The RSF Guide to Driving for Uber/Lyft in Charlotte


Driving in cities varies according to each cities geography, social layout, and hot spots. The traffic issues have a major impact on how a city manages its transportation issues, and that is why public transport systems don't cover the needs of the many. This is why rideshare has become so popular since it provides a personalized solution to a time old problem; how do I get from where I am to where I want to be? So here at RSF, I decided to start preparing guides for my readers, comprehensive insights into anything and everything rideshare related.

RSF City Guides for Drivers

This series will look at specific cities and focus on issues that are related to each and every city. Take into account that all information provided will change over time. Cities tend to change their transportation routes, and business, as well as social locations, move around.

Charlotte, North Carolina

In 2016 the population of Charlotte City was around 842,000 making it the 17th-most populous city in the United States. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2016 population of around 2,630,000. Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate.


  • Uptown: 130 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
  • South End: South End, Charlotte, NC 28203
  • South Charlotte: 4400 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
  • Quail Hollow & Ballantyne: 3700 Gleneagles Rd, Charlotte, NC 28210

Charlottes best residential areas

  • Eastover
  • Uptown
  • Ballantyne
  • Myers Park
  • SouthPark
  • Matthews
  • Plaza-Midwood
  • Huntersville
  • Dilworth

The current top nightlife locations in Charlotte

  1. The Imperial, First Ward 300 N College St

  2. The Underground, Third Ward 820 Hamilton St

  3. Tilt on Trade, 127 W Trade St

  4. Mooney's Lounge, North Charlotte 2525 N Graham St

  5. AvidXChange Music Factory, Third Ward 1000 Nc Music Factory Blvd

  6. White House Night Club, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd

  7. Blue Olive Lounge, Ballantyne 14021 Conlan Cir

  8. Sophia's Lounge, Fourth Ward 127 N Tryon St

  9. Vibrations Night Lounge, Eastland 5237 Albemarle Rd

  10. Infused, First Ward 312 N Myers St

Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) Airport

  • Always keep the Uber app open at the airport.
  • All pickups must occur at Zone E in the lower Arrivals level.
  • All ride drop-offs must occur on the "Departures" level near the ticket area for both terminals.
  • The waiting area uses a FIFO system within a geofenced area. You need to access the area and wait in turn. I personally don't wait at the airport, its better to get rides on the way back.
  • The waiting area is located at Zone E in the lower Arrivals level.
  • If there are no drivers in the waiting zone, the request will go to the drivers closest to the airport.
  • If asked by airport staff for your Waybill, you can access this within your Uber Partner App
  • Driver cancellations: if you use this option too frequently you will be blocked from using the app at CLT.

CLT Queuing rules:

  • You will lose your place in the queue if:
    • You go offline with your Uber driver app
    • You drive outside the FIFO zone
    • You do not accept multiple incoming trip requests in a row
    • You cancel multiple rides (if the rider cancels, you will remain at the top of the queue)

How to navigate PNC Music Pavilion

Rideshare drivers need to arrange their pick-up and drop-off in Lot B. You can enter the lot from either direction on Pavilion Blvd. Always make sure you have your Uber or Lyft badge (but not both) visible in your windshield. You cannot park in Lot B, so once you finish with your passenger, drive straight and turn left onto the access road to return to Pavilion Blvd.

How to navigate Charlotte Motor Speedway

Rideshare drivers need to arrange their pick-up and drop-off on Concord Pkwy S in the far-right lane. Always make sure you have your Uber or Lyft badge (but not both) visible in your windshield. You cannot park on Concord Pkwy S, so once you finish with your passenger, drive away.

Stadium pickup guide

Riders have options, so make sure you know which area you are going to meet them at;

  • South Church Street & and West MLK Blvd
  • South Tryon Street & West Stonewall Street
  • South Tryon Street & West Morehead Street
  • South Cedar Street near The Foundry

Navigational Aids

Just as you find traffic and congestion in other major cities, we have it in Charlotte too, and here are a number of tips for you to navigate easier and safer while Ubering around.

  1. Turning left on E. 3rd outbound between Charlottetowne and Queens, I suggest you drive up a block to Baldwin to get to a left turn lane. The reason you are doing this is to help you cut over from 3rd Street to 4th Street seamlessly without taking too much risk.

  2. Turning left on Charlottetowne from E. Stonewall, you might find that the left turn here is usually backed up, (in peak hours it's a mess here), so drive on to the next light at Pearl Park Way.

  3. Merging I-85S at I-77S heading inbound, I suggest you remain in the right lane. If you stay in either one of the left lanes, you will need to merge with the mergers, and this requires a lot of braking and accelerating, which is really not good for anyone.
    Take note that there are two exit lanes at this exchange, one is to take you to the 855 the other to the 775. If you stay in the right lane of these two, you will emerge into the fourth lane of the I-77 and not need to merge yourself.

  4. Turning left on Thomas from Central Avenue outbound, Don't because you cannot. There is a no left turn sign there, so don't be an asshole and make the turn just to be faster.

  5. Turning left on Pecan from E. 7th outbound, another no left turn here too. If you need to get to Central from 7th, you should have made your turn at Hawthorne. All other left turns end up dead-ending into the US-74.

  6. Turning left on Randolph from Cotswold Shopping Center, you can take a turn from the back of Harris Teeter; there is a traffic light in front of Smashburger. The reason you want to do this is due to the traffic conditions of turning left at the Starbucks exit of the shopping center. There are four lanes to traverse, instead, drive up to the traffic light and save time.

  7. Parking on Commonwealth between Pecan and The Plaza, if you end up coming here with a passenger, or to pick one up, just keep a lot of space between you and the car in front. This is a reverse-angle parking block, so cars have to maneuver a lot here. It will save you time if you give them the space they need to do so.

  8. Turning right on Graham Street from 12th, I suggest you hug the right lane here, for some reason everyone wants to turn right, so don't get caught in the left lane. This way you wont impact those unfortunate left turners here. This also helps you in the future when you want to turn left and end up behind some right turning asshole that hugs the left lane.

  9. Beware the I-485, not much to add here, its madness on this route.

  10. The I-77 is always going to surprise you with traffic issues.

Now for some city driving tips

  1. Huntersville and the Lake Norman area
    This is one shitty commute. The I-77 is the only real way to go, so if there is congestion, you will be stuck in it. Be prepared and just put on some music.

  2. Concord & Northeast suburbs
    Using the I-85 is now an option, it was always a problem route during construction. There are alternatives, but none are much faster.

  3. East Charlotte
    You will rely a lot on Independence Blvd. It was widened which made it a freeway with no traffic lights, and this has improved the flow of traffic. Usually, the side streets are already clogged during rush hour, so if Independence is clogged up, you will feel the effect.

  4. Mid-South of the city & Myers Park
    This is the rich resort of Charlotte, and many expensive car drivers like to crawl around in their fancy cars. Most probably because they are all 80 years old and in no rush to get anywhere.

  5. South Charlotte & Ballantyne
    Rush hour commuting downtown from far South of Charlotte (Ballantyne) will take you 3 to 4 times as long as it normally would. You have been warned.

  6. Gaston County
    The 5 lanes I-85 makes commuting from Gaston County into Charlotte pretty easy. I have sometimes found that rush hour is faster than a none-rush hour since everyone I speeding along to get to work.

The additional route of Highway 74, adds a further 3 lanes wide that alleviates some of the congestion off the I-85 whenever there's an accident.

Commuting back to Gaston County in the evening rush hour is a different story all together. The I-85 goes from 5 lanes at the 485-outer loop intersection to 3 lanes at what we all call "The Belmont Squeeze." Once you drive through the Belmont Squeeze, you find traffic gets back to normal.

Charlotte Routes (Wikipedia)

Primary Interstates

Number Notes
I‑26 The gap in Asheville signed as Future I-26.
I‑73 One segment currently open between Greensboro and Ellerbe. Scheduled to be extended to Virginia and South Carolina borders.
I‑74 Three open segments in Mount Airy, Piedmont Triad, and Laurinburg areas. Will be continuous once completed.
I‑87 Future designation along US 64 and US 17 to Norfolk, Virginia.

Auxiliary Interstates

Number Notes
I‑540 Northern (untolled) half of the Raleigh Outer Loop. Partially completed (toll) southern half designated NC 540.
I‑785 Future designated along US 29 to Danville, Virginia.
I‑840 The northern half of Greensboro Urban Loop. Two short open sections at the eastern and western termini.

Business routes

Number Notes
I‑40 Bus. Freeway grade business loop.
I‑85 Bus. Expressway grade business loop through Lexington and High Point; freeway grade business loop through Greensboro.
I‑95 Bus. Boulevard grade business loop.

Winter driving tips in Charlotte

Charlotte gets its fair share of wintery weather and here are some pointers for all drivers that want a safe shift.

  • Take into account that driving in the winter takes twice as long as in the summer, so factor in all your driving times.
  • Make sure to clean your car of all snow from the roof, and don't use hot water on an icy window, it can lead to cracks.
  • Add at least two seconds of distance between you and the car in front. Don't tailgate, a sudden brake and you will be up to the next vehicles backside.
  • Don't brake fast; you will skid on icy roads. Braking in the winter takes longer due to the skidding effect of the wheels on the road surface.
  • Remember that bridges and overpasses are higher and usually open to the weather, so they freeze faster and harder.
  • Its better to drive in tracks that were made by vehicles before you.
  • If you start to skid or hydroplane, don't brake. Hold the steering wheel and take your foot of the gas.
  • Never use cruise control in the winter, ever.
  • Make sure you have a warming/drying kit as well as a first aid kit fully equipped and available at all times.