Deciding Where to Drive and When to do it

(Preet) #1

The most crucial decision a ride-share driver makes every day is deciding where to drive to and when to drive there. The day is split into many different segments, and Cities also offer different attractions. The choices a driver makes at the start of their shift it imperative.

In this article, we will review the decision-making process to provide the best rides a driver could hope for.

Deciding what to do

First of all, you have to decide what kind of shift you want, do you seek an intense work out with lots of work or a more relaxed atmosphere? Are you seeking long distance over short rides or directional rides? Do you prefer late at night, early in the morning, perhaps the business hours or weekends and holidays? There are so many choices regarding the day and time that you, the driver have to be at peace with yourself and decide which is the best time or schedule different times to suit yourself.

To decide what time you want to drive, it is imperative to know where you are driving to and what kind of passengers and workload you want.

Knowing your Map

All ride-share drivers should be fluent in both map directions as well as map hot spots, or map attractions. Knowing where the hottest venues are being held, which areas have the most business sites, where are the evening and night watering holes, and adult entertainment sites. In big cities knowing the way to airports and large tourist attractions as well as knowing what times are best and worst for navigation. These are all parts of knowing your map and knowing how to navigate through the map. This does not mean you won't use Waze or Google maps; it just means you know where everything is and the GPS navigation apps help you get there faster.

It is also important to know where not to drive to, and where to avoid. Avoiding problem areas and congestion will impact your ability to reach and traverse directions. So know both driving patterns as well as read up on probable roadworks, accidents, and major public events.

Knowing your preferences and other drivers preferences

By setting your preferences, you are preparing a strategy, and strategic thinking is always the best option. Also knowing your competition is important, and so-called "intelligence work" is an added bonus to making your final decisions. If you know how other drivers operate, how the saturation of drivers fluctuates according to areas and times, you can pre-determine your success rate. Also, deciding what do drive for, such as UberX, UberEats, UberPool, Lyft, and others, are all part of the equation on how to maximise your income.

Picking Venues

Once you know your map, decided your time, now pick a venue. What kind of passenger are you seeking? If you prefer late night drunks, you will be on a nightly roll, since most ride-share drivers steer clear from them due to their volatile and somewhat messy nature. On the other hand, there are always plenty of drink fares to take. This limits your shift to late nights. If you prefer fine dining and entertainment, then you have to pick a wider shift that starts from the late afternoon and carries on till just before midnight. You will have to find all the hottest and liveliest gigs in town and set yourself to coincide with entertainment endings, so you can quickly reach the crowd leaving the theater. Restaurants are harder to gauge, but most people have set hours, and that depends on whether they are with kids or not.

Know your Surges and Hot Spots

Once you have decided on a direction and area, you should study their surge patterns as well as driver saturation. Remember, you might not be, in fact, you won't be the only driver scoping these areas. Be prepared for surges by being in the area. Reading up on major venues will also aid you in finding the right place to be at the finishing time. Also remember, all events have a start and finish time, the start time is less important, the finishing time, and with cinema's the change over time, is important. Usually, surges will occur when multiple sites finish at the same time, creating a high saturation of fares in one area.

Big Events or Small Ones?

Not all big events are good ones for drivers. Sports events cause extreme congestion, as do major musical and other festivities. The larger the event, the more likely you will get fares but will also be trapped in congestion. Smaller events, are always better to manage, and driving to and from different small events will produce more income than one drive from a major event.

By careful planning, and mapping out where events are occurring, a successful driver can create a continuous flow of rides. Since we are discussing events, the probability that they end at night is high, and then the driver can pick drinking venues to finish off the shift.

Using Destination Filter

Ubers destination filter is a great app, using it to get to the area you want to be in will maximise your income on the way. Using it after a drop-off, directing you back to the area you want, will also maximise your income. Applying destination filter intelligently will increase your return income very nicely. Remember, you only have six filter uses per day, so use them wisely.


Ride-sharing is about your decisions, not anyone else. As an independent contractor, you decide where and when you drive. You also decide how and what or whom you drive. If you enjoy yourself and your income, then you know you are doing the right thing.