Having noticed that the last few days of starting at 6am resulted in no rides until 6:30am, I figured I’d aim to leave my house at 6am instead of be ready on the road with gas by 6am. This morning the boost went from 6-9am in central Denver. I also received a quest from 7-10am where if I did 5 rides I’d get a $25 bonus. So here goes it, let’s try to bring in the money!
Shortly after my morning gas station stop, I picked up a couple in their 30’s from the apartments across from my apartment building (that’s always a little odd!). Still tipsy from the night before, the man hopped into the front seat with an unopened can of beer, the lady in the back seat. His first comment – it smells like smoke in here. UGH. The used car I could afford just happened to be previously owned by a smoker and no matter how hard I spray it (which is like 5x per day or more), I can’t get it gone completely. So frustrating as it’s my work asset for driving revenue. They peppered me with questions about Uber, my businesses, etc. I dropped them off 30 min later for a boosted $23.16.
I was now 10 miles south of the boost zone, so I started to make my way north in hopes to capitalize on the double fares. No such luck. A couple miles north I got a request near downtown Littleton from a man in his 50s who used a walker. He was having a bad day, a bad year he said, dialysis hadn’t been kind to him, and he’d had such problems in the early part of the year he had to relearn how to walk. It sounded like a tough road he was on. I got this feeling that his timeline was short and how blessed I was to have stumbled through his path, even if just for a few minutes. I dropped him off 6 min later for an un-boosted $3.80.
The boost time was dwindling and I tried to jam back up north, still 8 miles away from the boost. Again, no such luck. After I got a few miles north, a request came in from a guy who needed to go 8 miles south. OMG. He was fairly quiet and I dropped him off 16 min later for an un-boosted $7.57. Now stuck in the land of no rides, crazy far south, 16 miles from the boost zone, I maybe had a moment of frustration and silently begging Uber to stop sending me south. I needed the money and the money was north.
After dropping him off, I headed north. Goodness, please let me get back to the money. No such luck. Got a request from a guy in Littleton to go all the way out east to the Centennial airport area (close to where I dropped the guy yesterday for the Arapahoe Court House – i.e. the land of no Uber return rides). He was also a nice guy, his inlaws needed his car so he was going to take the bus but didn’t have change so after 40 minutes of trying to find a way to work, he summoned Uber so here we were. Nice enough. Dropped him off 20 min later for $7.99 un-boosted. At this point, I was about as far as you could get from central Denver. GRR.
I decided I didn’t care about a loss in fares or cost of gas for the next half hour, if I was going to make any money today I needed to hop the freeway and get back to urban Denver. As soon as I pulled off the freeway and barely re-entered the red bubble of money heaven (aka boost zone), I got a ping. All I could think was oh please let that be on the other side of the red bubble. It was so close to the edge I wouldn’t know until the ride was over. I picked the lady up from the I-Hop where she’d worked the graveyard shift. She had me swing by the liquor store on the way home, which I couldn’t blame her as I’d probably do the same in her shoes. I dropped her off 15 min later back down in the south suburbs (why do I keep getting sent south!) for a boosted (yay!!) $12.24 and she gave me a $5 tip which was crazy sweet of her as I’m sure each dollar counts to her what it counts to me.
The boost was over so at this point I just needed one more ride to get my quest bonus. Heading back north and hoping that whoever my next ride is would take me north, not south. For once, I got a break, a pickup in Englewood heading north. The lady was quiet and I could get the sense English wasn’t her first language. She was very sweet and I dropped her off in the South Broadway neighborhood 5 miles north for an un-boosted $5.39. With the quest completed, it was time to set my destination to home. No takers, which was fine. I was done.
After getting some work done, which mainly was catching up on my writing, I headed back out at 3pm to try to catch some more runs before meeting someone later. After hanging out in Cherry Creek for about a half an hour, I got a pickup in the Country Club area, one of the most well to do neighborhoods in central Denver. The lady had large pearl earrings and a fashionable but conservative dress on. In her late twenties, she mostly kept to herself focused on her cell phone. I dropped her off 25 min later in downtown for a boosted $12.33.
It wasn’t long before the next request came in, two young ladies in their early twenties dressed to the nines heading to LoHi to go to a friend’s wedding reception. It was a short ride but we chatted about Denver, the weather, and a little about Uber. It’s funny how many people are so curious about this new Uber-driver lifestyle. I dropped them off 6 min later for a boosted $5.62. I immediately got a request just across the bridge in RiNo to take a family of four to Jax restaurant in downtown. I dropped them off 6 min later for a boosted $5.75.
Before they were even out of my car, the next request came in to pick up a couple in RiNo and take them to the movie theatre in downtown. The woman was a consultant whose client makes her take the 5am flight on Monday’s. I’m lucky in all my consulting days my earliest flights were 6:30/7 but most the time I could take the 9-10am flights. She talked about how hard it is to get an Uber at 3am but now they’ve started having surges every Monday morning so it’s easier to get drivers but she ends up paying double the price (which to the airport really adds up). I dropped them off 10 min later for a boosted $5.62.
I decided to start heading out of downtown, the back and forth between RiNo / LoHi / Downtown is brutal with the one ways and traffic congestion. Before I could free myself a request came in to take a woman who worked as an auditor and had been working 12 hour days for the past few weeks to close an audit that would finally be done tomorrow, Saturday. One of her coworkers was having a going away celebration and she was trying to be the good supportive manager and be there even though all she wanted to do was relax at home. I dropped her off in the Capital Hill neighborhood 9 min later for a boosted $5.62.
As I she got out, a request came in from a group of four that were headed to downtown to pre-party before taking a party shuttle to Red Rocks for a concert. They had purchased a cooler from Goodwill that was missing a handle so they jerry-rigged it up with an old paint can handle and stocked it with booze for tailgating. They were in good spirits and we chatted about their day, the band they were going to see, what it’s like to be an Uber driving entrepreneur, etc. I dropped them off 15 min later for a boosted $8.35. They kindly gave me a $5 tip too!
Before they were out, a request came in from the Five Points neighborhood which is still gentrifying so makes me a bit nervous every time I get a call from there as it could be hit or miss on who gets in. It ended up being a group of four in their young twenties heading downtown to pre-party before the Rockies vs White Sox game. They were in town from Chicago, so were stoked to see the game. I dropped them off 8 min later for a boosted $5.62.
Before I could escape downtown, I got another ping. It was really back-to-back today which is great but it is a bit intense for an Introvert as there’s little recharge time between. Back in RiNo, the land of construction and traffic congestion, I picked up a group of four headed to a bar in Five Points. I was surprised how trendy and gentrified the section was. I still remember Five Points from 15 years ago when it was crack infested and the place to get shot, so it’s been hard for me to realize it’s so vastly different these days. I dropped them off 12 min later for a boosted $6.01.
Apparently escaping downtown was going to be hard, the ping came thru before they were out of my car. A couple heading from the City Center Marriott (which shares the same building as my first job in Denver… awe the memories) to Departure Lounge in Cherry Creek. One of my favorites so we talked about the rooftop, the cool art galleries in Cherry Creek North, fun shops, etc. They needed a new pair of headphones so I shared where the Bose, Karmen Harden, Sony, and Apple Stores were. I love Cherry Creek, it really has everything. I dropped them off 15 min later for a boosted $6.88.
Finally out of downtown! I needed to be in Stapleton by 7pm and it was already 6pm so I figured I’d take one last run. Happy I was halfway there, I totally scored and the next request came in from the JW Marriott two blocks away heading to Stapleton. Sweet! She spent most of the car ride on a business call and the last half on a call with her friend. It was weird, she literally asked her friend to stay on the phone as if she was lonely or uncomfortable with silence or talking to a stranger, who knows. Turbulent Extraverted Feelers are so foreign to me I can’t even pretend to understand them. I dropped her off 22 min later for a boosted and surged $16.86.
Finally time to call it a night. I was exhausted and wiped and craving introverted recharge time but that would have to wait, there was somewhere I needed to be, in a crowd of people (are you cringing with me? LOL). In summary, I did 6 hours, 16 trips, made $138.81 + $5 tip – $15 gas = $128 / 6 hours = $21 / hour.
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
PS x 2 – if you’re not sure what I’m talking about with my references to Introverted / Extroverted, Thinking / Feeling, Turbulent / Assertive – check out 16 personalities here.