Driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time… is it worth it?
Two apps are better than one… Or at least that’s what conventional wisdom will tell us when it comes to the rideshare business.
And it makes sense. By simultaneously driving for 2 or more of the major rideshare services (Uber, Lyft, Via, Juno, zTrip, etc.), drivers should receive more requests and less overall downtime. Still, we love data at Gridwise, so we took a look at the anonymized data that Gridwise users have reported to better understand the numbers and run some analysis.
Take a look at what we found below:
Baltimore Difference %
Chicago Difference %
|D.C. Difference %||Pittsburgh Difference %||Average Difference %|
|Baltimore Difference %||Chicago Difference %||D.C. Difference %||Pittsburgh Difference %||Average Difference %|
In every city, we can see that drivers that drive for multiple services have earned more per hour and more per mile. This is exactly what we all would expect to see, however, looking at this data gives us the opportunity to understand why driving for multiple services is more profitable.
Cherry Picking Drives Earnings Per Mile
We’re big fans of using earnings per mile as a key metric because it helps drivers understand how much they are earning when depreciation and maintenance of your vehicle is factored into the equation and helps us measure our return based on our most valuable exchanged asset.
Interestingly, when we look at our datasets, we can see that in almost every city that where we analyzed data, driving for two services has a significantly greater effect on earnings per mile than earnings per hour.
Why? Cherry picking.
Please understand that I am NOT referring to cherry picking done by calling your passenger and asking them where they are headed and then convincing them to cancel if you don’t want the ride.
Nope, we’re actually talking about choosing rides that are closest to you.
When we talk to drivers, the most common advantage that they claim driving for multiple services gives them is the ability to strategically choose rides that are less than 3 or 4 minutes away from them, which cuts down the amount of “dead miles” they are putting on there car. This drives a big increase in earnings per mile.
Destination Filters Puts More Power in Drivers Hands
Earlier this year we put together an analysis of various studies that covered the potential earnings of rideshare drivers, and one of our biggest takeaways was that earnings per hour was heavily driven by skill acquired over time. This skill allows drives to know where and when they need to be certain places around their city in order to take advantage of passenger demand.
One of the best ways to control where you go as a rideshare driver, is through destination filters. With destination filters, Uber and Lyft give drivers more control of where a ride takes them, so many drivers we speak to use these filters to drive closer to events, airports, hotels, and other locations that they believe are more profitable.
For experienced and knowledgeable drivers, the benefit of an extra six destination filters per day can have a tremendous impact on profitability and is likely a big reason drivers are more profitable when working for multiple services.
The More Bonus/Promotion Opportunities the Better
Signing up for two services in some cases may be worth it just to clear your initial bonus. With $2,000 fare guarantees from services like Via and high per-trip fare bonuses from the Lyft, it makes sense to try a service, clear your bonus, and then decide whether or not you want to stick around.
Some drivers, however, can overlook the earning power of promotions. Many services from Uber and Lyft to Via and Juno offer various incentives to drive for there platforms during specific times. Drivers that are signed up for multiple platforms can review these promotions each week or month and decide which service they want to drive for based on who values their time more.
Drivers can still use multiple apps and simply focus on one service when they get close to hitting a bonus.
How to do it?
Driving for multiple apps at the same time is easy, though it’s a different process for Android and iOS users.
Android users can simply leverage Gridwise’s sidebar to seamlessly switch back and forth between apps. The sidebar sits on top of whatever app you’re using so when you are in the Uber app, for example, you can simply tap the floating icon and it will switch over to Lyft, and vice a versa.
When you accept a ping from one service, simply switch to the other service and turn it off.
Unfortunately, our sidebar is not available for iOS (blame Apple!), but you can still manually switch between your apps and turn them on/off.
What about acceptance rate?
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, your app will likely ask you if you’re still driving and the rideshare company might even send a email, however, your promotions and ratings won’t be affected
So what are you waiting for?!?! If you’re not signed up for multiple services, get signed up today and start clearing your bonus!