Maximizing SURGE and Prime Time Earnings with 3rd Party Apps

We know though that drivers can see surges on the Uber and Lyft driver apps map.  So, you may think a third-party app to inform you when and where surges are occurring wouldn’t be necessary or helpful.

However, while they may not be necessary, they sure are helpful.  Especially if you want to tweak every single aspect of your driving to the highest level possible.

In this video, Sam recommends using third-party apps to find out where and when surges are and to be alerted when they occur.

In order to become an elite top-earning driver, you have to think like an athlete.  And how do athletes think?  They pay extreme attention to every single detail of their game. Here, we’re talking about focusing on the details of surge.

If they’re a runner, they pay attention of course, to their shoes.  But not just passing attention, they pay detailed attention.  Down to the construction of the very soles of their shoes.  Then, they pay extreme attention to their socks and their shorts and their running shirts.

Every single thing can be tweaked for maximum advantage when you’re an athlete.  And that’s what we’re talking about doing here.

Today, we’re going to look at how you can tweak the surge, make some minor adjustments to give you every possible advantage.

Third Party Apps

Sam mentions several third-party surge apps, including Ridar, FairPilot, Surge & PrimeTime.  There are a bunch out there and it’s changing all the time.  So, don’t rely on this as an up to date list, but check them out for yourself in the app stores.  And read the reviews.  The reviews are very telling and can really guide you to the best ones for your needs.

So, why do you need a surge app?  After all, you can see surges on the app maps anytime.  But, you can’t see surges when you’re on a trip with a passenger.  And you’re not going to be staring at the driver apps constantly when you’re not with a passenger.  But those aren’t the biggest advantages surge apps give you.  We’ll get to the biggest advantage they give you in a minute.

But first, there is one other cool thing surge apps can help you with.  They not only notify you when surges begin, they also notify you when they end.  So, imagine you’re working on a busy Friday night and the city’s surging all around the hot spots.  You pick somebody up, on a surge call, and while you’re getting near their destination, the surge ends.  Right as the surge ends, Uber sends you your next pickup before you drop your current passenger off.  And the next pickup is not on a surge.

If you had used a surge app, you would have gotten an audio notification that the surge had ended.  And what you could do is go offline on the app, so no more calls can come in while you’re still in transit with your current passenger.

Without a surge app, you would have no way of knowing when the surge ended because you can’t see that on the app’s map until after you drop your current passenger off.

We recommend using a Bluetooth headset connected to your phone or tablet and then set audible notifications for when surges begin and end.  You can set use different sounds for beginning and ending of surges.  And once you’ll familiar with the sounds, they’ll go off in your ear as you’re driving and you’ll instantly know what’s going on with the surge in your area.

The Biggest Advantage Surge Apps Give Uber and Lyft Drivers

Without a doubt the biggest advantage surge apps will give to you as a driver is the historical information they’ll provide.

With all of the surge apps, you’re able to set pins in areas where you’d like to track the surges.  And even if you choose not to bother with the apps while you’re driving, you can just set them and let them run for a week or two and they’ll collect all kinds of trend data about when and where surges are.

Some of the apps will let you download an Excel file containing all the information about surges during the past week.  You can take that information and draw it out on a map and make a timeline of when different areas tend to surge.

Surge Patterns and Historical Trends

What you want to look for are the surge patterns.  While some surges are totally random and unpredictable and while other surges may appear to be random and unpredictable, most of them are actually quite predictable, once you spot the pattern.

You may notice a particular suburb surges Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings around 5:00 a.m.  while you’re sound asleep.  If you weren’t using a surge app that tracks historical data, you’d never know this because you’re usually asleep at that time!

This is the real value of the surge apps.  The thing to keep in mind that will help you interpret and use this surge data to your best advantage, is that the ebb and flow of rider demand is pretty consistent, once the pattern has been established.

Think about it.  People generally go to work at the same time everyday and the generally come home at the same time.  Bars are full on Friday and Saturday nights, pretty much every weekend.  These are patterns and they’re very predictable.  If the bars were crowded last weekend, more than likely they’re going to be crowded this weekend as well.  Unless there is some change, like a day holiday weekend.  But from week to week and year to year established patterns tend to stay pretty much the same.

So, once you know the patterns you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to predicting what’s going to happen this week.  And you’ll be better prepared than most drivers to be in surge zones when surges actually begin than always being the straggler who ends up chasing the surge.

When You Can Work in Multiple Jurisdictions

A lot of drivers live in areas that cross multiple jurisdictions.  What we mean by that is that Uber and Lyft divide up geographical territories into zones.  You may be allowed to do pickups in one zone but not allowed to do them in a bordering zone.  For instance, if you live near a state border, you can do pickups in your state, but you may not be able to do them in the bordering state.  Even if that state is just five minutes away.

But other drivers live in areas where they can work in multiple states and multiple jurisdictions.  For instance, Pennsylvania Uber drivers can work do pickups in New Jersey and vice versa.  But when a New Jersey Uber driver is in south Jersey near the Pennsylvania border, he can only see the surges in the jurisdiction he’s in.  Lyft is a little more generous with their information and will usually show drivers the surge map for all the areas he’s eligible to drive in.

But Uber only shows drivers the area they’re actually in even if they’re eligible to drive in a neighboring but separate jurisdictions.

The surge tracking apps though will let you track surges in any jurisdiction in the country.  Even ones you’re not eligible to drive in.  So, if you’re in south Jersey and you can also drive in Pennsylvania, the surge tracking apps will make it possible for you to see the surges in Pennsylvania while you’re still in Jersey.


Rideshare Resources


Video Transcription:

Okay, one of the most important things to do if you want to maximize Prime Time and a SURGE is [to] actually use third-party apps. Uber and Lyft have some helpful resources but they are not going to show you all the things that some of these other apps can do. Now, there are tons of apps; there is Radar, there is FarePilot.

The ones that I like using the most are Surge and Primetime. Okay? Prime Time app, Surge they got the best names because they named what it’s called.

And so what I do is I set on my phone these different locations. Now, with Primetime you can actually track 10 simultaneous locations plus your current location. So it takes a lot of data, but it’s tracking.

Let me show you real quick how this works. Okay? This is going to be out of focus for a second but then you can see.

So as you can see I am tracking my own location. I’m tracking the airport, Uptown, Downtown, the Target Field, Saint Paul, all these things. And this is live right now. And it’s gonna simultaneously track them, and while I’m driving it’s going to give me notifications.

And you can set notifications for when you want to be alerted. I’m not going to be alerted for [a] 25% surge, that’s not worth my time, but 75%, yes. So when it hits 75%, I get these alerts in my ear, and I know.

So even when I’m driving other passengers, I kind of know where things are going, so I know where to go right after. Now, I know that sounds like chasing SURGE, but it’s not, and here’s why.

Because when I’m chasing, what I’m doing is I’m tracking multiple SURGE locations at one time, and I’m going to go to the one that’s closest to me and the one that just started the SURGE rather than the one that’s been surging for a while and it’s giving a lot of drivers time to adjust.

Now, let me show you the other app. So that’s…this is Prime Time, and one of the cool things it does, I forgot to say, is that you can actually historically track things. See these bars? You can actually track what the rates have been.

And so you can do up to five hours, and then you can also send it out as Excel document, and you can look for days on end and see when is it been surging, and that’s a way for you can historically track and see the rhythms. So look right now, U.S. Bank Stadium, 100%, and all these other ones.

And I can kind of tell right now, in fact, maybe I should leave right now. No, no, I’m not going to do that. Now, let me show you the SURGE app. The SURGE app is similar but it doesn’t have all the features because Uber told them to get rid of them.

And so right now I’m tracking my current location and it’s not telling me that there’s anything going on. And what it would do is that it would go off in my ear, and I know that there’s SURGE.

Let’s say I’m dropping someone off and I just see an alert, and it’s showing me that there’s SURGE right there. Boom, I know I can turn on my Uber app. And I can go back and forth and see which one has better percentages.

So use these…use Primetime, use Surge. There are probably other apps out there, but these are my favorite ones. And I’ll put the promo codes into the notes for you to use for your benefit. These are fantastic. Use them to maximize SURGE and Prime Time.



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