Sunday, October 12, 2014

Uber Saturday

I changed my previous strategy from last Saturday - yes I'm down to driving for Uber one day per week because any day but a Saturday is pretty much a waste of my precious time - to that of starting in the wealthier suburbs and then staying put where that next ride took me, which in this case was from one spot in beautiful Franklin to another spot in Franklin, TN to start. Last Saturday I was dropping people in town and then driving back to the suburbs, which resulted in similar earnings, but put an ungodly amount of miles on the car.

Anyway, my time in Franklin didn't last long and the next ride was a long one into the heart of downtown Nashville, where I spent the next six hours in a constant state of ride-sharing. In fact, last night was one of my best blocks of drive-time ever driving for Uber, as far as mileage-to earnings ratio is concerned. I grossed about $160 for seven hours in the car, an average of $22.86/hour. After deducting Uber's 20% and some gas money, about 160 miles/25 mpg=6.4 gallons x $3.16 per gallon of premium gas equals approximately $20 in gas. So, subtract $52.00 for a net income of $108.00/$15.42/hour, and that's the best I have done with Uber.

I don't think I'm going to top that. Wait, I take that back. Earnings were somewhat dampened by a pro hockey game downtown, which tied up traffic before the start and after the end of the game. I did manage to take one hockey fan to the game, so it wasn't a total loss. Also, I tend to avoid answering most requests from the Vanderbilt college campus, as these kids tend to be snooty entitled brats, in my experience, that I tend to gladly avoid, at least lately. So, I'm avoiding one sixth or so of the city and still staying plenty busy, but earnings could be even higher.

For example, I was passing through the Vandy campus last night on the way to my favorite coffee shop and I did accept one ride request, figuring, what the hell, why not? So four seemingly drunk college guys pile in for a short trip and the one in the back seat says to the other, "my Suburban shit one of these the other day", cutting on my midsize car like it's small or something. That was my last ride out of that neighborhood, for sure.

Dear children of the rich pricks of America..........

I really hate you guys. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Uber Blues

I did not make a profit in September in my Uber gig... 

Of course it was no help that I worked only half the month, due to another part-time job out-of-state involving farm work, from which driving for Uber is a major break. I just had very bad luck with my low profile Continental brand tires, which are not very tough, and I would highly not recommend for city driving. 

First, I dropped off a couple of gay guys, who flew in from the West Coast, in front of an apparently very popular gay bar here in Nashville, judging from the line to get in, composed of both boys and girls. So, in my attempt to drop them off as close as possible to the front door, I ran up on the curb a little bit and what happens? The frigging right front tire blows out through the sidewall and goes flat.

So I manage to drive the car to the empty lot across the street and ended up paying a homeless guy $25 to help me change it, providing entertainment for the night-clubbing crowd. This guy was actually a God-send, as he really knew cars and prevented me from jacking up the car in the wrong spot on the plastic trim. His name was "Terrel" if I recall correctly.

Luckily the tire was covered under warranty from Discount Tire, but of course I had to buy two tires to balance out the car, so that one new tire hit me for around $200 after sales tax.

Finally getting back to driving for Uber the next Thursday night and I run over something - I don't even know what - and the next morning I notice the right front tire has a deep slice in it.

Amazing it didn't go flat.......

Luckily this is part of the other two tires left, not the new pair on the rear of the car. Back to Discount Tire again and it's covered under warranty-awesome-and I have to buy another pair of tires, $200 for the one new one to make another pair, so I'm getting killed so far in the profits department.

The reality is, as appealing as it is to make my own schedule and get paid to drive around in the car, the income to expense ratio is just not going to allow me to continue working for Uber that much longer. Though my Uber career will probably be short-lived, I will definitely continue to use the service as a passenger. It's a great deal for riders. For the drivers, not so much.

Back out tonight to try again on the busiest and craziest night of the week.......

Update - Sunday, October 5....

Saturday was busy from my start at 2 p.m. through my quit time around 1 a.m., when an apparently very drunk teen girl barfed in my car, into a barf bag luckily. I managed a gross earnings of around $180, after slapping another 220 miles on my unfortunate vehicle, but I managed to earn almost one of my damaged tires back in one night, so a good night, for this business anyway. Met young people from all over the country, so the young-generation migration continues.....