This is how much rideshare drivers made over the Thanksgiving Holiday

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Want to know how much Uber and Lyft drivers made over the Thanksgiving Holiday across the US?

Well we analyzed the anonymized rideshare earnings data from over 80,000 rideshare drivers to find out just how profitable the Thanksgiving Holiday was for drivers. Read the results below! But first, let’s look at our hypothesis.

Hypothesis

There are three days during the Thanksgiving season where we would expect higher than average rider demand. Those days are “Black Wednesday”, which is the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, and Black Friday.

Based on our knowledge from being rideshare drivers ourselves along with conversations with other rideshare drivers and last years statistics we would expect earnings to be higher on Black Wednesday and Thanksgiving day because Wednesday is the day that people traditionally go out to the bars before Thanksgiving and that Thursday morning around 1:00 am is when rider demand peaks. So we would expect much more rider demand than a usual Wednesday and Thursday.

We would also expect that on Black Friday earnings would be higher because of people going out shopping and potentially going out at night.

The data

In a effort to understand the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on driver earnings, we focused on a period that we call the “Thanksgiving Holiday Period”. This “Thanksgiving Holiday Period” begins the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and goes through the Saturday after Thanksgiving. By looking at these days in aggregate we can understand the impact of “Black Wednesday”, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the weekend after Thanksgiving in totality.

So we will be comparing the “Thanksgiving Holiday Period” of Wednesday through Saturday (11/27/19 – 11/30/19) to Wednesday through Saturday of different times of the year.

Based on this “Thanksgiving Holiday Period” we can see that drivers typically made a small amount more during this Thanksgiving Holiday Period than any other Wednesday through Saturday period in November. We can also see that the typical driver made about 1% more during the Thanksgiving Holiday Period than the yearly average.

However, every driver knows that earnings are HEAVILY dependent on your city, so see the earnings data for 32 markets below:


Market Name
2019-11-27 to 2019-11-302019-11-20 to 2019-11-232019-11-13 to 2019-11-162019-11-06 to 2019-11-09
Pittsburgh, PA$18.83$18.40$19.97$19.35
Los Angeles, CA$17.59$17.02$15.96$16.94
Dallas, TX$15.17$15.56$15.67$15.86
Phoenix, AZ$16.93$17.76$16.82$18.55
New York, NY$24.70$21.07$20.48$22.76
Washington, DC$17.99$17.11$18.15$18.53
Boston, MA$20.74$18.30$18.55$19.24
Chicago, IL$17.95$17.87$17.39$16.75
Baltimore, MD$17.78$16.33$15.35$15.31
Atlanta, GA$14.92$13.24$15.04$12.28
Miami, FL$12.97$16.24$16.30$13.30
Austin, TX$14.37$17.25$18.20$18.82
Detroit, MI$16.40$17.00$17.79$15.65
New Jersey, NJ$21.68$20.48$17.79$16.67
Houston, TX$13.75$14.90$15.37$14.70
Philadelphia, PA$16.94$16.98$17.30$18.73
Bay Area, CA$21.04$22.82$19.27$19.39
San Jose, CA$22.40$21.14$20.02$18.21
Seattle, WA$20.67$21.39$19.74$20.53
San Diego, CA$16.12$17.15$16.49$16.21
San Antonio, TX$11.46$12.45$12.97$15.32
Columbus, OH$11.77$15.26$14.04$15.24
Indianapolis, IN$15.20$13.38$14.79$14.11
Denver, CO$19.94$17.98$17.05$20.33
Jacksonville, FL$11.64$11.92$13.29$14.44
Charlotte, NC$13.76$15.15$14.80$13.22
Las Vegas, NV$13.97$13.48$15.48$16.57
Oklahoma City, OK$15.39$11.27$12.82$12.15
Nashville, TN$13.61$11.80$15.98$14.31
Kansas City, MO$19.06$16.32$15.14$13.52
New Orleans, LA$14.63$10.68$13.89$16.01
Tampa, FL$11.35$11.64$13.59$11.62

While the typical driver did make a small amount more during the Thanksgiving Holiday Period, we thought that drivers would make a significant amount more. To better understand driver earnings during this period, we took a look at driver earnings per day.

We can see here that drivers made a significant amount more on November 28th, the day of Thanksgiving, than any other day during the Thanksgiving Holiday and 30% more than the yearly average.

Data from the 28th will include trips made after 12:00am, so would include those trips home from bars on Wednesday night. These late night/early morning trips on Thanksgiving day are where we assume most driver earnings stemmed from.

On the below graph, we can see just how big of a day November 28th was when compared to other Thursdays throughout the year.

Key takeaways

So what have we learned from all of this data?

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is slow

Don’t expect a ton of demand during the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It appears that demand is quite low for the majority of that day.

But… drivers can make up for it by driving that night

The night of Black Wednesday has proven to be one of the biggest days of the entire year, with rideshare drivers earning about 30% more on Black Wednesday than the yearly median. This is a must-drive day for rideshare drivers.

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