What has been the farthest that Uber, Lyft, or another transportation company has tried to get you to drive to pick up a passenger?
15-minutes away? 20-minutes away?
A few years ago, I was pinged a to pick up a passenger that ended up being 22 minutes away from me. I was a relatively new driver at that point and hadn’t seen much action that day, so I quickly accepted the ride.
After fighting through traffic and dealing with an irate passenger calling/texting me every 5 minutes even though I was clearly on my way, I finally arrived and picked up the passenger…
For a 7-minute ride.
Experiences like this can quickly turn someone off from taking far away requests, however, there are a few situations where it makes sense to drive 15+ minutes to pick up a passenger.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the 4 most common reasons that you will want to pick up a passenger that is far from your current location.
It is a weekday morning between 4:00 am and 6:00 am
If you’re an early morning driver in a city with a popular airport then you know that these are prime hours for business travelers heading out for the week. These rides are usually long fares, so it is worth it to accept a ride that is farther away because you’ll likely be getting a large fare.
To make the trip even more worth your while, check your Gridwise app to see if there is a peak in demand coming in.
Then check your Gridwise app to see how many other drivers are at the airport.
If there is a peak in demand and a moderate to low amount of drivers at the airport, you’ll be able to quickly catch another long ride leaving the airport. This makes accepting these pings from far away worthwhile.
If you’re lucky enough to get a ping into a surge area from 15-minutes away, just take the ride! The extra that you’re going to be getting because of the surge pricing will more than make-up for the fact that you have to go farther to pick up your passenger.
when it’s in a location I want to go
Many drivers like to stay in their sweet spot.
That means they like to drive in certain parts of the city and don’t venture out too far, too often. If you’re a driver that wants to stay in a certain part of town, but a passenger has taken you away from your zone, don’t hesitate to take a ride that is coming from an area close to where you want to go.
When picking up from hotel
The people that you pick up from hotels will almost always be headed out of town which means they’ll want to be taken to the airport. As we discussed above, these airport trips can be very profitable, not just because of the initial long fare, but the fares leaving the airport.
Use Gridwise to check the airport stats before you accept a ride, however, most trips from a hotel to a airport should be worth your time.
Bonus: Uber Rarely (if ever) deactivates users for not accepting rides.
Many drivers are afraid to ignore ride requests because they fear being deactivated by Uber, Lyft, or whoever they may be driving for.
Actually, Uber and Lyft don’t explicitly state that a driver can be deactivated for a low acceptance rate… Check out this excerpt from Uber’s community guidelines.
“High acceptance rates are a critical part of reliable, high-quality service, but not accepting trip requests does not lead to permanent loss of your account.
Consistently accepting trip requests helps maximize earnings for drivers and keeps the system running smoothly. We know that sometimes things come up that prevent you from accepting every trip request, or you may want to take a break. But not accepting trip requests causes delays and degrades the reliability of the system. If you don’t want to accept trips, just log off.
If you consistently decline trip requests, we will assume you do not want to accept more trips and you may be logged out of the app. ”
When you don’t accept a ride, Uber will put you in “time-out” for 2-30 minutes depending on your city. This means you won’t be able to accept any rides.
This isn’t a big deal really as most of these time-outs don’t last more than five minutes. If you’re on your third ping and you’re about to get timed out, you can always accept the ride and cancel it. Unfortunately, a high cancellation rate IS likely to get you deactivated by Uber or Lyft. So tread lightly.
If you do happen to get locked out by Uber… just turn your Lyft app on and drive for them!