14 Things I Learned from Doing 100 Lyft Rides in a Month
So hey many of you don’t know this but I’ve been driving for Lyft on the side. Here’s some of the big things I learned:
1. There are so many pockets of Cleveland. Like OMG there are so many parts of Cleveland I had never even heard of before, and it was cool to unearth them.
2. People are mostly nice. I thought I would mostly get drunken a-holes as passengers, but in general people are sweet, and kind, and respectful.
3. It is addictive. I mean boy howdy is it addictive. At least for me. I would keep pushing myself to get one more ride in for the night. One more after that. Just one more. Until one night I drove people until 5am. I had to start putting a time cap on myself after that.
But the gamification of the app is really compelling in that manner. It’s tough to escape it. It’s very much like playing a video game. For example, when a ride offer comes up, you have five seconds to accept it, and even then you have no idea where it’s going to be heading until after you accept it. If you catch it in time, the adventure begins.
4. It takes longer than you’d think. When I started out, I thought I could get 10 rides in a night, easy. Well…not really. Because not only do you end up driving around a lot with no results, but a lot of people want long rides that are half an hour or more. I found that I could average about two rides an hour on most nights.
5.The best times to pick up people are between 10pm-2am, at least in my experience. 7-10pm was almost always dead. I figure that’s the time period in which people were either already home or planning to go out.
6. Watch your back! I really had to be careful because my back started to hurt like gangbusters from all that sitting.
7. The people most likely to almost puke in your car are super drunk white girls coming back from The Flats.
8. The most frequent question asked is “how long have you been driving?”
9. The second most frequent question asked is “why did you choose Lyft over Uber?”
10. People’s lives are crazy. In my travels I met someone who cleans the bloodied towels for the Cleveland Clinic, a guy who owns his own brewery, a commercial producer from LA, a dude who was dating the sister of Layzie Bone from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, a former truck driver turned Greyhound driver, an alleged psychic, a real estate agent turned Apple employee, and more.
11. The payments go through so quick! You can have yesterday’s money in your bank account by the next day.
12. I thought a lot of the people needing rides would be going out to party, but I had a lot more people using Lyft to get to and from work and pick up their kids. I picked up a lot more people in suburbia and extended urban communities than I did downtown.
13. While my roommate says that the majority of his Uber rides were white, I’d say about 3/4th of my Lyft clients were POC.
14. Treat yourself. I always ended each night by buying one gas station treat.