Rideshare Hacking at HLSR

The 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has officially kicked off!!

First of all, for anyone taking a Uber or Lyft to and from the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo, I thank ya’ll from the bottom of my heart. Sure, I get to make more money because it is a large event, but what is even better is seeing all of the responsible adults that decided paying a little more money is way better than trying to drive drunk and potentially killing somebody.

The Green Lot is the Official Pickup/Drop-off Location.

If you have ever waited at the official pick up location (the green lot) for a ride, you know it is a total cluster. There are lots of people (mainly drivers) that blame Lyft and the Rodeo for this mess. The truth is, they have done a great job with what they have been given. There are simply just TOO MANY cars for traffic to move smoothly. The main hold up is the fact that many customers are not ready, or they are not looking for their rides as they pull up. This causes the driver to stop to try and call that rider looking for a ride. Policies for both Uber and Lyft state that, each driver has to wait 5 minutes before they cancel and get a fee. 5 minutes does not help the flow of traffic at all. If we end up cancelling, we will have to wait for another rider, taking up valuable space If you are a rule follower and MUST go to the lot, PLEASE be looking for your ride as soon as they pull into the lot. It is much easier for you to find us, as you know what our car looks like, what we look like and you even have our license plates. Lyft shows your picture if you upload it, Uber does not. Even so, we probably won’t know it is you with the sea of people that surrounds you.


Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to go to the Green Lot to picked up. Avoiding the Green Lot is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but for your driver as well. However, if you take this route, you MUST leave NRG. You can walk, or take a pedicab out of there. (The pedicabs will charge you $20 to go a mile though). It is an option if you are tired of walking. You honestly do not need to walk that far, but the further you walk, the better for all of us. I want to make it clear, that if we pick up on NRG property in front of a police officer, we will be lucky if all they do is yell and give us a stern talking. HPD has in the past written citations to drivers for stopping in the middle of the street to let riders in and out. As a rider, you most likely won’t care, but that ticket can really do some financial damage to a driver. (Most of us will cancel if you are going to make things complicated though #fairwarning)

Some favorite places to be dropped off/picked up at

– Holiday Inn NRG (North of the Stadium)
– Shops at 3 Corners (The Fiesta, Ross, PetSmart, also North of the Stadium)
– Toys R Us (yes it shutdown, but that building will always be called Toys R Us)
– Pappas Bar-B-Que on Main/Mcnee (this one is usually open late and you can have a few drinks if you want prices to go down)
– Target on Main
– Any of the neighborhoods East of the Stadium (Cambridge has quick access to 610)

Another idea, is to take the tram over to Astroworld. From there you can walk out the south end of Astroworld (actually a pretty nice area now days) and request a car to come there. There is a lot less traffic on this side. This really helps if you live south of NRG. One of my riders this past weekend lived in Sugarland so she walked over to the gas station on Main/US 90. We were out of there very quickly. The Green Lot was giving an extra $30 per ride at that time. The gas station was only $2 extra. Fortunately she was nice and left a $10 tip on the app. (Below is an example of how surge pricing works at NRG)

Basically, anywhere you can think that is not NRG property. If you decide to walk to one of these streets, please type in the name of the business into your app when requesting a ride. For the driver who maybe too afraid to pick up from one of these locations on the off chance they might get a ticket, this will help persuade them. (Oh they are coming from this business!)

Walking to another spot, often does have the added bonus of not only avoiding traffic, BUT also reducing that fare as well. Hard work pays off. In this case, it can save you $20-$100, even more. The surges are based on location as well as time. If enough people leave before you request a ride, the prices will go down. If you walk out of the “NRG Zone” prices will get cheaper. Remember, the Green Lot is the official pickup location. The highest price will be focused there and as added bonus.. you get to wait!


Your last option is to simply wait it out, especially after the rodeo concerts. Many patrons after the concert simply go to the carnival and hang out there for a bit before finding a driver. While this is a good idea, remember if you wait until closing time, it kind of defeats the purpose. Wait about 30minutes to an hr for concert only goers to clear out and for the prices to go down, then start heading there.

There is no reason why your rideshare experience should be so horrible that you will consider driving drunk or even buzzed from the rodeo. Hopefully this post helps you plan your experience. Follow @RideshareHouston on Facebook for more tips and tricks.

This is just an example and prices may be higher or lower. Notice how the higher pricing is focused at the Green Lot/NRG.

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