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Why Driving for Uber Doesn't Worth It In Small Towns: A Case Study!

Kasra321

New Member
Hi Ubermates...

So, I just started driving for Uber. I live and drive in Davis, a small student Town near Sacramento, CA. And so far, my experience with Uber hasn't been so good. I like the fact that you get to meet new people, and small chats, etc... But in terms of income, it has really made me disappointed.

During the weekdays, on average I usually get around 1 ping per hour. So I ended up sitting at home, doing my own stuff and wait for a call.

As lots of students go bar-hopping and drinking, I thought I would have more Pax if I go out around midnight, and sure enough I had quite a few! In the period of 2.5 hours between 11:50pm-2:20am I got 10 pings, which is every 15min. I was getting a new rider a few minutes or immediately after I dropped off a Pax.

Out of 10 calls, 3 got cancelled which drove me crazy each time because I had almost arrived at the locations and had lost the opportunity to pick up somebody else instead.
Another Pax refused to get in my Car because I didn't have an Uber decal! Thanks Uber for not sending me one yet! That one was also cancelled.

As a result, I had 6 paying rides in 2.5 hours which is alright, but here's the catch of driving in a small town: The rides are so short, in fact many of them never exceed the minimum $4 fare!
Out of $4, $1 goes for safe ride. Then Uber takes its 20% share from the remaining $3. At the end of the day, you would earn $2.40 for a ride!

My earnings, in a rather busy night, was just shy of $18 for 2.5 hour, and I didn't even account for Gas and other costs!
I thought McDonald is exploiting their workers!

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.01.04 AM.jpg
 
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It used to be worth it when rates were $2/mile but now, not worth it, not to mention you will get basically 0 tips. I barely drive any more. Fairly easy to get the daytime guarantee though (which isn't saying much).
 

PT Go

Active Member
I understand your frustration. I am also in an area that seems to be similar to yours. With the price of gas being down so low, I have devised a new strategy that seems to work for me. I know Davis is somewhat of an isolated community, so I know that driving into the Sac area doesn't make much sense. I wish I could get a ping an hour. Some of the short hops added up can somewhat make a difference as your dead miles would be minimized. I work also out of my house, but I will sometimes, after dropping off a fare, find somewhere close to park and wait 10 - 15 minutes before changing location. I would think in Davis, that there's not a lot of drivers and since it's a fairly compact community, you would easily get pings.
Did you not get the Uber trade dress in your welcome kit? If you need to to, you could use Google images and print your own. Just needs to be aprox. 5 x 5. I would hate to see you get the CPUC fine of $1000 for not having it. I mounted mine on some white cardboard stock and I can just slide in-between my dash and windshield. Good Luck!
 

Kasra321

New Member
I understand your frustration. I am also in an area that seems to be similar to yours. With the price of gas being down so low, I have devised a new strategy that seems to work for me. I know Davis is somewhat of an isolated community, so I know that driving into the Sac area doesn't make much sense. I wish I could get a ping an hour. Some of the short hops added up can somewhat make a difference as your dead miles would be minimized. I work also out of my house, but I will sometimes, after dropping off a fare, find somewhere close to park and wait 10 - 15 minutes before changing location. I would think in Davis, that there's not a lot of drivers and since it's a fairly compact community, you would easily get pings.
Did you not get the Uber trade dress in your welcome kit? If you need to to, you could use Google images and print your own. Just needs to be aprox. 5 x 5. I would hate to see you get the CPUC fine of $1000 for not having it. I mounted mine on some white cardboard stock and I can just slide in-between my dash and windshield. Good Luck!
Thanks PT.
No I haven't received my welcome package yet. I definitely should print it out myself before i get a ticket!
I figured it's the best to work between 6am-8am and 4-6pm since some people are going to work or back home, and it's more likely to get a longer ride to Sacramento or Woodland. If I get lucky, I can hang around Sac to get a few more rides.

Cheers,
Kas
 

CJ ASLAN

Well-Known Member
Hi Ubermates...

So, I just started driving for Uber. I live and drive in Davis, a small student Town near Sacramento, CA. And so far, my experience with Uber hasn't been so good. I like the fact that you get to meet new people, and small chats, etc... But in terms of income, it has really made me disappointed.

During the weekdays, on average I usually get around 1 ping per hour. So I ended up sitting at home, doing my own stuff and wait for a call.

As lots of students go bar-hopping and drinking, I thought I would have more Pax if I go out around midnight, and sure enough I had quite a few! In the period of 2.5 hours between 11:50pm-2:20am I got 10 pings, which is every 15min. I was getting a new rider a few minutes or immediately after I dropped off a Pax.

Out of 10 calls, 3 got cancelled which drove me crazy each time because I had almost arrived at the locations and had lost the opportunity to pick up somebody else instead.
Another Pax refused to get in my Car because I didn't have an Uber decal! Thanks Uber for not sending me one yet! That one was also cancelled.

As a result, I had 6 paying rides in 2.5 hours which is alright, but here's the catch of driving in a small town: The rides are so short, in fact many of them never exceed the minimum $4 fare!
Out of $4, $1 goes for safe ride. Then Uber takes its 20% share from the remaining $3. At the end of the day, you would earn $2.40 for a ride!

My earnings, in a rather busy night, was just shy of $18 for 2.5 hour, and I didn't even account for Gas and other costs!
I thought McDonald is exploiting their workers!

View attachment 4487
Ouch! If I'm not mistaken, on a $4 fare, -$1 safe fee, -20% equates to roughly (-46% uber take) ...so you're technically giving away roughly 50% on those short trips. On a longer trip, lets say $12, it wont hurt as much with the -$1 && 20%
 

xr650r

Member
I am in Modesto Ca about 90 miles south from Sacramento.Population with surrounding towns about 300,000.Mostly blue collar working class people.The area is very spread out.I find Iam driving about %50-%70 of the time with no paying pax in back.Driving pax home to rural areas from downtown bars leaves you with an empty car on a dark road at 2;30am.The rate here before the pay cut was $1.70/mile.now its .85.I drove for 2 hours last friday night .After Uber's cut I got $19.62.I got lucky and made $15 in tips.I spy on local Uber and Lyft drivers with my wifes i-phone rider apps.Most of the local Uber drivers also drive for Lyft.I think most of them only run Lyft now.I have been watching them -more Lyft cars available with 0 cars for Uber.My opinion is that Uber was not designed for anybody to turn into it a business.It was thought of from an ecological point of view to reduce the amount of traffic.It works good in San Francisco but doesnt work out in BFE.If I could write some software that got income 24/7 I would .Uber is basically just some software hosted on the cloud.
 

PT Go

Active Member
I used to live In Modesto. Town is somewhat set up on a fairly square grid, but going from one end to the other is a pain. Going from the downtown McHenry to Briggsmore is horrible.
 

Kasra321

New Member
I am in Modesto Ca about 90 miles south from Sacramento.Population with surrounding towns about 300,000.Mostly blue collar working class people.The area is very spread out.I find Iam driving about %50-%70 of the time with no paying pax in back.Driving pax home to rural areas from downtown bars leaves you with an empty car on a dark road at 2;30am.The rate here before the pay cut was $1.70/mile.now its .85.I drove for 2 hours last friday night .After Uber's cut I got $19.62.I got lucky and made $15 in tips.I spy on local Uber and Lyft drivers with my wifes i-phone rider apps.Most of the local Uber drivers also drive for Lyft.I think most of them only run Lyft now.I have been watching them -more Lyft cars available with 0 cars for Uber.My opinion is that Uber was not designed for anybody to turn into it a business.It was thought of from an ecological point of view to reduce the amount of traffic.It works good in San Francisco but doesnt work out in BFE.If I could write some software that got income 24/7 I would .Uber is basically just some software hosted on the cloud.
Generally speaking, Lyft riders seem to be more friendly and personable. Most students are not tippy which is alright, I get that. But most mature passengers do appreciate the ride, and understand that that $4-5 isn't much and a leave a generous tip.
The catch is, there are not many Lyft riders and drivers in town. I asked a few passenger why they prefer Uber over Lyft, and they all said because they often can't find a driver with Lyft which makes it unreliable.

What I hate the most is how Uber is discouraging tipping and insist that the tip is calculated in the fare, which is a lie! I hope they at least include in-app tipping for Uber.
 

PT Go

Active Member
I have found the same thing. Having a small amount of Lyft drivers reduces the amount of riders and it could go the other way. Many of my Uber paxs and I have had some repeats, tip. I have had one lady that her car was in the shop one time and the other was she had a medical procedure done and tipped accordingly to the distance and fare. $10 & $5. I haven't had any tips from the Lyft rides I have done. I don't think Uber will ever do a tip in app as they would want a cut of it.
 

MATA CURA

Member
Ouch! If I'm not mistaken, on a $4 fare, -$1 safe fee, -20% equates to roughly (-46% uber take) ...so you're technically giving away roughly 50% on those short trips. On a longer trip, lets say $12, it wont hurt as much with the -$1 && 20%
Basically for UBER is better when a driver complete 20 -$4 rides rather then $80 one
On $80 ride
$80-$1 = $79 - 20% = $15,80 .. Uber makes $16.80
On 20 $4 rides
4×20 = $80 - $20 = $60 - 20% = $12 ... Uber makes $32
The best we all can do is stop driving till the change the rates to a better price where drivers can make some money .. It doesn't make any sense drive for that low price....
 

Brianross20

New Member
Hi Ubermates...

So, I just started driving for Uber. I live and drive in Davis, a small student Town near Sacramento, CA. And so far, my experience with Uber hasn't been so good. I like the fact that you get to meet new people, and small chats, etc... But in terms of income, it has really made me disappointed.

During the weekdays, on average I usually get around 1 ping per hour. So I ended up sitting at home, doing my own stuff and wait for a call.

As lots of students go bar-hopping and drinking, I thought I would have more Pax if I go out around midnight, and sure enough I had quite a few! In the period of 2.5 hours between 11:50pm-2:20am I got 10 pings, which is every 15min. I was getting a new rider a few minutes or immediately after I dropped off a Pax.

Out of 10 calls, 3 got cancelled which drove me crazy each time because I had almost arrived at the locations and had lost the opportunity to pick up somebody else instead.
Another Pax refused to get in my Car because I didn't have an Uber decal! Thanks Uber for not sending me one yet! That one was also cancelled.

As a result, I had 6 paying rides in 2.5 hours which is alright, but here's the catch of driving in a small town: The rides are so short, in fact many of them never exceed the minimum $4 fare!
Out of $4, $1 goes for safe ride. Then Uber takes its 20% share from the remaining $3. At the end of the day, you would earn $2.40 for a ride!

My earnings, in a rather busy night, was just shy of $18 for 2.5 hour, and I didn't even account for Gas and other costs!
I thought McDonald is exploiting their workers!

View attachment 4487
What is the population of your small town?
 

SacTownDood

Active Member
I avoid Davis like the plague. All min fares, spotty surges, no tips and rating hits because I didn't give a free pedicure with the avian water and caviar.

I will occasionally get pings from Davis while in downtown Sac...ignored.
 
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