The Learning Curve: There’s a Lot More to Rideshare Driving Than Meets the Eye

Topic Progress:

Most people don’t realize that being a rideshare driver involves a lot more than just having a driver’s license, knowing how to drive and knowing how to follow a GPS map.  Well, we should say, if have no ambitions or any desire to make decent money – then they’re probably right.

But, if you’re looking to join the elite ranks of drivers who are on the top end of the earnings curve, then, as Sam points out in this video, there is a lot more to it than that! 

Like anything else in life, even those things that seem very simple, a rideshare driver who wants to be on the top, really has to work at his game.  He has to understand things and be aware of many things.

  • What is the heartbeat of his city?
  • What makes his city tick?
  • Is it commerce as in NYC?
  • Is it entertainment as it is in LA or is it a resort like Honolulu?

Depending on what kind of city you’re in, your goals and strategies on how to reach them will be different.  But they are determined first and foremost by your city’s culture and what makes it tick.

In addition to understanding that, a top rideshare driver will be very knowledgeable about the city’s roads and highways.  She’ll be very well aware of the best ways to get in, out and around her city at various times of the day.

A top driver will also be pretty good at math!  Yes, math!  Because so much in rideshare comes down to raw numbers.  Uber is paying a boost over there, Lyft is paying a bonus over here.  One company is paying $2 extra for every ride taken during a two-hour period of time.  The other is paying $1 extra per ride for every trip taken over a three-hour period of time.  Which one is the better deal?  Well, a lot of the answer boils down to pure math.

The Importance of Customer Service Skills

Another big thing and this is probably the biggest… successful drivers will have excellent customer service skills.  They’ll know how to read people.  They’ll know how to relate to people.  They’ll know when to talk and they’ll know when to keep quiet.

Since driver ratings are such a huge part of a driver’s success, knowing how to read and relate to people is crucial.  Uber has even announced that they’re sending better and more trips to drivers with higher ratings.  So ratings are becoming an even more crucial factor than they used to be.  In the past, good ratings only served to keep you from getting deactivated.  But they didn’t give you any advantage over poorly rated drivers.  Now they do.

In the past driving for Uber and Lyft was pretty easy money.  Even drivers who were no good at it did well!  Drivers who didn’t relate to people well or know their cities well, still did okay.  In the past, they had a lot fewer drivers and they paid drivers a lot more.  But that’s no longer the case.  Today as it has become so fiercely competitive, drivers who want to make a decent income not only has to work very hard, they also have to really know their stuff.  They have to be on top of their game.

If you just want to make casual or part time money, then don’t worry about all this.  You can make a few extra dollars here and there whether you’re a great driver or not.  But if you don’t want to waste your time making fewer dollars per hour than you could – or should – then you’re going to have to really work at it.

How Ridester Can Help

The Ridester driver training videos can be a big help to you – as can the Ridester website.  Stay on top of things by checking with Ridester several times a week.  Any new information that comes along that drivers need to know about, we’ll have it here!  Like this article reporting on what can get you sidelined by Uber.

Perseverance is the Key

Sam makes a key point in this video when he points out that perseverance is super important to your success as a driver.  Because as in all occupations you will have good days and you’ll have bad days.  So, don’t let the bad days discourage you.

When you’re driving, especially if you really are hurting for cash, it can become extremely stressful when things aren’t going your way.  But just keep in mind this lesson from veteran drivers… never get discouraged because of what happened in the last few hours.  Don’t even get discouraged because of what happened in the last day.  Or even the last couple of days.  Because things will turn around.  For every bad day, you’ll have a great day.  Just learn whatever lessons you can from the bad days and apply them so you have fewer of them.

Some days you’ll totally kill it – you’ll get a huge tip or you’ll get a super long trip where you earn as much in one trip as you’d normally earn in several hours, and you’ll be feeling great!  A few days later though, you may have a terrible day.  You get passengers who are snarly and give you 4 stars instead of 5 – through no fault of your own.  You get wonky trips where reaching the passenger takes a lot longer than it should or getting them to their destination is fraught with traffic.

Whatever happens, just don’t think about today.  Old time taxi drivers will tell you – no matter what happened today – be it good or bad – over the course of an entire month, things will average out and you’ll find that when you’re working hard you’ll make about the same month after month.  And that includes all the bad days!

So, perseverance really is the key.  Don’t let a bad day keep you off the road tomorrow.  And don’t let a great day make you lazy to the point you feel like you don’t need to drive tomorrow.

Watch Sam’s videos, take in all the information you can, stay abreast with driver news, tips and tricks on Ridester and work hard and you should do just fine.


  • Ridester is a great way to keep up with trends, news, and information about the rideshare industry. Remember, we’re with you the entire step of the way, from signup and beyond!

Video Transcription:

So just like anything in life, rideshare has a learning curve. In fact, it has a steep learning curve. The problem is, a lot of us have been told that it’s super easy.

It’s easy money, and it’s advertised you can make whatever you want, whenever you want, and that’s kind of true. And it was definitely true a couple years ago when it was new. There’s not a lot of drivers [and] the fares are a lot higher.

Even people who were bad at rideshare were making a lot of good money. But, times have changed. And so, let me just tell you, really clearly, it’s going to take a lot of work. I need you to know that right now. If you want to be an elite driver, it’s going to take work. But once you get it, you got it.

Now if you just want to casually make money, here and there, and you’re not concerned about optimizing and making the most possible, don’t worry about it. But it’s going to take perseverance.

There is going to be times that you’re going to be on this huge high cause you just got a killer tip, and you’re just killing it that day. Then other days where you just can’t get a passenger, and every passenger, seems to not be into you and connecting and not tipping, and you’re really discouraged.

And so, you’re going to need to persevere, but I guarantee if you persevere, and you work with me through these tips, and all these things I’m teaching you. You’ll get there, and once you’ve got it, you got it.


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