Today is the day! Armed with my Uber stickers, driver app, and all the random supplies I purchased out-of-pocket, I set off for my new adventure. It was a Friday around 4pm that I switched the button on the driver app to accept rides. Eeps! As a female, I had all sorts of worst case scenarios running through my head, but off I went. For the most part Colorado is a pretty cool state, but we do still have some rough areas and with Uber becoming the solution for people of all walks of life, it runs the gamut on who you’ll drive that day.
My first passenger was a young man in jeans and a t-shirt that I picked up on the edge of a posh neighborhood. He needed to be taken a few miles into a less great neighborhood. We exchanged some pleasantries but for the most part he was busy on his cell phone. Admittedly I was super nervous and fidgety – should I talk to him, leave him be, would he know this is my first ride ever, and so forth. About $9 and 20 minutes later I dropped him off in a blue-collar area and clicked the button to accept my next passenger.
As a driver, you can just sit in one spot waiting for your next request or you can start driving towards areas you think could be more profitable. Not only am I more familiar with the central posh parts of Denver from my old consulting life, it also seemed like a lower risk area to test the waters on so I headed back. On my way, I got a request to pick up a guy from a mini mall on one of the main drags and take him all the way north to the light rail station. He was very pleasant and totally normal. I started to relax. Another $15 and 20 minutes later I dropped him off.
I decided to head back to the central posh parts and on the way got a request in a gentrifying but still nice neighborhood. It is interesting how with Uber until you click that the person is in your car you have no idea where they are going. Shortly after I accepted it, the phone range. They wanted to know if I was okay with taking a service dog. First, Uber does not allow me to say no, but more so, it’s the right thing to do so of course no problem! I pulled up to find out it was an airport run (yippee!). The dog was super chill and the accompanying couple were young professionals off on vacation. The service dog, well, I’m not really sure that was real but whatever he didn’t really shed and they were nice.
The airport run was around $24 and I got a re-match (yippee!). The re-match feature is really cool, if you can find a way to linger at the drop off for up to two minutes, if someone clicks Uber you’ll be the closest one and immediately get the next request. After clicking accept, I received a phone call. The lady wasn’t from Denver and wasn’t sure how to find the airport door number Uber assigned. Meanwhile the airport guy was trying to force me to do a roundabout (which would have cost her and me 10 minutes, so no thank you). It took a bit of convincing but as I was trying to navigate her over the phone to the door, I was able to get him to lay off.
She was a young woman heading into downtown to meet up with friends for the weekend. She hadn’t been to Denver in years, so I gave her a bunch of recommendations for things to do and places to eat. It was kind of fun feeling a bit like a tour guide. She was really nice and it was a fun conversation. 45 minutes later we got to downtown, meandering through the craze of ComiCon before dropping her at her hotel. Total was around $25. I set the destination to my home address and starting making my way back to home base. The destination feature makes it so that it only gives you rides that are heading toward your house so you don’t have to eat all the gas money getting home. There weren’t any takers.
In summary for a first day, I’d say everyone I met was super normal. The rides were consistently pinging back-to-back with little idle time. Getting the airport run with a re-match was huge. Today I made around $75 for 3 hours of work, spending $15 on gas. So roughly $20/hour. Though that doesn’t include the $50 I had to spend on the medical check, the $40 of gas to/from the Uber Hub to get setup, or the $30 worth of supplies. So in reality, I’m still in the red the -$65. Additionally it doesn’t account for the cost of the car and its insurance.
More to come!
PS – if you’re interested in joining Uber, you can use my link to get a sign-on bonus: https://partners.uber.com/i/sarac13944ui