The Internet is changing yet another industry - taxi cabs. Ridesharing, as it is called, allows individuals in need of a ride to access a pool of drivers through a social media platform (mobile app). The concept has its critics, chief among them professional taxi drivers who are realizing that they may go the way of record stores and the phone book if this trend is not stopped soon. The truth is that the horse is already out of the barn, or as one writer put it, 'the car is already out of the garage.' Consumers love ridesharing, and those providing rides love the flexible hours and earnings of up to $35 per hour. It is highly unlikely that this wave can be stopped, so cities and states have moved on to trying to find a way to regulate it. You can do a Google search with the words "rideshare" and pick any major city and you will see stories like this. Ridesharing companies, however, appear to be on a big winning streak in popularity, legal rulings, and government acceptance.
A New Income Opportunity For The Masses
"I have been working part time as a driver partnering with UberX. I am an independent contractor, not an employee. For me, it has been a good experience. Out of nearly 800 rides I have completed so far, I have only had two riders who were a little rude to me. My only concern initially was the insurance situation: the insurance was not clear and while I knew passengers were covered, coverage for my car and myself was uncertain. This was recently rectified by Uber with added coverage on their insurance policy. My car and myself are now covered when the application on the iPhone they issue to you is on and you are online to work. Ridesharing is great way to earn a supplemental income and it can be worked into your schedule. I usually work 4-12 hours on Saturday nights" says Daniel Annweiler who lives in a Chicago suburb.
Annweiler added, "I am online on Saturday nights and the time I start depends on whether I work an extra day at my regular job. My hourly earnings range between $20-$25 before paying for gas and a 5% commission to Uber. Expect to earn more during periods of increased demand for rides. UberX has "surge pricing" where rates increase during these periods, this also occurs during bad weather and very busy nights. My hourly average last New Year's Eve was $55. I worked 12 hours that night. You do have to have a pretty good knowledge of getting around the areas you are working. I live in Bolingbrook, but I go to Chicago for ridesharing because that's where most of the business is at in this area, though I have had rides in nearby Naperville. Best times to work are morning and evening rush hours and Friday and Saturday nights."
Ridesharing And Insurance
Insurance has been a gray area for those participating in the world of ride sharing. If you have an informal car pool and everyone chips in toward gas, it is likely that your insurance company would have no problem with such an arrangement. Those participating in ridesharing, however, are operating somewhere between being a professional driver and a person informally sharing transportation expenses. The good news is that it appears that the insurance issue has been resolved, and drivers are protected by blanket policies paid for by the ridesharing companies. Uber just announced the expansion of its coverage and it now appears that this issue may now be settled once and for all.
Why I Love This Opportunity
How many people run short occasionally on cash and could jump in their car and generate enough money to buy some groceries, clothes for the kids, or knock out an unexpected medical bill? The truth is that we have all been in such situations and simply had no immediate means by which to generate income. I believe that ridesharing should be regulated to an extent, but it is pure lunacy when a single taxi medallion goes for $1 million dollars in New York City. These high costs and regulatory barriers to entry serve one primary purpose; to keep out newcomers and eliminate competition.
Requirements for driving
You must be at least 23 years old and have your own four-door car (2000 or newer) in good working condition. You must own an iPhone or Android in order to use the Lyft mobile app. We’re looking for friendly, community-oriented drivers who love meeting new people. In order to be approved, you must pass a phone screen, an in-person meeting and background & DMV record checks.
Protections for you and your passengers
- $1,000,000 excess liability insurance: The Lyft platform provides drivers with excess liability insurance up to $1,000,000 per occurrence. This first-of-its-kind solution offers peace of mind to both drivers and passengers.
- Passenger ratings: Drivers rate passengers after every ride, and you’ll be able to see their rating before accepting a pick up. Every passenger also signs up for Lyft using Facebook and provides valid credit card information for identity purposes.
The approval process
We try to contact everyone within one business day of applying, and the orientation process takes 1-2 weeks. You’ll be out on the road and driving in no time!
Community drivers get 80% of the total donations received from passengers. Money is deposited into your account each week.
You choose when you want to drive within Lyft’s operating hours — it’s entirely up to you.
Major Ridesharing Companies
All I can say is that it is a fascinating time to be alive and watch all of these new opportunities opening up. I am especially intrigued by the flexibility of this one. It seems like a way for riders to save money and drivers to make money - love it!
If you have worked as a rideshare driver or been a passenger through a ridesharing arrangement, please use the comments section below and we can start a conversation.
Special Offer From Daniel Annweiler (who we thank for his contribution to this piece) -Get up to $20 savings on your first ride with UberX. Download the app and use coupon code: rh8pw7. He also picks up $10 for each new rider he sends their way!
Helping you make the most of God’s money!