Lesson 2: Finding The Best Drives

Hello and welcome to the second lesson of course 5 at the Rideshare Academy. In this lesson, we will cover the rides that will pay out the most for your time and where to find them as well as how seasonal business can affect ride desnity.

Whether you have completed lesson one or are just jumping in now, make sure to review the courses previous material so that you have a clear understanding of the terms and topics being covered.

Length VS Time For Rides

While you’re out and about getting rides, you will notice that the majority of rides are going to be short. This has good and bad points.

  • A short ride means that you can finish up the ride and quickly get in position to find another one in a short amount of time.

During surge prices and busier parts of the day this is great! However, if you have been waiting for a ride request for an hour or longer this can feel like a huge waste.

After all, you just spent a large amount of your own time to get a ride that only paid out a few dollars. When you can’t get consistent rides you end up spending hours on few and far between rides with no real payout. Plus, you barely have time to impress and delight your passengers!

  • Longer rides are your best friend.

They make you more money and allow more of an opportunity to get that 5 star rating. So the question becomes, how do I find longer rides during the times outside of surges?

The answer is simple! Location, location, location. Begin by thinking about how people get in and out of the city.

Cover what public transit does not

If you live somewhere that has developed public transportation, then a good place to start is outside of the city bus range. Metropolitan cities have large populations who live outside of the downtown area and often use ridesharing to go into town. These rides average $15 or more per ride!

Airports offer consistent business

Airports that lie in the outskirts of town are perfect as well. You can park your car in a designated area and enter a queue behind any drivers who have arrived previously.

Many of the passengers you pick up here will be heading to hotels within the city. That means longer rides and easy conversation points.

Trains, Greyhounds and Light Rails

Another alternative is at train stations, greyhound stops and light rail plazas. Essentially, if people are arriving there to travel into the city, you can give them a ride that will be cheaper and a better experience.

Monitoring The Competition

There a couple of “hacks” you can use to see where there is a demand for rides other than surges. The best one: use the Uber passenger app!

You can open the app and see where all the current active drivers are hanging out. Try to look for rides outside of those areas. If there is a developed housing area with little or no drivers you can look for requests heading into the epicenter of your town.

Again, these rides take longer and therefor have a much better return for your time.

In an earlier lesson we talked about using forums to see where other drivers have success finding rides. However, you can also use this to find your own secret hot spots. If an online rider has good luck somewhere try looking for rides just outside of that area.

Seasonal Business

Sometimes how many rides you receive is purely seasonal. This can seem like a hopeless situation because there are physically less people looking for rides. So no matter what you do, you still can’t find rides. In this situation try going to a neighboring city or town that isn’t affected by seasonal business.

For example, a college town might see a huge drop in business when the students leave between the semesters. So what do you do? Travel to the next city over, one without a major college population and spend the day taking rides. It helps if you are familiar with the city beforehand but a few hours driving and a solid GPS app can do wonders.

Many states have more or less visitors because of seasonal weather. This can either work for or against your efforts.

Tucson for example has a large surge of population during the winter months so business is great. But when the weather becomes too hot for people to bare the business weens.

Pay attention to the weather and anticipate this drop in business. It is usually reoccurring and with a bit of planning, you wont fall behind.

Possible causes for seasonal business:

  • Large college population
  • Weather
  • Downtown areas centered on inconsistent business’
  • Holidays

Accepting Favorable Rides

Another thing you can do to find the best rides is pay attention to the pickup location and the rider’s current rating. If you get a request that is in the city center it is more likely a short ride. Whereas flag drops outside of the center are almost always much larger fares.

Higher rated passengers are also more likely to tip and return a positive rating. Now, you should absolutely accept every request you see. Ignoring requests or closing and restarting the app to refresh your requests can net you a bad acceptance rating.

Acceptance ratings affect how many requests you receive and your overall driver rating. Even if the pickup location or the rider rating isn’t what you’re looking for, still accept the ride.

You can notice trends by recognizing addresses and putting yourself closer to common pickup locations. Take advantage of this to make the most of your time online.

Finding The Best Rides Recap

Review the material above before moving on to the next lesson. Below are some questions about the current lesson. Answer them in your head.

  1. When are short rides not as profitable?
  2. How can you make more money with longer rides?
  3. What can you use to find areas with longer ride requests?
  4. What might affect seasonal business in your city?
  5. Does your city have weather that may affect the amount of riders?
  6. What are acceptance rates and why are they important for the driver?

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