Did you know that Washington DC was named the best city in the country for rideshare drivers? An article from The Washington Post describes a study which examined factors like the number of rich young people in a city and the population’s reliance on public transit to determine the places most ripe for rideshare drivers, with Washington DC coming out on top.
Albeit, these results were from 2015, but with the hundreds of thousands of drivers and millions of users across the US, it is safe to say that this new industry is still exploding. So as a DC rideshare driver, how can you stay ahead of the competition and increase your earnings?
1. Drive for more than one TNC
The primary TNCs that currently have a presence in the District include Uber, Lyft, Via, and Curb. If you already drive for one of these companies and enjoy the income, you may want to consider signing up for another company as well. Driving for two different services at the same time opens you up to getting more requests and diversifies your income stream. Ultimately, this will lead to more money in your pocket.
If the increased earning potential from driving for more than one rideshare service sounds enticing, you may want to also keep in mind the sign-up bonuses that different companies offer. According to Rideshare Connection, the current sign-up bonuses for drivers in Washington DC are $300 for Uber and $200 for Lyft. While Lyft publishes sign-up bonuses on their website, Uber does not. Blogs and websites like Rideshare Connection use feedback from readers and partners to create their list of offers, but you can always contact the TNC directly to verify the current bonus offer for the DC area.
2. Know the DC hotspots
If you want to increase your earnings (which we all do) you’ll have to know the times and locations for the DC hotspots. So what exactly is a “hotspot”? Hotspots are geographic areas which experience extremely high passenger demand at certain times of the week.
In Washington DC, the local hotspots currently include the following areas:
- Georgetown – The primary riders in this historic neighborhood are the young professionals that inhabit the area as well as tourists who are interested in getting a ride to destinations such as Tudor Palace and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.
- Arlington – The metro access and lower prices for rent draw a younger crowd to this area, so you can expect your typical drive to head to and from U Street as well as commuter trips.
- Bethesda and Silver Spring – These two suburban cities that surround the capital are popular for those that want the city life but not the city hassles. You can expect passengers to be either commuters or those who want to be a part of DC nightlife.
- Southern Maryland & Northern Virginia Suburbs – Most commonly passengers from these two areas will need a ride to or from the airport. However, more and more commuters are originating from these areas due to the population increase in the DC metro area.
3. Always plan ahead
When it comes to rideshare driving, making a plan before you start driving is necessary to use your time most efficiently and increase your earning potential.
Even though rush hour in downtown and weekend late nights on 14th St. may seem like the best places to be in order to take advantage of the surge, driving during these busy times without a plan will get you nowhere fast.
In fact, experienced rideshare drivers recommend to newbies to never chase the surge. While it may be tempting, many veterans say it rarely pays off. Aimlessly chasing the surge is not only a waste of time, but also a waste of gas along with the addition of wear and tear to your vehicle.
A better course of action is to plan your days ahead of time so you can be in the hotspot areas just before the surge begins. Driving during these peak times increases your earnings per trip compared to what you would receive without the surges.
4. Use the Gridwise app to drive more efficiently
Gridwise is a service-agnostic platform created to increase rideshare drivers’ performance, thus resulting in increased earnings. No matter which rideshare service you drive for, the Gridwise app provides you with features that enable you to drive more efficiently.
For example, the Gridwise mobile app offers an Airport Demand Data feature that can be used to gauge driver demand at the three major airports in the DC area. Additionally, the Gridwise app provides a 7-day outlook on events. The end time updates from the major events, like when the Redskins go into overtime with the Bengals or when Kanye West is going to end at the Verizon Center, will help you be in the right place at the right time.
Don’t just take our word for it, though – download the Gridwise app now to see all the features and resources you’ll have available right at your fingertips!