Rideshare Drivers: 3 tips for maximizing your earnings

Hey everyone, I’m Brandon and I drive full time for both Uber and Lyft. Well, actually I primarily drive for Uber these days and have been for the last 7 months. Time flies when you’re ridesharing, that’s for sure! 

So how did I get into this profession (because in The Bay Area it can be a profession - not just a side job)? At the start of 2016 I decided to take a break from my work at the time! I was in marketing, managing content for health and wellness brands, and spending way too much time on the computer. I wasn’t that happy and felt like I needed a change of scenery. I began doing construction for the first time in my life, working with a general contractor learning the art of home repair. It was rewarding work and to supplement my time after a few months, I bought a car and began driving part-time for Lyft. I cherished the flexibility and freedom of both driving my new car, meeting new people, helping them, AND making money along the way. 

Eventually I figured that even though construction was good for me, what I wanted to focus my energy on was driving. I continue to work as a full-time driver and am dreaming up new ideas and projects that I hope to one day make a reality. Of course, being a full-time driver took some getting used to. 

After driving for over a year both part-time and full-time, I've learned a ton. And I want to share what I've learned to help drivers both earn more and enjoy driving more. Here are my top 3 tips for maximizing your earnings so you can live a happy life while driving some of the most interesting folks around. 

3 Tips for maximizing your rideshare earnings

#1 Find a goal that works for you.

When I first started driving I kept the app in driver mode for a few hours per day. Knowing I can clock-out whenever I wanted, I would sign off before I ever really got going. That worked fine when I was doing it part-time, but making the eventual jump to full-time, I learned that I needed to treat this as a job. So, whatever your status is, either full-time or part-time, have a financial goal and hold yourself to figuring out how to meet that goal every day and every week. For me, I won’t do less than 15 rides per day.  If I hold myself to that then the chances of hitting my bonuses are legit and I’ll maximize my weekly earnings every week. 

I won’t do less than 15 rides per day. 

#2 Make your weekly goals and drive in boost zones!

Besides finding out how you can reach your 65, 75, or 100 rides per week (whichever Uber gives you) on a daily basis, I’ve learned to make sure I drive in Uber’s boost zones. If you’re a Lyft driver, then you can replace “boost zones” for guaranteed hours! Often times, I’ll wind up in Daly City, just outside San Francisco. I used to always keep the app on and wait until a rider request came through. No no. Don’t do that. You’ll lessen your hourly averages and waste time on rides and leave money on the table. I’ve learned to turn my app off, head back to the boost zones in the city, and turn on the app. San Francisco has some great nightly boosts ranging from 1.6x-2.0x. This means they’ll pay you 60-100% times the fare and that’s money I depend on. 

#3 Avoid waiting in long airport queues!

“Wait what? Did he just say that?” Yeah, I said it. Waiting around for hours each day is no way to go. I know some new drivers think only doing airport rides all day are the keys to the money castle. However, this could mean an hour wait for a ride, which could result in a lower fare going to the BART or car rental offices nearby. It could also mean you channel disappointment at your rider; you don’t want to do that. So here’s what I would suggest: When you get a ride to the airport from the city, it’s most likely Uber will send you another airport request without you having to go wait in the long airport line at the cell phone lot. These two back-to-back fares are going to most likely be pretty high. Take the passenger wherever they’re going and find out how to keep driving in that area. If you don’t want to be driving in that area, turn off your app and head to the closest metropolitan zone and pick up rides. I always choose rides over waiting idly. Plus it’s more fun that way. 


Want to keep more of what you earn? Stride Tax is a completely free app that helps you track mileage and expenses so you can maximize your tax write off!