Get Moving Asap Please

Being a rideshare driver that operates primarily in NYC, I’m constantly on the move.  So, the last thing I need to be told by anyone is to get moving. In fact there’s little to no stopping during a routine shift, unless I’m stuck in traffic.  “Get moving asap please” was a message I received by the operations team that coordinates driver/rider transactions with Via.

I was sitting a red light when the

y/he/she, whomever it was, decided that my cell phone GPS (and therefore my surrounding vehicle) had been stagnate for too long;  and some instruction was needed to prompt me back into service.  So far I’ve rarely received instruction from Via’s ops’ team.  But for whatever reason they felt the need to verbally intervene with the idle, vehicle-shaped blip, that obviously is being monitored from behind the curtain. Read more

How to Save %30 on Gas Expenses

Whats’ the biggest expense for rideshare drivers?  Hands down has to be all the gasoline consumption, which is required for large quantity of mileage driven.  During an average week, personally I’ll spend $40-50 on filling up my tank twice or three times.  That works out to be ~$150/week easily!

To combat that never-ending thirst for gas that my vehicle has seemingly developed, always on the lookout for deals at the pump, with credit cards, at grocery stores, etc.  Basically anyplace and anyway that I can cut down fuel costs, I’m doing it. Read more

Steaming Streets And Flex-Mode Rocket Rates

New York City’s iconic steaming man-holes give the city it’s Gothic underworld feel.  Especially late at night, when the city that never sleeps is, well, a little tuckered out.  Despite the dwindling of traffic at night, demand can still be consistent.  And Via’s 24-hour service is a testament of the need for transportation at the odd wee hours after midnight.

Following up from last week’s post, the weekends and late-night hours are potentially some of the most lucrative times for rideshare drivers.  I grossed over $200 in a span of five hours work last weekend, and netted ~$140 dopo sono mangiato fiori con il mia moglie (sorry the Italian kicks in on it’s own sometimes).  After I dined out with my wife.  And met up with friends for drinks.  Proving that the flexibility associated with this gig is one of its better aspects, aside from the income potential that goes along with it.

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Weekend Rideshare Driving: Worth It?

My typical work schedule is M – F and either Sat. or Sun.  Because I need at least one day off a week to rest.  I’ve tried working seven days/week before, and it’s no fun.  It is helpful for chipping away at credit card debt though.  But isn’t very enjoyable otherwise.  Occasionally, a weekday is designated as an off-day too.  As there’s a buildup of non-work related tasks that tend to accumulate when I’m working overtime.  

But this past weekend I struck a harmonious balance between work and play.  And for really the first time was able to fit everything that I’d planned on doing in.  Typically when friends or a family member requests to spend time together, it’s a decision between doing that OR rideshare driving (which is an avenue for directly making money).   Read more

Oh The People You’ll Meet

One of the cool aspects of working in New York City (as compared to the suburbs) is all the interesting people that I interact with on the daily.  Most pax stick to the informal script when I show up to transport them:  

  • Confirm the ride is there for them.
  • Figure out where to sit, and how to use the automatic door.
  • Bury their face into their smartphone until they’ve arrived at their destination.

Occasionally I’ll get pax who chat me up about rideshare driving, which I don’t mind.  But frequently they more or less conform to the aforementioned behavior.  It’s almost like clockwork sometimes actually. Read more

My Taxes from Rideshare Driving in 2016

Last year I was working full-time, rideshare driving in NYC.  As an Independent Contractor (IC), you’d suspect that my taxes on the year amounted to incredulous amounts.  Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors.  And all ICs are subjected to paying taxes, because nothing is withheld from our income.  That is, all of the income we receive from the Transportation Network Company (TNC) that we work with is taxable.

For people who don’t realize that ICs are responsible for paying taxes on their income; the first time filing their taxes can be quite a shocker.  Especially if: a). you’re filing for the first time as a rideshare driver and 2). are unprepared and don’t know the right way to file. Read more

Even A-list Celebrities Use Ridesharing

It was a cool Sunday night, the last day of winter in fact.  I was pushing 50 hours of driving on the week, and was ready to call it a day.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend; and although I didn’t work Friday night (St. Patrick’s Day), the other nights of the weekend were dreadfully slow.  Which is always nice.  I’m in the Lower West Side, and get a ping to pick up a “Brad C.”  At the time, it didn’t strike me as anything out of the ordinary.  Just was going to pick up Brad next.  An hour or so left in my shift.

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Side-Hustle or Main Gig?

After getting my TLC license two summers ago, I’ve since adopted “rideshare driving” (which is basically giving out rides in a black car vs. a yellow cab) in New York City (NYC).  It’s become my main source of income, and hence I’m doing it full-time (40+ hours per week).  And depend completely upon the income I make doing “rideshare driving” to pay bills, pay down debt, and otherwise live.

It’s not abnormal for “rideshare drivers” in NYC to be driving full-time, because often the drivers have big overhead costs that are unique to this location.  For example, you can’t just use any old car for ridesharing in NYC.  The black car has to be registered with Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), which requires an inspection, commercial insurance, etc.

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Being involved in a crash where nobody was injured?

As carpooling and ridesharing become more popular, the need to use private rides (e.g., UberX, Yellow cab, etc.) are likely to decrease steadily over time.  The number of rideshare trips in NYC has increased dramatically since 2014, while medallion values (of yellow cabs) have plummeted.  Similarly, the onset of carpooling as a cheaply preferred alternative for commuters will likely continue to pervade the densest of urban areas.  Therefore, the overall number of single service trips may decrease; however, the liklihood of being involved in a crash is always present.  Especially as the number of FHV cars goes up.  

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Carpool competition means staying afloat with shared rides.

Carpool Competition: Things are getting interesting in NYC

The morning commute is prime for commuters to find a quick and accessible ride, for cheap.  Most, if not all, rideshare apps offer a carpooling service to specifically target this niche service.  Which means the carpool competition in NYC is becoming stiffer. 

So, to get drivers on board with driving carpool rides, transportation network companies (TNCs) have typically offered big incentives to us. This post dives into which apps’ services are better (for both drivers and passengers), and why.  Specifically, I’m examining some new promotions being offered to drivers as carpool competition continues to result in lucrative incentives.  And the downsides of committing to doing carpool trips. Read more