Name: Bill Scott
Driving for: 5 months
TNC Services: Uber X and Uber Premium
Driving Commitment: Full-time
“I usually go by a per hour basis. I do it full time, so I actually treat it like a business. I make sure I’m making at least $25+/hr.”
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A Unique Story from the Driver’s Seat
I had this one young individual request a ride back in January. I picked him and his brother up from Downtown Pittsburgh when I was completing a trip from the airport. I was coming along on Liberty when I got the request.
They came over with a box of long-stemmed roses. Now, before I let anyone get in the vehicle, I confirm that they’re the right person. I started the trip knowing that these two guys were going to the airport. We got to talking, and I learned that the two of them both went to school here in Pittsburgh, but that they were separated from their parents because they didn’t have their visas. That means they hadn’t seen their parents in over a year. Basically, I was getting them to the airport where they were meeting their parents for the first time in a long time. I got to bring them all back home too, so I got a nice two-for-one service trip out of it as well.
It was a really nice experience because I got to see those two people reconnected with their family.
Experience and Strategy
What are some strategies you try to use?
Priority number 1 is to treat it like your own operation. The average Uber driver gets into business because the service offers flexibility and a free schedule. Personally, I’m up and running by 7:30 each morning. You know what they say: the early bird catches the worm.
At that point, I get a couple of local trips in. Usually, one of these trips leads me to the airport. From there, I have a nice strategy that allows me to conduct my main business. This includes following trends for when students are coming in and out from vacations and spring breaks – things of that nature.
Do you try to keep track of things like traffic patterns at the airport, or when events are going on?
It’s pretty easy for me because I was born and raised in Pittsburgh – I kind of know when things are taking place. But with Gridwise, it actually aids my ability to know a lot of the little things that are going on around the city. This allows me to strategically place myself in areas, helping me to maximize my time and earnings.
You do put an emphasis on events, generally speaking?
I deal with the events so I know where not to be stuck. For example, Steelers games are huge for a lot of folks. Me personally, I might get 1 or 2 rides out of that. I figure my daily system would have me be a lot more profitable if I stick to my plan instead of jumping back and forth when the next big thing comes in. With congestion and traffic, it’s not really worth it.
I will do the Penguins games because I live only 2 minutes from the arena. It works very nicely for me. I know there’s a lot of construction going on in the area, but I know the two ways that traffic will be going from an exit standpoint.
How do you keep up with construction in the city?
Construction is very visible because of the Hill District, which that area is connected to, has a lot of development. You just have to use your driver smarts. Be safe when you’re driving, and don’t let the excitement and anxiety of the customer get you off kilter.
Would you say that driving has been pretty profitable for you? Do you keep track of costs (maintenance, fuel, etc.)?
Absolutely – I have a degree in accounting and use what I know to keep track of costs. You read a lot of blogs where folks feel that it’s not really profitable and you’re making something like $0.30 to the dollar. I look at it more as an opportunity. I can earn my own income and set my own schedule. It lets me do a lot of other things that I feel passionate about.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever had, revenue-wise?
I had a trip in November that took me out to Nemacolin. In January, I had two young ladies that were coming home from Spring Break and they were going to Allegheny College. Both of those trips netted me well in excess of $100.
Have experiences of your own which you would like to share? Then reach out to Gridwise at email@example.com.