When And Where To Drive: A Primer

When you signed up to drive you were no doubt told that one of the greatest benefits was the fact that you could drive whenever you want to.  You were told this job has ultimate flexibility.

And that’s true.  It does offer a great deal of flexibility.  But it turns out in the end, you can’t really drive whenever you want to.  Not if you want to be successful at it anyway.

That’s because there are many times throughout each day and each week when it’s simply not busy.  There are times and places where you could sit for several hours and not get any calls.  Which is what we call in the business, being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

When Should You Really Drive?

Picking the best time is actually very simple.  You just have to ask yourself, when and from where do people need rides?

Depending on how familiar you are with the area where you’ll be driving, that question could be easy or difficult to answer!

When drivers come into a new area, knowing where trips will come from and when, is not really an easy question to answer.  It takes some time getting familiar with a new city to be able to figure those things out.

But assuming you’re in the majority of drivers who knows your city fairly well already, then it should be a lot easier to figure out.

The best times to drive are generally the following:

  • Morning rush hour
  • Afternoon rush hour
  • Nights toward the end of the week
  • Weekend nights
  • Weekend days
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Any large local event
  • Major recreation areas, such as beaches, parks, lakes or mountains

Time and Location are Interdependent

The best time, obviously depends on where you are.  The best time for beaches would generally be on the weekends.  Or, during the summer months.  The best time for sporting events – obviously depends on when the sporting events are held.  And they can be held at widely varying times.  Some might be held on a week night, others might be held during the day on a weekend.

So the best time to drive really depends on where you’re going to start driving.  Generally, the best time for recreational areas such as beaches and lakes is on the weekends.  Or, during the high season – whenever that may be for your area.

Or, if you are time-dependent and you have to base your driving around certain times, then you may have to be flexible on the location where you’re willing to drive.  Just to give a quick and obvious example, if you can only drive during afternoon rush hour, then you’re not going to place yourself in the suburbs.  You’re going to start in the downtown business district or any other area that has a large concentration of corporate offices.  Because that’s where rides will come from during those hours.

If you can only drive in the early mornings, then you would want to place yourself in the outlying suburbs so you can catch longer rides from people going to work in the city or going to the airport.

Time and location are completely intertwined.  If you must work a specific location, then you’ll have to work during times when that location is busy.  Or if you can only work at specific times, then you’ll have to go to areas that are busy during those times.

Follow the Alcohol

This is another rule of rideshare driving that will pay off for you in the long run, if you can stomach doing it!  Yes, we’re talking about hauling drunks around.  There’s good money in it and drunk people are actually more likely to leave a big tip than sober people are.  Especially if you can give them a little fun personality and get them laughing during their trip!  But don’t try too hard!  If they don’t go for your humor right away, then ease up and don’t worry about it.

Bars, and late nights go hand in hand.  Especially towards the end of the week… Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are usually the best bar nights.

Drunk people love to take Uber and Lyft.  They pretty much have to really, when you think about it.  So, the later it gets, the busier you’ll be if you’re in the right bar district.

However, we must caution you, in case you don’t already know, that driving drunks is not always a pleasant experience!  In fact, it is far more often unpleasant than it is pleasant.  And the later at night you pick people up, the more likely it is they will be drunk and they’ll be drunker than riders you picked up earlier in the evening.

They can make your life a little crazy though.  Maybe a group of three or four people gets in your car and they’re shouting at the top of their lungs the whole time!  It’ll drive you a little nuts for sure!  Or, may they “command” you to turn on some tunes.  And once you do they command you to crank ‘em all the way up!

Or the one thing most drivers seem to hate most about driving drunks is when they ask for the auxiliary speaker connection.  Or the “aux cord” as we call it.  That means they want to plug their tunes into your sound system and it almost inevitably means that they will want the volume turned up to full blast and it always means they’ll be playing music that you absolutely can’t stand!  So, get ready for that.  Those are the types of things you’ll have to deal with when you drive drunks.

Make a Plan

The thing about driving is, you’ll never be in the same place for long.  So, if you’re going to do a whole day and/or night of driving, don’t go out with just one plan.  Don’t go out thinking you’ll start downtown during afternoon rush hour… and that’s all you have to your plan.  You have to plan out your whole day and night.

Your plan should look something like this:

  • Afternoon rush hour – be downtown
  • Dinner hour – head to the suburbs because people will be leaving soon to go to the city to party
  • 11:00 p.m. – a big concert is ending at your city’s major venue… be there!
  • 12:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. – hang out at the biggest bars and clubs

You have to have a plan that looks something like that.  Not that you’ll be able to make it to all those places at the right time, because previous trips may take you to a whole different area.  But, you really have to map out your night like that, whether you end up being able to make it to each spot or not.  So if you do end up in any of those areas at the right time you can just zip on over there and get some good trips.

If you map out your night (or day) like that, it gives you something to shoot for.  For instance, if one passenger takes you way out of town and you end up in a place where there are no calls at 10:00 p.m., you can look at your plan and know if you can get back to town by 11:00, there’s a great chance you’ll get a nice trip from the concert crowd.


Video Transcription:

Okay, you were told that you can drive wherever, whenever, and make money. That’s true, okay? That is one of the beautiful things about rideshare, is you can literally…I could literally turn on my app right now, and get a ping and just leave this video right now, and make money.

But should I? No, well, because I’m paying this guy to video me. But I shouldn’t because there’s not always optimal times to drive, okay?

So think about it this way. Now, just to be clear, this course, this video, there’s an entire course just on this video unpacking lots of different things.

So I’m gonna give you a quick primer. So if it’s a little short and if it’s a little simplistic, take the other course. Shameless plug.

So you want to drive when people need rides. Is that…I mean that’s probably the most simple thing possible to say, but a lot of drivers don’t think about that. Where are people at and when do they need rides?

That’s it. I mean if you think carefully at that, that one little nugget, you can unlock the Pandora’s box of where, when to get pickups, because the reality is there are times when people are not needing rides, and so drivers are sitting on their butts waiting around, getting exasperated, getting frustrated, and quitting rideshare because they’re sitting around for hours not getting rides, or not getting a lot of rides, because they’re not driving at the right times. So it’s so important for you to know the patterns of your city.

So often in the morning people are going from the suburbs to the cities to work. And later on, in the afternoon, people are leaving the cities to go to the suburbs.

During events, people are coming from the suburbs to the cities. You see, there are rhythms of your city, you need to monitor and watch and you can learn that.

You’re smart, you can read, you can look at these things, and the patterns are there. Another pattern, follow the alcohol.

People don’t like DUIs. DUIs are devastating, and so a lot of people, they will take rideshares because they don’t want to get in trouble.

So, where’s the alcohol at, where are people going to be, who is going to drink, and who are going to need rides? And where can you be? Where can you position yourself?

So where and when to drive is super important. You can drive whenever, but you shouldn’t. Okay, so think very, very hard about what are the patterns of your city, where are people at, and when do they need a ride.

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