks Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wi
    Hi Everyone, I'm KBecks and I am getting started with Uber in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On Friday I set up the application and yesterday I worked on trying to make my car presentable (more on that later). I have several questions and would love to hear from experienced Uber or Lyft people. Thanks!

    1. I drive a 2007 Honda Odyssey minivan. I have 3 kids who are just out of the big bulky car seats. We have not been very clean with our car. I am wondering how clean the car should be for Uber. It's currently at some level between disgusting and brand new...
    ---> The back bench seat edge is crusty and the fabric is not soft. I could get the car professionally detailed, I could soak the heck out of it and vac it, or I could get a blanket to put over the back bench with cutouts for the seatbelt receptors.
    ---> The back bumper is not perfect. It has paint issues and a crack in the corner. It's not horrible looking but definitely not perfect and definitely noticeable. The car has a few dings and paint scrapes that are minor to moderate. I would have to get a new bumper or leave it as is. (I'm thinking leave it for now and upgrade after making some money.)
    ---> The carpet floor mats are destroyed. I could try to clean them but I'm thinking of buying new car mats, either rubber or new carpet.
    ---> The kids put stickers on the back windows and I need to get those off.
    ---> Not an appearance issue, but I am thinking of getting audio input to the stereo, this is for my own enjoyment as much as anybody else.

    I could spend like $1,000 to make the car nicer. Would you recommend any of this? The car is less gross than it was on Friday but it needs more work. It will never be a new car. I think it will appear as nice as a taxi after some refreshing

    My car is not worth a lot of money (maybe $6k-$7k) and that is why I feel it may be good to use it for rideshare work. In fact, if this car gets older and has trouble, I might purchase a similar depreciated vehicle if I like driving for rideshare.

    Questions:
    --> Do you think the bumper is a big issue?
    --> Do you think a blanket will work on the back bench?
    --> Would you buy new carpet mats? rubber/plastic or new carpet?
    --> Any tips for cleaning car upholstery or removing stickers by yourself?
    --> Any other car tips?

    2. Motivation to drive / Scheduling -- I am considering driving to make more money for my family, to become financially independent and afford some extras for the kids, possibly take a little weight off my husband. I think I will drive after the kids are in bed -- around 9 p.m. to midnight -- or I could try driving in the early mornings (not bar close) but 5 a.m. - 7 a.m. Tuesdays are my day off, and I could drive anytime on Tuesdays. Otherwise I want to be around for my family and kids. Does part time driving work for you?

    3. Smaller market driving -- I think that Milwaukee is a smaller market but I'm not sure. What's it like in the medium size cities? Will I even get rides?

    4. What else do I need to know? What am I missing?

    Thanks so much,
    KBecks
     
  2. krystinacore

    krystinacore New Member

    Location:
    west philly
    Driving:
    UberX
    I would get your car as clean as possible. I get a car wash and do a quick vac before any weekend shift - if you're driving at night, especially once people are already tipsy, theyre going to be less likely to notice if your car is dented or not in great shape. I always have vanilla air fresheners and clean seats, which leads to tons of comments and compliments about how nice my mini van is. I assume this leads to good ratings!

    I'm in Philly and Monday or Friday are good days for 5:30-9:30AM driving, because people are headed to the airport. We aren't allowed to pick up from the airport here, but its very close to the city so its not the end of the world & PAX are always in a good mood or tired aka quiet :)

    I've driven pretty much every shift when I was between jobs and it holds true that weekend nights are the best - we also have a decent weekend brunch shift and Thursday night thanks to colleges in Philly. If you're prepared to drive in inclement weather, then you'll do even better.
     
  3. Another Uber Driver

    Another Uber Driver Moderator Moderator

    Location:
    See avatar
    Driving:
    UberTAXI
    If you drive a hooptified, dirty car, you will get lower ratings which will lead to your de-activation.

    I know, these passengers are paying bus rates, but that does not stop them from expecting scrape, bow and kowtow shiny limousine service.

    1. The car must be clean.

    2. Do not use the blanket. The customers will figure it out. Clean, or cause to be cleaned the seat until it is de-crustified and all stains are gone.

    3. I would have to see the bumper to answer that.

    4. Buy new floor mats.

    5. Remove the stickers from the windows, bumpers and sides of the vehicle.

    6. Stereo upgrades may or may not help. If your enjoyment is the main purpose, go for it.

    7. The purpose for which you want to do this likely will work. TNC driving is fine if you need a little extra money to pay a few bills, pay for the children's Christmas, or pay for the boy's hockey equipment or the girl's track suit. If you need a little cash flow, it works for that, as well. Do keep in mind that while more than one business has survived tough times on cash flow, it is only a stopgap plan of action. Eventually, things come due. If you think that this will make you "financially independent", it will not happen, not doing this, it will not.

    I work in a large market. I stay busy. Still, I do this only enough to stay in the game. There is more money in the taxi. I will do TNC on days that I know that it will be slow for the cab. The Jewish Holy Days are here. Monday will be slow for the cab. I will UberX on Monday. It will be the first time in two weeks. When the Day of Atonement comes, I will UberX on that day. The other days, it is the cab.
     
  4. bluedogz

    bluedogz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/Wilmington/Philly
    Driving:
    UberX
    I only drive Saturdays, so I feel you as far a part-time goes. As far as questions:

    --> Do you think the bumper is a big issue? NO. END OF STORY.
    --> Do you think a blanket will work on the back bench? PROBABLY, ESP. IF YOU ADMIT YOU HAVE KIDS. HERE IN BALTO., UBER PASSENGERS SEEM PRETTY UNDERSTANDING.
    --> Would you buy new carpet mats? rubber/plastic or new carpet? I BOUGHT RUBBER ONES ON AMAZON, CHEAP CHINESE ONES FOR LIKE $30. THAT WAY YOU CAN HOSE THEM OFF FAST AND NOT CARE.
    --> Any tips for cleaning car upholstery or removing stickers by yourself? FEBREZE FEBREZE FEBREZE. STICKERS? UNLESS THEY'RE OFFENSIVE I WOULDN'T BOTHER- IF THEY BUG YOU POINT A HAIR DRYER AT THEM FOR 5 MINUTES THEN SCRAPE WITH A RAZOR BLADE.
    --> Any other car tips? JUST MAKE THE VAN NOT GROSS. VACUUM UP THE CHICKEN NUGGETS AND FRENCH FRIES, SCRUB UP THE KIDDIE PUKE, AND FEBREZE FEBREZE FEBREZE.
     
  5. KBecks

    KBecks Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wi
    Thanks so much for the replies. The car looks better today than yesterday, and I will work on the carpet more. I am hoping to get the back seat in better shape but it may take a lot of water and vac to work out the crustiness. I need a crevice tool to really get in the edges around the seats. Still I de-gunked a lot and with some extra wipe downs it should look good. I might be able to salvage the floor mats. Again it will be a lot of water and stain remover to see if I can revitalize them. I'll post some pictures of the bumper and door scratches. The body work would be expensive, so I don't really want to do it if I don't have to.

    I would like to DIY the work now to make the care presentable for some trial runs so I can see if I even like driving before going in deep with it.

    What is TNC??

    I might do inclement weather *if* I can get snow tires on the van. I've never driven with snow tires but I hear that they are the best for winter driving. I've lived in Wisconsin my whole life and I try to drive smart, which includes not being stupid about too fast and staying home in the worst storms. Do you think that the drives would pay for the snow tires?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Another Uber Driver

    Another Uber Driver Moderator Moderator

    Location:
    See avatar
    Driving:
    UberTAXI
    Transportation Network Company, such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar. It is really a fancy term for an unlicenced and unregulated discount cab company that has to use a funny name because "arrangements" have been made so that it is not subject to the same regulation to which cab companies are subject. The officials had to come up with a different name to justify and cover up allowing the "arrangements" to be made for all of this.

    Minnesota drivers would have a different opinion about the last quoted statement.
     
  7. RainbowPlate

    RainbowPlate Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    You realize that:

    1. The vehicle will age out in less than two years.
    2. Non-sedan vehicles are subject to "special review."
    3. If any drivers are still being deactivated for low ratings, you'll be at the top of the list -- your vehicle sounds like a piece of crap.
    4. Even if you're not deactivated as your rating plunges (and it will), pax will cancel when then see a low-rated driver with a 9-year old minivan on the way.

    Of all the fantastical delusional dreams one can have, "I can make a crappy old van profitable as an UberX driver!" really ought not be one of them.
     
  8. KBecks

    KBecks Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wi
    "Minnesota drivers would have a different opinion about the last quoted statement." -- LOL!

    1. The vehicle will age out in less than two years.
    I might have moved on from driving in under two years -- why not give it a try?

    2. Non-sedan vehicles are subject to "special review."
    Tell me more about this -- I setup on Friday and I'm able to go online now with Uber. I went on for a few seconds and filled out the extra questions, put in a profile pic, etc. I had read something about needing an auto shop to look over the car, but I was not asked to do that yet.

    3. If any drivers are still being deactivated for low ratings, you'll be at the top of the list -- your vehicle sounds like a piece of crap.
    I am willing to see how it goes. There are worse things in life than getting fired from Uber, it seems. I'll post some pics. The van is good enough for my family, but I am not so sure of passenger expectations. Giving it a try may be the only way to find out.

    4. Even if you're not deactivated as your rating plunges (and it will), pax will cancel when then see a low-rated driver with a 9-year old minivan on the way.
    Do I make money from cancellations? :) I'm not renting out our *good car*!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  9. KBecks

    KBecks Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wi
    Of all the fantastical delusional dreams one can have, "I can make a crappy old van profitable as an UberX driver!" really ought not be one of them.

    I have better dreams than driving for Uber. This is just going to be a little side gig experiment. I will be somewhat content with $10/hour+ on my own schedule and terms, not expecting massive money out of it. If it's under $10/hour I'll drop it.
     
  10. Moo Moo

    Moo Moo Active Member

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Driving:
    UberX
    1. The vehicle will age out in less than two years.
    http://sanfrancisco.ubermovement.com/vehicle-transitioning/?rq=vehicle
    What is Vehicle Transitioning?
    Every time a rider takes a trip with Uber, we both work hard to make sure they have the best experience possible. That's why, every year, we transition older vehicles to different product categories or off the Uber platform altogether. Vehicle transitioning helps us create a consistent rider experience across all of our products.

    Here is the permanent yearly sunsetting schedule moving forward:
    • uberX: 15 year max vehicle age (ex: a 2000 can be used through 2015)
    • uberXL: 15 year max vehicle age (ex: a 2000 can be used through 2015)
    2. Non-sedan vehicles are subject to "special review."
    I have been driving a 2006 Toyota Sienna (leather seats and power doors) since Oct 2014 and I have never heard of this special review for non-sedan vehicles.

    3. If any drivers are still being deactivated for low ratings, you'll be at the top of the list -- your vehicle sounds like a piece of crap.
    If you were to be deactivated by Uber as a partner, you will not be "at the top of the list" because of the condition of your vehicle. As a new driver, be careful and treat all riders with respect because Uber will average your first 100 completed trips and if you under 4.60, you will be temporarily deactivated, until you pay $50 to attend a third-party 3-hour class on how to improve your Uber driver rating.

    4. Even if you're not deactivated as your rating plunges (and it will), pax will cancel when then see a low-rated driver with a 9-year old minivan on the way.
    I have had pax (passengers/riders) cancel on me 5-30 seconds after I accept the ride request. The riders could have cancelled the ride because they did not like my race (I am not Caucasian) or my driver rating (4.7). I have 2300 trips driving UberX and UberXL. The Uber rider app only shows the name of the driver, photo of the driver, model and make of vehicle, and license plate number of vehicle. I do not know whether the driver profile includes vehicle year. I have never had any rider complain to me or to Uber that my vehicle is a 2006 year vehicle. I try to wash and vacuum my vehicle every week.

    *****
    Lost and Found
    Tip: Be sure to ask your riders to double check to make sure they have not dropped or left anything valuable (cell phone, keys, wallet, purse) in your car before leaving. Try to check the floor of your vehicle between each ride so that if you do find items left by the previous rider, you can contact them and return said items right away. I have returned many items (iPhones, iPad, purses, and house/car keys) because I know I would frantic if I lost my valuable smartphone. You can accept money from the rider for returned items (reward money which I have accepted), but you cannot explicitly ask for money before arranging to meet or to deliver lost items because that would be considered extortion/blackmail and cause for immediate deactivation by Uber.

    ****
    Airport Runs
    KBecks, I drive riders from central Berkeley (near University of California campus) to Oakland Airport and I gross $26-$30 (UberX) and from UCB to San Francisco Airport ($45-$55 for UberX and $75-$5 for UberXL). The riders are automatically charged $3.15 for OAK and $3.85 for SFO. If I was you and I would contact Uber driver support about the official Uber policy for the Milwaukee Airport and I doubt you would need to pay $3 in person for each ride. I can tell you that I make $1.95 per mile for UberXL rides instead of $1.20 per mile for UberX. In Milwaukee you would make $1.95 per mile for UberXL and $1.00 for UberX.

    https://uberpeople.net/threads/pick-up-at-mke-airport.22887/
    Jul 7, 2015 by Pamela Freeman
    MKE airport pickups: I was informed my the sheriff at the airport that uber drivers can only pick up and drop off where the taxis and limos pick up and drop off. If a driver is caught picking up in arrivals they will get $250 ticket. The designated point is by the car rental return. Stay in the far right lane push the red button to lift the gate park by taxis. Go to office pay $3.
     
  11. KBecks

    KBecks Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wi
    Moo Moo, thanks for the clarifications, that's great info. :)

    I will need to look into the airport. I don't fly much or pick up guests so I'll need to check it out. When I have picked up people, they've discouraged sitting at arrivals for more than a few minutes and there is a loop to go around and come back. Mostly it seems they want to keep it less congested. I am totally unfamiliar with the taxi area and will need to learn that.

    More questions:

    ---> Do I need to put some sort of Uber sticker on my car?
    ---> I have a unique license plate. Any concerns?
    ---> Do you take any personal items when driving or keep any stuff in your vehicle??

    I posted on Facebook that I was preparing to drive with uber. A girl at the gym asked me about it and said that's so cool! Lol.
     
  12. KBecks

    KBecks Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wi
    Oh and should I consider Lyft? I refuse to put a mustache on my van.
     
  13. Realityshark

    Realityshark Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Area 51
  14. Fuzzyelvis

    Fuzzyelvis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    Get some seat covers. I got nice fh brand ones on amazon leatherette for $70. ***** to install but work great. And next car put them in BEFORE the kids. You should get some anyway, you'll like them regardless of if you uber or not.

    I have Weathertech floor liners. Work great. You may want to uber a bit before investing in those.

    Stickers need to go I woukd think.
     
  15. bluedogz

    bluedogz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/Wilmington/Philly
    Driving:
    UberX
    ---> Do I need to put some sort of Uber sticker on my car? CAN VARY BY LOCALITY; UBER WILL ADVISE YOU.

    ---> I have a unique license plate. Any concerns? ONLY IF IT'S OFFENSIVE.

    ---> Do you take any personal items when driving or keep any stuff in your vehicle?? MY CAR HAS ACCESSORY PORT INSIDE CENTER CONSOLE, SO PLUGGED IN THE SPARE PHONE CHARGERS I HAD LYING AROUND. PASSENGERS LOVE IT. PERSONALLY, I THINK THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF CANDY DISHES AND BOTTLED WATER ARE BS. ALSO, I KEEP AN OLD GOLF UMBRELLA-HAVE WALKED MORE THAN ONE WEDDING PARTY INTO A VENUE.
     
  16. Moo Moo

    Moo Moo Active Member

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Driving:
    UberX
    KBecks,
    KBecks,

    Until you get the Uber trade dress (Uber U in a clear plastic case with one side sticky for windshield adhesion), you can print a temporary U from the link below.
    In California, if an Uber driver is caught operating for Uber without displaying the Uber trade dress, the fine is $1,000. Other states have similar regulations for identification for the benefit of the riders and law enforcement.
    http://uber-static.s3.amazonaws.com/la_dops/Temporary Trade Dress - Uber vF.pdf

    Regarding personal items, don't listen to the naysayers on this forum regarding providing complimentary candy and bottled water for your riders. Many of my riders love my free Hi Chew candy, bottled water, and access to an auxiliary cable to play music from their smart phones. Some riders are not friendly and they could care less about the free candy, free water and music through my car speakers. These non-friendly riders are usually the ones that give me a rating of 3 or 4. I buy my Hi Chews candy at Costco and my Crystal Geyser spring water at Sam's Club so the cost is minimal compared to receiving a rating of 3 or 4 stars, worst yet a rating of 1 star from someone who is drunk or someone with a bad attitude.

    Because I drive many young college women around the University of California Berkeley, I always tell them that I do not drive off until they are safely inside their house, apartment, or dorm building. I give the women a sense of safety, they thank me for waiting, and I believe many of them do give me a 5-star rating.

    You had previously stated you have a husband, thus I assume you are a woman, be careful if you decide to drive at night or if you have request for pickups in "bad areas" of Milwaukee. You are not obligated to begin the ride if you have determined that your passengers are drunk or may vomit at the time of pickup.

    Good luck. We can't wait to read about your Uber driving experience in a new posting thread.
     
  17. poopy

    poopy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    SoCal
    Driving:
    UberX
    Yeah...

    Milwaukee is a buck a mile.
    Oakland/Berkeley a buck ten.

    With all that free-flowin' cash, maybe Kbecks can offer sponge baths along with the free candy and water.

    Moo moo you're raking in that bonus .10ยข, so you can up the ante a bit.
    How about a Starbucks enema? It's still warm out, so iced would be the preferred temperature.

    Us stupid naysayers just haven't figured out economics yet.

    Maybe in a few thousand more trips.
    o_O
     

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