Today I woke up to my first achievement award from Uber. It probably shouldn’t have been so exciting, but I was stoked to get my little notification that I’d received 50 5-star ratings. Yay! Admittedly when I first started driving I watched my ratings closely loving how the 5’s were rolling in, though as soon as I got my first non-5, the excitement wore off and I stopped watching. This morning, Wednesday’s, boost was from 6-9am in Central Denver and a lovely 2x bonus. Time to drive!
Having pre-arranged with the guy from yesterday to take him to the airport this morning, I arrived at his hotel at 4:50am as I remember how stressful it was when I travelled and the driver wasn’t there early. He walked out at 4:53am and thanked me for being early. He was also a morning person so we had a great discussion the whole way there, more about his daughter, about New York, about his farm in Pennsylvania, about how the entrepreneurs he helps are actually multi-billion dollar success stories, etc. I dropped him off 30 min later at the airport for $41.36 (he did UberXL).
No surprise, the airport at 5:30am was not a booming metropolis of passengers waiting to be picked up, so there was no hope for a re-match. The queue was already at 4 deep, and without a surplus of planes coming in, they’d probably be waiting for hours. No me gusta. Halfway back to the city, I got a ping from a guy in his early twenties who was at the light rail station and decided to Uber to work instead. We talked about public transit, how infrequent and unreliable the Denver buses are, and how great it would be if we could increase bus ridership so that the system could be better funded. I dropped him off 12 min later for $6.93.
Unfortunately, now I was 7 miles north of the city, further out of the way and no where close to the boost zone. No surprise the industrial section of Thornton I dropped him in did not give me any ride requests. When I got back into the city, I picked up a lady from City Surf Fitness. She had just done the 5am workout and was feeling great. Apparently, City Surf is in a few cities and they do the workouts on surfboards so you’re always working your core. They believe in being kind so the workouts are focused on you, no yelling to “motivate”, etc. Sounded really neat. I dropped her off 10 min later for a boosted $7.50.
It took a little bit to get my next hit, which was from the neighborhood just north of where I live. A man heading to work up in Northern Wheat Ridge, 15 miles from the city and in the boost zone. Having already done two deadheads this morning (deadhead being one way paid route where I fend for myself on the way back, sucking up the gas and time), so I was not thrilled about a third, but alas, it is my job and this guy needed a ride so off we went. We talked about Denver, about transplants, about his disdain for driving and angry drivers, how cranky some people are and how mean they get over little stuff. He made some really good points and I kind of agreed with him. I dropped him off 25 min later for a boosted $29.25.
Again, no surprise, I got no rides back into the city. I even took the side roads, not just too avoid rush hour on the freeway, but in hopes someone would ask for an Uber. It wasn’t until back where I picked the guy up originally that I got a ping for an UberXL, who unfortunately cancelled. Though I got an immediate ping from a guy who just bought a house in Cherry Creek and was headed back to his condo in downtown. He worked for a developer that builds high end hotels around the world and had some cool stories to share. He and his wife were excited to finally land this house as the market is insane here in Denver and the location is very sought after. I dropped him off 23 min later for a boosted $12.48.
Then a ping came in, my first Uber Select. I was kind of nervous. Uber Select is twice the price of Uber X and intended for high end customers that are looking for nicer cars and better service. The qualifications for Select are strict – must be leather interior, must be certain makes of cars, and only certain models during certain years, plus the driver must have a 4.9 rating (graduated down to 4.7 based on number of rides). A woman and her daughter hopped in, they had been downtown for afternoon tea and were headed back home near the Tech Center. We talked travel as they both loved it too, the daughter was really excited about Slovakia which was awesome. I shared my blog and dropped them off 35 min later for a boosted $43.72. Sweet!
Being down in the Tech Center far from central Denver during rush hour was not ideal, but it was worth it to meet the ladies and get the confidence to do my first Uber Select. My next ping came in from a woman who was headed even further south (no!!!) to the Jeep dealership. She was really sweet and we talked about the homeless population, how Denver started doing shower trucks and is working on laundry trucks. Sounded brilliant. I dropped her off 13 min later for an un-boosted $4.54.
The streets were jammed up in all directions, an absolute disaster. As I was changing my status to only do pickups for people going to Denver a ping came in. I’ve learned the hard way when I change my settings that if a ping comes in at the same time, the person doesn’t meet the new criteria. Plus this person was 15 minutes through the jammed up disaster to be even further in the hell hole of traffic. I hit cancel, don’t charge rider, and continued trying to get the heck out of there.
Not long I got another ping, knowing the settings were in place but still being skeptical as the app doesn’t always view things the way I do, took it anyway. It was like fate, the lady needed to go north, all the way to the area just north of my neighborhood (yes north, yippee!!). However, with traffic as crappy as it was and no boost, the ROI on the trip was lousy, but the woman was awesome, we chatted about her son, management consulting, investment banking, how to succeed in New York, etc. Plus it covered my gas money back. When she asked me if I ever get rides that take me far out of the way where I don’t want to go, I had to chuckle, all the time I said, all the time. I dropped her off 43 min later for an un-boosted $13.86.
Then it was finally time to go offline and head home for the night as I had evening plans and my personal trainer to get too! Today I drove 6 hours, did 8 trips, and made $163.24. Less the $20 in gas, I made around $143 / 6 hours for an approximate $24 / hour. This doesn’t include taxes, parking, car, or car 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