If you’re a rideshare driver, odds are you work with either Uber or Lyft. By far the most popular platforms here in the US, these apps have taken over the ride-sharing services marketplace in a major way.
Ten years ago, this wasn’t the case. Options for rideshare were limited because they mostly didn’t exist yet.
Now, the success of app-based ride share has rapidly expanded the industry, allowing for specializations by region and purpose. Hailing a cab in New York? There’s a rideshare app for that. Getting kids to school? An app for that, too.
Let’s examine the top rideshare services and why the drivers are choosing these platforms.
With over two million drivers in 80 different countries, Uber is by and large the most popular and widespread rideshare service. It was the first contender in the market and has been working to disrupt a system that hadn’t seen any major changes since the 1930s.
With brand recognition and a host of premium vehicle choices, full-time and part-time drivers sign up to drive for Uber for the options it creates. The demand for Uber rides is highest in cities, but the company continues to grow and the market continues to expand.
Lyft is Uber’s fiercest competitor. Although its user base is smaller (Lyft holds around 30% of the ride hail market share), Lyft can be just as useful to have in your driver’s arsenal as Uber. Maybe you won’t be getting back-to-back pings, but many drivers even prefer using this service over the other competition.
For one, it can be less overwhelming to the rookie driver. You can turn the app on and pick up passengers at a more leisurely rate, giving you time to take breaks and hone your driving practices.
Via is about actually sharing rides. The app, available now in ten US cities, links riders headed in the same direction to carpooling drivers, cutting carbon emissions and offering riders cheaper prices than Uber or Lyft.
Via offers its drivers two ways to earn: Blue mode and Flex mode. Flex mode is a flat-rate payment system where drivers earn per ride while Blue mode guarantees an hourly wage.
Via operates in spaces where there is a lot of driver demand, putting fewer miles on your vehicle and eliminating the need for long-distance trips. You’ll likely develop regulars and be able to build a relationship with your passengers. Since you typically work during commuter hours, your passengers are also easier to handle than night-time riders.
Wingz connects passengers to a personal driver for pre-scheduled, door-to-door rides. Earnings are determined per ride, so how much you earn depends on how much you want to work.
Drivers will see a lot of airport and event drives (good for higher fares and friendly clients) as well as senior rides. Wingz is a smaller service, but the pre-schedule feature allows drivers more peace of mind about who is getting in your car.
CURB allows passengers to hail yellow cabs in the moment or in advance, and they can be tracked easily through the app. As a taxi driver, you are fully covered under insurance and are paid based on how long the meter is running.
Since your drives are metered, it’s easy enough to take detours at the passenger’s request. There’s no surge pricing option, but the fares are slightly higher and there’s a service fee up front to help recover costs.
Arro is a global ride-share service for taxi drivers. It offers low fees, driver support, and fast pickups in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, NYC, and San Francisco.
In addition to getting riders connected to taxi drivers, it allows an easy payment system for riders already in your car. The app also allows drivers to schedule bookings two days in advance- which helps drivers plan their day.
Kango is Uber for families. If you’re over 21 and have experience in childcare, Kango is a great way to earn $35/hour and maintain flexible hours. It also offers a $25 activation bonus for your first completed ride. This service offers grocery delivery, restaurant take-out, and pharmacy pick-up– your happy customers get their errands done, and you get paid.
There’s a strict approval process, though. Expect to get a background check, fingerprinted, and to attend a Kango training session. Want to earn even more? Drivers can offer to babysit, tutor, help with homework, and help kids with e-learning services.
If you’re in the NYC area, Kid Car offers a kid-centered experience for drivers who want friendly riders and daytime hours. Another plus with Kid Car is that rides are scheduled 24 hours in advance- so you can build your day ahead of time with the hours you want.
The opportunity for recurring rides with the same family increases tip earnings, and Kid Car promises 1.5-3x the earnings on local rides and airport transfers. The vetting process is important- so make sure your driving record is squeaky clean.
Veyo connects qualified drivers with seniors and disabled people who need a lift to non-emergency medical appointments. Operating in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, and Virginia, it’s looking for drivers that are CPR and first-aid certified, and will undergo APA/HIPAA education, customer sensitivity training, and a background check. Don’t have all that? Veyo will provide it for free.
Pay is determined by the city and the number of miles driven. Veyo also offers hundreds of dollars of potential bonuses in the driver sign-up and referral process.
Another rideshare app for kids, this service is great for drivers who don’t want to deal with the safety concerns of driving adults around at night. With the chance to earn up to $30 an hour, a massive opportunity for tips, and pay estimates before you accept a ride, it’s a good alternative to typical rideshare services.
Drivers are screened for criminal records, must have 5 years of childcare experience, be 23 or older, and have a newer car.
Using the right tools can maximize your driving profits, learn the best apps for rideshare drivers.