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Not surging in a small(ish) town when zero drivers available?

Discussion in 'Surge' started by mattadams, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. mattadams

    mattadams Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    Thought I would run this by the experts.
    I live in Longmont, Colorado... home to about 80,000 people. We have several uber drivers in town, and not super busy, but fairly regular uber customers in the town as well. With winter setting in, I think a lot of the regular ubers aren't doing it as much, and there often exists a situation where there are zero drivers in town. When there are zero drivers, it never surges. Even when Denver (about 45 minutes away) was solid red, with surges as high as the high 8's, boulder (about 15 minutes away) was surging in the 6's and 7's, Longmont wasn't surging at all.
    In theory, there HAD to be people in Longmont looking for ubers... but they brought up the app, it said no drivers in the area, and that was that. They couldn't get a ride. Because they couldn't actually request the ride, apparently Uber didn't know there was enough demand, and didn't surge.
    I know if there had been a decent surge, I'd have been willing to risk my life and my vehicle at least a little bit more and get out there... but for a $3-4 fare (what many of them end up being around here) not really interested in taking the risk.
    Anyone else noticed a similar trend? In bigger towns this is never really an issue, there are always SOME drivers out there.
     
    tohunt4me likes this.
  2. Mears Troll Number 4

    Mears Troll Number 4 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orlando
    Driving:
    Taxi
    Yeah that's pretty standard... The system can somehow recognize between there being NO drivers and not enough drivers. Out here in Orlando in the early morning (4-8 AM) there are just no cars in vast areas of the service map, and relatively few people calling. So the passengers get "no driver available" instead of a surge because there is only a small number of passengers even wanting rides, and surging it won't even help either (as there are still no drivers anywhere near there, nor will a 1.5 or even 2X surge drag drivers out of the tourist areas and out to the suburbs for a canceled trip).

    Then they call a taxi who actually shows up in 10-15 minutes and takes them on a trip to the airport that costs 3X-4 times as much as an uberX would.

    Life's unfair, and uber's system doesn't handle small numbers of people very well at all.
     
    grams777 and tohunt4me like this.
  3. ZTripped

    ZTripped New Member

    Location:
    Boulder
    I feel my night was a bust too. I Ztripped Longmont from 7pm-1 am. It was kinda dead at 7:00(for Ztrip dispatch and it looked like boulder was saturated with all drivers from all services. I saw many fleet rentals on the road with Uber and Lyft Beacons all night) I Drove the 20 minutes from Boulder to Longmont to get a fare no one wanted in Boulder and no Ztrips in longmont at that time. It was my second day driving and I just wanted to throw the dice. I pickup a couple of construction workers(the fare that got me out to longmont) and took them to their hotel in Firestone- 9 miles $23.00 with 4 tip(doesn't include the 10 miles to longmont or the 15 minutes I waited off the clock for them to park their work truck. From 8.00-11:45 I took 6 trips about 5-7 in fares with a couple of 5.00 dollar tips and some 3.00's no one gave me less than ten and they all paid cash which was very cool. I feel I should have definitely left Longmont earlier but Longmont folks definitely appreciated some one willing to work. At 12:30 I deadhead back to Boulder. I had waited from 11:45 to 12:30 with the hope of a Breaker's customer would need that ride she said she needed to to Gunbarrel. Of course that never happened and by then 4 other Z-trippers were in Longmont and no more fares. I assume they came out because Boulder was dead. I get back to Boulder and go to the cab stand and it's empty of PAX. I get lucky and immediately get a dispatch fare back to Longmont. Woohoo at least I got paid for that trip, 42.00 including a 3 dollar tip. Made the same driving one trip to Longmont in 45 minute round trip than what I made in about 4 hrs in Longmont. Deadhead back to Boulder by 2:00 for the bar close. No line at the cab stand with 4 cabs waiting(Back in 2012 I waited 2 hrs for a cab, the line of cabs was 15 deep at a time and the line of pax stretched around the block.) To cut a long story short I worked till 7:00am to make an additional 110.00 dollars. Total for the night was was appoximately 230. Subtract the 90 bucks to Ztrip for the lease and around 20 bucks in gas. So thats about 10 bucks an HR on NYE. No Thank You...
    To clarify I am under the rookie lease for the week so it was 30$ to lease the cab so I have pocketed a little more money but I am comparing it to what other drivers might have made. Today the lease will cost me 40 but I am too exhausted to work and it will be dead. So I am eating that $40. Tuesday the lease is $50 and by Friday the regular 90$ a day for the lease starts.
    It's a shame we all can't make a living wage in this industry on one of the busiest nights of the years. I definitely like the customers and the job, I just can't afford to do it for 10 an hr. Starting Tuesday I will be working mornings/afternoon for the Airport and Voucher fares. Hopefully that shift is a little more lucrative but I am not counting on it. Just curious with the Uber/Lyft folks- How much do you approximately have to spend each day to drive 10 hrs and how much do you make on average. I know Uber has an effective 25% cut, you might have a monthly car payment, and definitely have maintenance, wear and tear and depreciation on your car. Sadly I could find ZERO info on what Boulder our Denver ztrip driver are making. No forums or community.
    Hopefully no one is going to hate on me for being a "Cab" driver.
    Happy New Year UberPeople- Sincerely wishing you all the best in 2017.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  4. mattadams

    mattadams Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    Hi Ztripped, welcome! :)
    I personally don't hate anyone for doing what they think is right to earn a living, so long as it is legal and not predatory (trying to scam people, doing shoddy work to take advantage of customers, etc.)
     
  5. 1rightwinger

    1rightwinger Active Member

    Location:
    Fargo ND
    Driving:
    UberXL
    However triggers the search is a mystery. You would think it would be logical and you would think it truly would be based on supply and demand. But it is not. There is no transparency and it seems like they sometimes do it randomly even when it is not needed. And sometimes when it is needed in other words when there are a lot of ride requests and little drivers they do not implement it. So they don't seem to have a specific formula as far as I can tell. I am in a small Market to. And any smaller Market it is kind of easy to watch the patterns. And I have noticed some strange things on times where it should be searching but it is not. So to me I think they just turn it on sometimes when they want to obviously there are times where it is consistent like on weekend nights around bar close time we are always seen some search. But other times of the day or week nights it seems kind of random and not justified sometimes. The best thing you could do, I think. If you could get a hold of other drivers in Longmont. And talked everyone into staying offline. See if that causes a surge to be triggered.
     

  6. 1rightwinger

    1rightwinger Active Member

    Location:
    Fargo ND
    Driving:
    UberXL
    mattadams, you are in Longmont. If you are not seeing action there why don't you take the 50 minutes and drive down to Denver area for a long shift during a busy time and hit some surges in Denver? those areas are close enough I would think that Uber would allow you to operate in Denver. if not you may need to meet some special requirements and then be added to Denver. The only way Uber is worth it in most markets is by 1) getting in on some surge rides 2) getting tips. you could do that in Denver
     

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