Despite getting to bed at 10pm and having a couple hours to recharge yesterday, waking up this morning was difficult. It was a Monday and there were no morning boosts or quests available. The first boost didn’t start until 10am, which was after I wanted to be back home. Although boosts make a big difference in pay, I’ve found getting a couple airport runs with tips is actually the most impactful to daily earnings.
The typical fare in Denver if you’re going somewhere under 4 miles, is $5.00 for the rider, $3.75 for the driver. The driver typically spends 10 min getting to the rider’s pickup address / waiting for them, to drive them for 10 min to make the $3.75. Then rinse and repeat. Extrapolated out it’s $3.75 for 20 min or approx. $11 per hour. Take 30% out for taxes and that’s approx. $8. Take gas out and you get $5 per hour. This doesn’t include the cost of the car, insurance, parking, tolls, wear and tear, etc. Needless to say, longer trips, closer pick-ups, riders that don’t make you wait, getting XLs or Selects, all that stuff counts volumes.
Shortly after filling up my tank, I got a ping for an Uber Pool pick up not too far from my house. It was a lady in her early 20’s with a huge suitcase (despite my excitement for an airport run, she was a cosmetology student heading to Emily Griffith Technical College). She was mostly quiet but we talked a little about the campus, apparently, they have elementary and high schools on premise. We talked about if having those so close together would influence the kids to be more likely to continue to college. I dropped her off 10 min later for $3.75.
Before she was out, I got my next ping. A guy in his late 20s who worked at an engineering firm south of downtown. Normally he’d walk from his apartment in uptown but he was running late this morning. We talked about travel and how he’d never been out of the country but him and his girlfriend were thinking of going on a trip. For him a 7-hour flight to Europe was daunting. It’s interesting how perspectives change the more exposure you get. I dropped him off 8 min later for $3.75.
Nearby I got a ping from a woman and her daughter in an apartment complex just south and west of downtown. Her daughter had a big patch on her eye and was trying to be a trooper but at the age of 4 wasn’t thrilled. She had cataract surgery to correct her vision and would need to wear the patch for months to come to retrain her fixed eye. Her mother dialed the unemployment number, listening on speaker phone and low volume. After we dropped her daughter at daycare, we drove a little further to drop her off at the hospital down the road. They were definitely going through a bumpy patch. The ride was 24 min and I made $6.22.
Heading back toward my hood I picked up a guy from San Francisco who had driven his wife and adult daughter out to Colorado for vacation. On the way, they ran into some problems with their Toyota so had to take it to the dealership to get fixed. We talked about life in technology, app development, starting businesses, etc. It was a fun conversation. I dropped him off 20 min later, about 8 miles south of the city for $12.76. I was surprised to get a hit so far south and haven’t had much luck with the southern rides. Most have just taken me further outside the city making it near impossible for me to get a ride to cover gas back into the city.
The couple had dropped their car off at the Enterprise a couple blocks away. Seeing luggage I got excited, but the address was over near that camper rental place I picked a couple ladies up from last week. Though they said they just bought a house and needed to drop off their earnest money but would be going to the airport after. Works for me! They were really sweet, from Illinois and excited to be moving to Colorado where our culture is a better fit for their healthy food, active, yoga lifestyle. I dropped them off at the airport a little over an hour later for $33.55, no tip.
Luckily I’d kept my cell phone with me while I helped with their luggage as I got a ping for a re-match. It’s what makes the airport run totally worth it. Getting a no-return from the airport is a painful 25-mile gas guzzling penalty. It was a business man in from St. Louis headed 36 miles south to the farthest end of Denver. We talked about entrepreneurship, about how his son was able to start his business and succeed, it was very empowering to hear. I dropped him off 40 min later for $42.85 (which included $10.80 for tolls that I have to pay back, meaning I only earned $32.85). No tip.
Being stuck 30+ miles from home, meant eating 2 gallons of gas. If I didn’t take the freeway, I’d get requests that could take me all over the city never letting me get home. Or I could take the freeway, get home in 40 min, spend $5 of my hard-earned cash on gas, and forego trips. I chose the latter. I’d been on the road for 4 hours and it was time for a break.
Recognizing Monday afternoons are notoriously slow, I decided to forgo a second shift focusing my afternoon on catching up with my other businesses instead. The morning I worked 4 hours, did 6 trips, made $102.88 – $15 gas – $10 in tolls = $77 / 4 hours = $20 / hour (excluding taxes, parking, car, insurance, etc.).
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