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Astros + Uber = 100% chance of Rain

Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States, and is slated to surpass Chicago as the 3rd largest city in the coming years. With the Astros in the playoffs once again, there is NO reason why anyone of us should be going home with less than $300 at the end of the playoff game.

$300 may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. This past weekend, I have seen post, after post in Facebook groups of drivers making around $150-$175 for 8-10 hours work and they were happy. I am here to tell you that you do not need to settle for $10-$15 an hour, especially, when there is a playoff game.

Before I get to the good part, I will be expecting that HPD will be writing tickets again this weekend. The smaller airport lot, and slower process of permits being issued for TNC drivers is part of a larger plan to help taxi’s in Houston survive. When you pick up at Minute Maid Park, be sure to pick up in the Uber Zone on the corner of Crawford and Congress. If you are coming from out of town, please familiarize yourself with this before you start taking riders there. Our Mayor has been playing some under the table politics lately.  

So, how do we pull off $300?

First of all, we have to understand how surge works. There is a new type of surge, that even the old school drivers seem to not understand.

Uber = Uber has a flat rate surge amount, but it can increase.
Lyft = Similar to Uber, Lyft also has a flat rate amount, but this DOES NOT increase.

So why do some fares increase on Uber?

Here’s the thing, when a rider pays a surge amount, Uber does a share adjustment (this can be found in the fare details section of the trip under Surge, or Optional Insurance, if you have it.) You will see a section for “Share Adjustment”.

According to Uber, “Share adjustments happen when the difference between a rider’s payment and your earnings is higher than estimated.”

Basically, Uber actually has a somewhat of a heart left and shares the higher price with you. Lyft does not. I really can’t stress this enough.

The simple way of thinking of this adjustment is if the rider is paying more, then you will get more money.

So how do we know if the rider is being charged more? You can use an app, like one in the Apple app store called “Surge 2.0” or you can pull up google maps and get price estimates in real time. You can also use your rider app on your phone, but be sure to do this on another phone, with an account that is not the same login as your driver account. Uber has been known to flag drivers for doing this. Why? Because every time the rider app is opened, it signals to Uber that a rider is about to order a ride. This causes prices to rise artificially as rider demand will outstrip supply. Using google maps, or the Surge 2.0 app is perfectly safe though. (I have been using these for several years). IF THE RIDER IS NOT BEING CHARGED MORE, YOUR FLAT RATE ESTIMATE WILL STAY THE SAME. I can’t stress this enough.

Why Surge happens
One of the best ways to increase our earnings to reach that $300 a day is to understand why surge happens. Everyone knows at 2am, there is a guaranteed surge. But why? There is a very simple reason behind it.

When rider demand outstrips driver supply, prices rise.

Basically, when a lot of riders open their apps, the prices increase. This is why Uber flags your account when you check prices on your rider app, but this also means to position yourself at the right time, at the right spot. When that 9th inning hits, you better be outside of Minute Maid Park. When the bars close at 2am, you better be in Downtown. It is as simple as that.

In summary, to get to that $300, you must know when the rider is being surged. and try your best to pick up some longer surge rides. Uber and Lyft both tell us when it is a longer ride (45+) minutes. There are lots of suburbs around town that waiting for that long ride notification is your best bet, if there is a surge, but this only works on Uber. Remember, Lyft does not increase your pay if it is a longer trip on surge, only Uber does. For this reason, I log out of Lyft when I am pretty confident there is going to be a surge, especially when Uber is surging. In other cities, like Austin, long trips are rare and not worth waiting for. In Houston, long trips come often enough that it surges.

Now, I can not tell you to turn your apps off, as Uber will see that as us colluding to manipulate the app, but I can tell you that at the end of the Astros game, it will surge. There is no reason why you should pick up riders without a bonus. That traffic is a nightmare. It is a nightmare trying to find your pax. How much is it worth to you?

I understand that there are some drivers coming from out of town. I have seen chatter from both Dallas and Corpus Christi groups today. That is fine. They are going to be taking all the short trips so we can wait for longer rides, as they will come here wanting to take as many rides as possible without understanding how the Houston market is. Even with the influx of extra drivers, there is no reason why a Houston driver can not make off with at least $300.

Now, let’s hope the Astros win 2 games, and not all 3, otherwise this post will be in vain as they will not be coming to Houston Saturday.

Oh, and don’t feel bad about the rider from the Woodlands paying $200 for a ride. The tickets to playoff games are not cheap. By default, you need to have a few extra bucks laying around to make a trip there. If that rider can’t afford to pay you some extra money, their card would not of gone through and/or they would of simply waited for prices to go down.

Now, lets be smart, patient and get this money!!!

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