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This is why you don't do Pool (or Line)

Discussion in 'Complaints' started by The Gift of Fish, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Everyone knows the axiom "only a fool does Pool" and different people have different opinions as to why it's not a good idea. But here, I'm going to show you, using numbers, why you should reject Pool (and Line) requests. Warning: mathematics will be used!

    The first reason why you should reject Pool is obvious - the rate difference. X pays more than Pool. In SF, X pays me $0.968 per mile and Pool $0.928. X pays me $0.176 per minute and Pool $0.12. But we need to look at the sizes of the individual differences between the rates to get the full picture. Look at the small difference between the per mile rate of X ($0.968) and Pool ($0.928) - Pool pays just 4% less than X. Now look at the difference between the per minute rate of X ($0.176) and Pool ($0.12) - the difference between them is huge - Pool pays 32% less per minute than X.

    Why did the geeks set only a small difference between the mileage rates and such a large difference between the time rates? Is it just some random thing? No, absolutely not. It is set this way in order to take into account an important difference between X and Pool - that of trip speeds, and therefore trip time.

    Given similar starting locations and end locations, X trips have a significantly higher average trip speed than Pool trips. Conversely, that means that Pool trips have a significantly lower average trip speed than X. Why is this? Simply because once we pick up an X pax from their residence/office/restaurant etc, we optimise our route and take the fastest route from the pickup to the destination. If the choice is between driving through 25 mph residential streets filled with stop sign after stop sign all the way from pickup to destination or a 65 mph freeway, we take the freeway. We all should know that we earn more in a given amount of time driving 65 mph than we do at 25 mph. And if the choice were between 25 mph and stop signs or a 45 mph inter-suburb main thoroughfare with timed lights, we'd take the main thoroughfare. However, with Pool, the driver's ability to optimise the route for highest possible average speed from pickup to destination is severely limited due to the need to divert from that route to stop to pick up additional passengers. There's also the fact that picking up additional pax means waiting for them, which further lowers the average trip speed.

    To demonstrate all of this, consider the following route. It starts at 6:00am on a Saturday and has one pickup and one dropoff and is a hypothetical Uber X trip. It starts in Brisbane and ends in downtown San Francisco. It is an 8.3 mile trip which takes 18 minutes. Average speed on this trip is 8.3/(18/60) = 28 mph. The speed is relatively high for a city drive because the 101 freeway can be used for most of the route.


    Now consider the same trip, with the same passenger, with the same starting point and the same destination. Only this time, the ride is a Pool ride, and two additional pax are added. The driver must come off the freeway after a few miles and go back onto surface residential streets to stop and pick up pax 2 at Colby St, and then through more residential streets to make another stop to pick up pax 3 at 19th street. Then he drives along more 25 mph streets to get back to the freeway. Pax 3's destination is deeper into downtown than pax 1's, and this will mean an extra mile of driving though downtown traffic compared with the X trip. As you can see, the trip distance for this Pool trip is 13.2 miles and the trip duration is 53 minutes. Average speed for this trip drops down to (13.2/(53/60)) = 15 mph. This is because the Pool trip could not make extensive use of the higher-speed route.


    Earnings for the X trip would be:
    Base - $1.60
    Miles - $8.03
    Time - $3.17
    Total - $12.80

    Earnings for the Pool trip would be:
    Base - $1.60
    Miles - $12.25
    Time - $6.36
    Add'l Pickups - $2.00
    Total - $22.21

    So the Pool trip earns more than the X trip. Great, right?! No. On the Pool trip, the driver would have earned $9.41 more, or 73% more money than the X trip. But the Pool trip would take him 53 minutes to complete instead of just 18 minutes on the X trip. That's an additional 35 minutes, or 194% more time. For only 73% more money.

    If the both trips started at 6:00am, the X driver would be done and ready for his next ride at 6:18am. He earns $12.80 in 18 minutes, or $42.67 per hour equivalent. The Pool driver, however, would not finish his Pool until 6:53am. He earns $22.21 in 53 minutes, or $25.14 per hour. That's a massive earnings drop of 42% on an hourly basis.

    As stated earlier, Pool hits drivers with a double whammy. Again, average trip speeds are consistently lower on Pool rides than on X rides because of the lower ability on Pool trips to optimize the route by taking faster roads. But there's also the fact that the time element of our pay becomes more important on lower-speed trips than it is on higher-speed trips. When you're gridlocked in traffic, what's paying you is the per-minute time rate much more than the distance rate. Again, Uber knows this perfectly well, and that is why their per-minute rate is so much lower on slower, longer duration Pool trips than it is on faster X trips. The double whammy of lower trip speed and significantly lower pay per minute really hits drivers by lowering their hourly earnings substantially, as above, from $42.67 to $25.14.

    The above example will hold true in any like-for-like comparison between X and Pool where the trips have similar start and end points, and where the route of the X trip can be optimized by taking higher-speed roads than the Pool trip would take. Which will be every route over a mile or so. The above example trips were programmed during non-peak traffic times but during rush hour, when Pool trips get even more bogged down battling through clogged downtowns to pick up or drop off several pax, the earnings differences between X and Pool are even greater.

    Some might say, Uber included, that a Pool trip could turn into a long chain and earn more money than an X trip. That's totally true - that's exactly what happened in the example above. The Pool driver did earn more on his trip than the X driver, but he took way more time to do the trip, resulting in a massive earnings-per-hour drop. And that's taking into account the $1 extra paid for each additional pickup. Uber uses smoke and mirrors to deceive its drivers; don't fall for the hoopla.

    In conclusion, the only way that Pool would ever be worth it for drivers compared with X is if Uber rates for Pool were higher than X, not lower, in order to compensate the driver for the lower speeds and routing inefficiency of Pool. I don't see that happening, ever. This is why drivers should reject Pool, and all the proof you need is right here.

    As for Lyft Line, that only hits the driver with a single whammy. The pay is once again the same on Line as it is on regular Lyft, but Line earnings are lower than regular Lyft earnings because of the other whammy; lower trip speeds. It's also a no-go.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    tomatopaste, JJ25, Alan Fink and 49 others like this.
  2. circle1


    First, thanks for this post! Second, it's a sucker's bet to pick up pax in notoriously traffic-jammed cities (as a habit, anyways), such as L.A., S.F., or Seattle. Finally, the things these TNCs do are calculated by the social hierarchy metrics described in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World. They love it when the Deltas and compromised Gammas sign up!
  3. Right, drivers know intuitively that, for example, it is not worth driving for base rates in rush hour. Reason: average trip speeds are lower and if there is no surge or boost to compensate for this then you earn less in rush hour gridlock than you do in free-moving traffic. It'd be great if drivers could also see that the exact same thing is true in Pool vs X earnings: a lower speed drive equals lower earnings. If drivers could understand this then no driver would do Pool and we would collectively be telling Uber that it is not acceptable.

    The way things stand now, though, not only has Uber convinced drivers to lower their speed/earnings efficiency so that Uber can raise its pax-per-ride efficiency, Uber has also persuaded drivers to accept lower rates while doing it!
    I should probably read more :oops:
  4. circle1


    . . . Just briefly, because I think it's an important concept for "Gigging Economy" workers to grasp;

    The novel, Brave New World, takes place in the World State city of London in AF 632 (AD 2540 in the Gregorian calendar), where citizens are engineered through artificial wombs and childhood indoctrination programs into predetermined classes (or castes) based on intelligence and labour.

    The intelligence caste in this futuristic society is:
    - Alphas [front-line managers/thinkers and leaders]
    - Betas [scientists and middle-managers]
    - Gammas [administration and skilled crafts]
    - Deltas [line-workers and semi-skilled crafts]
    - Epsilons [drones, essentially not capable of critical thought or independence]​
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    melusine3 and Rickshaw like this.
  5. nickd8775


    NJ / Philly
    This is why I Stop New Requests and go the long way. My goal is to make Uber lose money on my Pool rides. I only accept multiple people on Pool if the first ride is a high surge and the surge dropped for all subsequent riders. When a new rider is added, I look at the drop off order. If they're dropped before the current passenger, I cancel. I then check the surge of the second rider's pickup address on the passenger app. If the current surge is higher than the first surge, I cancel because I don't let Uber double dip with my car.
    2Cents, melusine3, bobby747 and 9 others like this.
  6. Paula K

    Paula K

    Los Angeles
    Wow, awesome post. I Uber part time and sometimes I will pick up pool riders because I work the bonuses (22 rides for $75 was this weeks Friday through Sunday bonus). Just wanting to get those rides in. Monday through Friday’s bonus used to be 30 rides for $75 or. $80. Last two weekday bonuses are 40 rides for $60. Not even worth it because I’ll never be able to pick up 40 rides in 4 days working p/t so now I won’t need the pool riders. You sold me. No more pool rides accepted from me!
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  7. I'm glad you found it useful. Your comments about the "x rides for $y" Quest bonuses are interesting. In the examples above, if the driver were pursuing a typical 25 rides for $75 Quest bonus, each pickup/dropoff would be worth $3 extra - the Uber X ride would have therefore been worth $12.80 + $3 = $15.80 and the Pool would have been worth $22.21 + $9 = $31.21. This would cause increases in revenue per hour - the X ride would then be equivalent to $52.67 per hour and $35.33 per hour for the Pool ride. The Quest bonus would close the gap between X and Pool revenue for the driver, but the Pool ride still pays 33% less on an hourly basis than the X ride. Uber obviously offers Quest as a carrot to drivers to get them to accept Pool. However, in order to persuade me to do Pool, the bonus would have to mean that I would earn more by doing Pool, not that I would merely lose less! As in, would you prefer to lose $10 or only $5? Neither; you'd rather make more money, of course. But Uber knows that drivers generally don't do the math, and that's why they don't see through Uber's smoke and mirrors.

    Lol, yeah, it is very satisfying when you look at the fare details in the app and you see that Uber paid you a lot more than they received from the pax.

    It's like a casino game when you see a high surge ping come in on Pool - do you take the offer or play on and hold out for more... If the surge is still building or I know it'll be around for a while then I'll be pretty confident that I'll very soon get an X ping at the same or higher surge than the Pool I just ignored. If the surge were breaking up though it would be tempting to take it and then stop new requests.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  8. gofry


    You should do an analysis of why you should be doing something other than drive for Uber.
  9. I don't think that I should be doing something other than Uber. If I thought that then I would be doing something other than Uber. o_O

    If you think I shouldn't be Ubering and you'd like an analysis of why you think that then you can do it yourself.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  10. Woohaa


    Los Angeles
    Pool is cool. Stay in school. Eat on a stool.
    Bro Olomide likes this.
  11. freddieman


    Pool riders are lower class too. They will be quick to downrate u on just about anything.
  12. Yam Digger

    Yam Digger

    Poo pax are the low-lifes of the rideshare ecosystem. That’s what public transit is for.

    I’m going to stop accepting Poo requests to see if there’s any improvement in my earnings. When I do accept Poo requests and they don’t get to my chariot in the required 2 minutes, I take perverse joy in No Show-ing them. :D:D
  13. corniilius


    In the black
    I haven't done a pool ride in months and it was only because I did df to get back home.
  14. Tnasty


    I did a few Sunday but I purposely gave them one star because most of them barely would even say hello to me. I just wanted to get the quest bonus done as quickly as possible before the crazy football drunks came out.
  15. But if you keep cancelling pool does uber deactivate your account
  16. There's no need to cancel them if you don't accept them.
  17. james725


    las vegas
    They rate drivers bad, they smell, they are harder on your vehicle, they never tip... just off the top of my head, they are certainly more reasons....
  18. Mido toyota

    Mido toyota

    You should go to school, and study data analytics, you will be good at it, and hopefully, you will be hired at uber, so you make stuff better to the rest of us
    RideShareJUNKIE likes this.
  19. Oscar Levant

    Oscar Levant


    I didnt even have to go through all that math pyrotechnics to reach the same conclusion. I know the rate is cheaper, and the mileage increase on any trip is not that much, but the average execution time is a lot longer, and that is why they I refuse them, not to mention twice as much wear and tear on my car's interior, over time.

    This scenario happens a lot on pool rides:

    I'll get a ping, and it's going to La Jolla, and to La Jolla from the airport ( the only place I really like to work ) is mostly free way miles.

    Second ping, going the Bahia in Mission beach, and though it's technically "on the way" the only practical way to get their is surface streets, and once you are at the Bahia, the only practical way to get to La Jolla from there is surface streets, the free way from there is way to far out of the way. So, now I'm going from the airport to La Jolla on surface streets, which takes me more than twice as long to execute the ride, for which I was paid about the same. The tiny bonus they are paying for extra riders does not compensate. Now, if they paid $5 or more, maybe, but it's a buck or I think even less than that, BFD.

    No more pool rides for me.
    melusine3 and Rickshaw like this.

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