This Is Our New York

The rideshare-mobile rolls on, and thus my dash-cam has been busily documenting my campaign in New York City (NYC).  This week was predictable along the lines of traffic congestion, street closures, and people in Times Square; however, we did have a president sighting.  On Thursday (Star Wars day, May 4th) President Trump paid a visit to the Intrepid museum. Related image The perma-docked aircraft carrier that’s located on the West-side highway, around 54th St.  And with his gracious visitation (for a meeting about some historic battle’s anniversary); the appropriate protesting ensued from the masses.  Essentially, protesters were irate that the president was visiting NYC, and felt compelled to demonstrate across from the Intrepid ship.  Why? That’s beyond me.  All I know is what I heard the group chanting, “Trump get out, this is our New York” in a repetitive, sing-songy, totally non-threatening manner.  Plus the protest was confined to a pre-determined area, which was fenced off by police.   Read more

Scenic Vistas At Night

This week’s dashcam clips are here.  I’ve curated three of the most noteworthy 40s clips from my dashcam to discuss, and to share in this week’s post.  The theme for this week is scenic vistas.  As I had the opportunity to actually get out of my ridesharing vehicle, and take in the beautiful city skyline.  Sometimes driving around Manhattan for eight hours / day, I’ll lose sight of the “forest through the trees” as it were.  So it was nice to take a break and snap some (in my opinion) cool video.  It’s something that I should probably do more often in fact. Read more

It’s Like Bringing McDonald’s to A Steakhouse

What a lovely metaphor that I came up with.  What does it apply to you may be asking?  Well, if you’re reading this blog the only hint I can give away is: it’s in the title!  Haha.  So, I’ve been focusing on competition between the rideshare apps lately, and this line refers to something that one of my pax said.  I’m not here to herald one app while bashing another; just trying to provide some raw insight into what rideshare drivers experience in the New York City market.

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Lessons Of The Streets (LOTS)

Just when I thought it was safe to go outside again, the mean streets of NYC prove to be quite the chaotic battleground.  This week, my dashcam has been snappin’ up all kinds of interesting goings-ons; from taxis running red lights, to ambulances everywhere, and some good ol’ fashioned road rage.  So here’s the highlights from my week.  Chock full of juicy little tidbits, which may provide you dear reader with some valuable insight into the whole ridesharing gig.  If you so choose to partake in viewing these gems.

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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