Our society loves a catch phrase or a catch term and the newest one is “I’ll just take an Uber”. It has replaced the word ‘taxi’ and I’m sure it won’t be long until it appears in our dictionaries across the world. The actual definition of Uber though is this;
1. denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing.
I suppose the creators of Uber had this definition in mind when they were searching for a name? I mean, honestly, when it comes to transportation nicknames, I think Lyft won the obvious choice award for this round, and yet, Uber is more widely known. Proof that first to market is always a better place to start.
For the past 2 weeks, I have taken up as an Uber and Lyft driver. I first started with Uber. To be honest, Lyft didn’t even cross my mind, but I’ll get to that transition soon enough.
The process to become an Uber driver is pretty simple. You need a nice car, good driving record, all your applicable licensing and insurance paperwork and the ability to photograph it and upload it to Uber for them to check you out. Once you get the all clear you are good to go.
I was a little nervous at first, after all, I’ve only spent 12 years chauffeuring my children around, where they have zero control over where we go or what music plays on the radio station. Now I’ll be responsible for complete strangers and my success rides on their ‘starry’ opinion of me.
My first step once approved to drive, I hit the car wash. After all, a nice, clean ride means a better experience for my riders and also a better rating on my profile. I vacuumed my baby out, made sure all the coloring books and nicknacks that belong to my kids were well hidden, I bought some bottled water to offer my guests, put in a garbage can and made sure it all smelled good by wiping it down with automotive wipes and window cleaner. I was ready to hit the ‘Online’ button.
My van is the ultimate in shared ride luxury. Leather interior, automatic doors, plenty of space for the whole gang plus luggage and a tv for those who want the extra, extra benefits (I haven’t had anyone request that option yet).
Not even a minute after I went online my phone pinged. I had my first pick up. Away I went. I was about 5 minutes away from the pickup location. When I arrived, I opened the power, sliding doors, and saw my passengers had luggage, so I jumped out and opened up the back hatch. I already felt like I was in total control of this chauffeuring thing.
My two passengers were headed to the airport. This would be a good fare, I thought to myself. Since I have been driving in this area for years, I knew a couple of short cuts to get them to the airport faster, which I found out they rewarded me with a badge…the badge of Good Navigator…I’m movin’ on up already and it’s only my first day!!!
I continued to drive for a few more hours, it was a pretty uneventful day, only one passenger that wasn’t a 5 star on my end but other than that…I made some money and away I went. After looking at the meter and seeing the total for the day, I wasn’t jumping for joy…but I did feel I spent those few free hours well, I mean $30 bucks is better than no bucks right?
On my 2nd Uber day, I picked up a passenger who informed me about Lyft. Now I had only heard of Lyft once. I had used it in Dallas, TX a few months ago to get around. The thought of driving for them didn’t even cross my mind. But, that day when I got home I signed up.
The process however, is VERY different between these two companies. With Uber, it was all me inputting the information. With Lyft, I had to meet a 3rd party before I could be approved to drive.
Before I had my app closed from signing up I had a phone call from my Lyft Mentor scheduling a meet up with me for the next day. I arrived in the parking lot of a local store and parked next to the lady I was meeting. She proceeded to ask me for my legal information with regards to driving, she photographed it, the car and myself before jumping in to have me take her for a ride. Once the ride was over, she looked over my lights and signals to make sure they were working and we parted ways. The whole process took about 20 minutes and was painless.
I left that interview with a new respect for Lyft. As a female, I personally would choose to Lyft to a destination vs Ubering just because of this in-depth screening process. I feel safer and I know the Lyft drivers will be high quality because of this 3rd party interview.
The long and short of it. In my area, Uber is more well known and so it offers you more opportunities to make money, you will often drop off one passenger and get pinged to pick up another one within minutes. Lyft, however, you could wait 10-20 minutes between rides. That can add up by the end of the day. BUT, on the other side of that, because there are less LYFT drivers, the demand is greater at peak hours.
But you are really here to find out about the money right? Because of the frequency in which I Ubered, I made more money overall. HOWEVER, you have to wait a week before you get that money until you have reached certain milestones in Uber.
Lyft on the other hand, I was able to get an instant withdrawal once I reached $50 in fares collected. I found this to be handy since it allows you that instant gratification and also quick cash vs having to wait.
So to Lyft or not to Uber…which will it be? My opinion, do both. Each company offers their own unique benefits which could include helping you to get a car, which is a life changing event for most. Take note though that if you do not like people….this likely isn’t a good option for you.
Take note though that if you do not like people….this likely isn’t a good option for you.
I am not the chauffeuring type so this is not a long-term solution for me, but should I ever need that quick $50 cash, I would choose pink .
If you are looking to try LYFT as a driver click here and earn up to $75 in your first month, use this code to get $50 in in ride credit.