With the advent of Uber and Lyft, ordering a safe ride home after a night out, has not been easier. However, after large events, like the World Series at Minute Maid Park, finding your driver can be a bit tricky and frustrating.
First of all, let’s touch up a bit on surge pricing. Surge pricing is one of the main reasons why people would rather drive themselves. It can be a bit pricey, but there is nothing to be afraid of, if you understand how it works.
Surge happens when the demand for rides exceeds that out of the driver supply in a certain area, at any given time. Most people assume it is only at certain times. This is partly true, given that large events such as concerts, and sporting events, typically end between 10 and 11 pm, and all of the bars close at 2 am, here in Texas. Outside of those times, there are not typically large events that happen. However, a surge can still happen, given there are enough riders requesting rides.
Pro Tip: Riders looking to avoid the surge tend to leave a bit earlier or simply wait around for the surge pricing to “die.” (typically in 30-45 minutes, prices are back to normal (or close to it, even after a large event like the World Series. Minute Maid Park can only fit so many people. ) Finding a nearby watering hole, also helps pass the time.
If you feel the price is right, and want to go ahead and order a ride, below are some pro tips!
Walk AWAY from Minute Maid!
The City of Houston has not found a way to make driving around Minute Maid any easier. Yes, there is an “Uber Pickup Zone”, but this is very hard to get to, after the game, thanks to street closures and traffic in the area. Technically, we can only pick up there. Compound that single pickup location with the size of Minute Maid Park, street closures, and cops willing to write tickets to us for picking you up outside of the “Uber Zone” and riders often wonder why drivers are taking a long time to show up.
Fun Fact: Surge is a flat-rate amount for drivers now. No matter the distance/duration, we get paid the same amount of money. So, do we want to be stuck in traffic for an hour on one
Pro Tip: Walk away from the stadium, in the direction of your home. Otherwise, we will be forced to go back the way you came! Once you see the crowd thin out/traffic running more smoothly, then you know you walked enough.
DO NOT SIMPLY DROP THE PIN.
This is probably the most important. Often enough, riders tell us, drivers, that they dropped the pin, but it went to another street. If you tap on where it says “dropped pin” you can change the address. The best thing to do is type in the name of a business, such as “CVS”. This tells the driver, you are outside of CVS. (this does not work for a place like Minute Maid Park, as there is more than one exit)
Putting a block number, such as 900 Fannin, works well as well. Just be sure, you are putting the right address)
Call or Answer Your Phone!
A lot of riders do not know there is an option in both Uber and Lyft to call your driver, and vice versa. This is especially useful in locating your driver as you can tell us things like, “I am on the right side of the street”. “I think I see you”. etc. We will be calling if we have arrived and do not see anyone coming to the car. We can only wait for so long so we are not impeding traffic.
Pro Tip: Being on the phone with your driver helps confirm you are getting into the right vehicle, especially in a busy area. Just don’t be the rider to keep getting into the car when your driver on the phone is yelling “wrong car”. (yes, this has happened a couple of times).
Don’t be “that guy”.
When you are on the phone with your driver, each and every one of us will screen you. If you start coming off as irate, annoyed, or just a jerk in general, I am not going to pick you up. Your level of soberness has nothing to do with it, but rather your personality. Someone else will pick you up, no question about it. However, if you find yourself getting canceled on, after calling your driver, you are most likely “that guy”.