Animal Taxi Monday 2.29.16

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“My, what big teeth you have!” #AnimalTaxiMonday

Click here to view all of our Animal Taxi Monday pictures!

Film Scene Friday 2.26.16

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Happy Film Scene Friday!  Can you guess the movie depicted in the taxi scene below?  Scroll down to find the answer! #FilmSceneFriday

Scroll Down for the Answer!

A: Coming to America

Over 300 New Cities & Services Supported by TaxiFareFinder!

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As the world becomes a smaller and smaller place, our team at TaxiFareFinder strives to continually grow our site to include every corner of the world to make traveling as easy as possible for as many people as we can! Last week we added over 300 new locations and services to our site to bring our users the most comprehensive taxi and rideshare fare estimator on the web. Not only did we add new cities around the globe, but we also expanded on our rideshare services, adding more UberXL, Lyft Plus, and Uber Black estimates.

Some of the new cities we added include Troy, MI, Fall River, MA, Hoboken, NJ, Centennial, CO, Bethel Park, PA, Pawtucket, RI, Park City, UT, Concord, NC, Kaneohe, HI, Germantown, TN, Beaverton, OR, Bowling Green, OH, Everett, WA, Lafayette, IN, as well as a slew of cities in California, Florida, and Texas.

Is your city or favorite rideshare service not yet supported by TaxiFareFinder? Let us know in the below comments and we will add it to our site as soon as possible!

Wanderlust Wednesday 2.24.16

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Wroclaw, Poland is so colorful we bet the yellow taxis hardly stand out! #WanderlustWednesday

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How to Contact Uber and Lyft!

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For creating and implementing top of the line technology both Uber and Lyft can be a little hard to get in touch with when you have a question or concern. Every day our support email is flooded with questions regarding Uber and Lyft and how to get in contact with these two companies. In order to make life a little easier for our readers, our TFF team has compiled the best resources for contacting Uber and Lyft when you need their help!

 

Uber Contact Information

  1. If you are a passenger and have a question regarding a recent Uber ride, the fastest way to get the help you need is to simply reply to your Uber ride’s e-mail receipt! We notice that most customers seem to get a response within a few hours.
  2. Email [email protected] . As Uber does not have a contact phone number, email is your best bet for reaching a human being. Luckily their response time through email is fairly quick (2-3 hours). Also, once a service rep has replied to your claim you can simply email that service rep back directly if you wish to continue speaking to the same person. On the flip side of the coin, if you wish to speak to a different representative simply email [email protected] again and most likely a different representative will get back to you.
  3. If you are a social media user, try tweeting at Uber (@Uber). While we haven’t personally had the best luck with responses from Uber via twitter, if you create enough buzz we bet they will respond fairly quickly!
  4. As a last resort, try using their Help Center (https://help.uber.com/?_ga=1.260272717.1773021183.1424970143). We know it’s not fun searching through articles trying to find your answer but they do have a lot of valuable information available on their Help page!

 

Lyft Contact Information

  1. The best way to currently contact Lyft is through their help center (https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us). They have lots of useful articles and resources for both riders and drivers. If you do not find the answer you need, you can email them using their webform (https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/requests/new) and a customer representative will get back to you!
  2. The Lyft support team has created a twitter handle specifically for support help. The handle is @asklyft and it is available every day from 7AM to 9PM. This is a great way to get a quick response from the Lyft team!

Animal Taxi Monday 2.22.16

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We love the Animal Taxis in Australia! #AnimalTaxiMonday

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Film Scene Friday 2.19.16

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Happy Film Scene Friday!  Can you guess the movie depicted in the scene below? The giant monster foot should help give it away! Scroll down to find the answer! #FilmSceneFriday

Scroll Down for the Answer!

A: Godzilla

The Many Services of Uber

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Uber is known for providing low cost, quick rides to many city-goers through their Uber X platform but did you know that Uber also has a plethora of other car services available? It can get confusing as it seems like Uber is introducing a new line of service almost daily, so we decided to break down each service from Uber POP to Uber Exec so you can better understand what you get with each type of Uber service. Take a look below!

 

Uber X – This is Uber’s budget option and their most popular option. When you select an Uber X car, an everyday car with seating for up to 4 people will arrive to pick you up. Some examples of Uber X cars are Toyota Prius, Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Escort.

 

Uber POP – This is Uber’s budget option in Europe, it is nearly identical to their Uber X option within the United States. When you select an Uber POP car, an everyday car with seating for up to 4 people will arrive to pick you up. Some examples of Uber POP cars are Toyota Prius, Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Escort, Nissan Altima, Honda Civic, and Mazda 3.

 

Uber XL – This is the Uber X for SUV’s. While a typical Uber X car can only seat up to 4 people, an Uber XL will have seating for up to 6 people. Note that this is not the SUV “luxury version” and cars are not required to be black or high-end. Some examples of Uber XL cars are Dodge Caravan, Kia Sorrento, and Toyota Highlander

 

Uber Black – This is Uber’s original luxury option.  When you select an Uber Black car, a high-end sedan with seating for up to 4 people will arrive to pick you up. While you will ride in style, the price for an Uber Black car is significantly higher than an Uber X. Unlike cheaper Uber services, Uber Black drivers must also have city-specific airport permits (when required) and commercial registration and insurance. Some examples of Uber Black cars are Executive Lincoln Towncar, Mercedes S-Class, Infiniti Q70, BMW 5-Series, 7-Series, Cadillac XTS,  and Lexus LS460.

 

Uber SUV – This is the luxury SUV option. This is one of Uber’s more expensive (and in most cities, the most expensive) option. When you select Uber SUV, a high end SUV with seating for 6 people will arrive to pick you up. Unlike cheaper Uber services, Uber SUV drivers must also have city specific airport permits (when required), commercial registration, & insurance. Some examples of Uber SUV cars are Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, Lincoln Navigator, GMC Yukon XL, Infiniti QX80, Mercedes GL-Class, and Lexus LX

 

Uber Taxi – This is your typical yellow cab taxi. Uber has an agreement with some taxi cab companies allowing you to book a typical taxi but pay through the Uber app.

 

Uber LUX – This service is only available in a few cities worldwide. It is Uber’s ultimate luxury car service and they only accept the top models from a few luxury brands. Some examples of Uber LUX cars are Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Porsche Panamera, Tesla Model S, and Range Rover.

 

Uber EXEC – This is Uber’s corporate service for those who want a chic yet understated alternative to Uber LUX. Uber EXEC is typically a mid-tier car with seating for up to 4 people. This service is only currently only available in the UK and Singapore. Some examples of Uber EXEC cars are Mercedes E Class, BMW 5 Series,  and Audi A6.

 

People’s Uber – This is Uber’s “not for profit” option in Beijing. Basically this option allows drivers the ability to offer rides without charging any more for the ride than what they would need for gas and tolls.  This service is still in a trail phase!

 

Uber Go – This is Uber’s cheapest option in India. This option claims to be even cheaper than Delhi’s infamous autorickshaws! This service will offer consumers rides in hatchbacks like the Toyota Etios Liva and Maruti Ritz.

 

Uber Select –  (Formerly known as UberPlus in some markets) This option is very similar to Uber Black except Uber likes to make the distinction that with this option the car doesn’t have to be black! Uber Select is a more luxurious option but still not quite as luxurious as Uber Black. Uber Select’s can fit up the 4 passengers and when you request an Uber Select you can expect to be pick up in a newer BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti and other similar high-end cars.

Wanderlust Wednesday 2.17.16

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How about a mountain getaway in Geneva? #WanderlustWednesday

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2016 Survey Results: How Satisfied Are Uber Drivers Really?

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How satisfied are Uber drivers? This question seems to be floating around the web a lot lately and our team at TaxiFareFinder was curious to find some truthful answers! As it turns out, one of our good friends, Harry Campbell (The Rideshare Guy), was also curious to learn some answers about driver satisfaction and morale and created a survey for his network of drivers. After receiving 453 responses, his team put together a fascinating report depicting Uber drivers and how they really feel. Check out the findings below!

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Every year I send out a survey to all of my drivers here on RSG.  Honestly, I’m not a big fan of filling out surveys myself, but it is a great way to get feedback from my readers and confirm trends that I’ve been seeing in the on-demand economy.

So to everyone who filled out a 2016 survey, thank you!  We sent the survey to 10,234 e-mail subscribers and got 453 responses, which is awesome, and I’ll be sending out some RSG swag to 10 lucky winners.  Scroll down to the bottom to see if you were randomly selected. I’ll also be contacting you by e-mail.

This year’s survey had some really interesting results and I’m also getting better at asking interesting questions.  So if you’re a company or start-up interested in going over the results with me or one of my staff members, please e-mail me.

For everyone else, hope you enjoy!

2016 Survey Results: Getting Started With Driving

How long have you been a driver for?

According to Uber’s own numbers, half of all drivers quit after just one year.  I was surprised to see that only 17.4% of my audience has only been driving for 0-3 months, which tells me that although there are a lot of new drivers out there, they aren’t finding the online resources like my site, rideshare Facebook groups and forums.

This also speaks to the challenges of organizing drivers since there are so many new drivers who really only talk to Uber and don’t know how to get in contact with their fellow workers.

A little quick math: If Uber currently has 400,000 drivers and half are quitting after one year, that means they need to replace about 17,000 drivers each month (200,000 drivers/12 months).  And if they’re growing at a monthly rate of 10.6% (they announced 162,000 drivers on 1/22/15 and 400,000 drivers on 11/3/15 – active drivers are defined in both cases by having taken at least four trips in a single month), that means they need to hire 42,000 new drivers each month.

So in order to replace the drivers that are quitting AND sustain growth, Uber needs to hire about about 59,000 drivers in total every single month.  Wow!

Where did you first hear about driving:delivering?

If you’re wondering where Uber finds all of those new drivers, this chart gives a good glimpse into that.  I’ve talked before about Uber’s main marketing channels and although I’ve always known they pumped a lot of money into their referral program, I was surprised to see that so many people ‘heard from a friend’ about driving for Uber.

Not all of these word of mouth referrals are paid referrals, but it’s impressive to see just how important the network effect is when recruiting on the supply side.  Basically by having such a large passenger base, this also helps recruiting efforts.  This is also why a lot of the smaller to mid tier ‘Uber for X’ companies have such a hard time recruiting new drivers (and they don’t have as much $$ obviously).

If you’re curious about some of the ‘other’ responses you can view those here.  The only major category I missed was Facebook ads, which is basically the same type of paid marketing as Google Ads.

Who’s Driving For Uber And Why?

Which rideshare:delivery company do you PRIMARILY drive for?Which on-demand service do you PREFER to drive for? I’ve commented many times before that most drivers prefer driving for Lyft, but they get more rides and make more money with Uber.  I think these two charts prove that pretty clearly.  Even though an overwhelming majority of drivers are primarily working for Uber and thus making more money with Uber, an equal number of them prefer Lyft to Uber.

Lyft is often mentioned in the same breath as Uber, but outside of a few select cities like SF and Austin (where Lyft claims 40% and 45% market share respectively), they don’t offer much in the way of passenger demand.  Drivers in small to mid tier Lyft markets often wait 30 minutes+ for rides and ETAs can be as high as 20-30 minutes.

But Lyft has done a great job cultivating a special relationship with drivers.  I’m not saying they’re perfect (ahem $1,000 driver bonus snafu), but when their president e-mails drivers after fare cuts to explain why Lyft had to cut fares, that says something.

Lyft has always been on the forefront of driver friendly features, but there just hasn’t been enough demand to make it a viable main option for drivers.  Imagine how many more drivers would prefer Lyft over Uber if they actually made the same amount of money as they did driving for Uber!

Who’s Doing Most Of The Work?

How many hours per week do you work on average?

Uber has obviously been in the news a lot about its controversial tactic of treating drivers as independent contractors instead of employees.  In response to the current lawsuit they’re facing in California, even Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick has stated that Uber is best suited as a way “to fill in the gaps”, implying that employee status would not make sense for a bulk of their drivers.

Their recently released survey confirms that 50% of drivers are driving 10 hours a week or less on average.  Uber is clearly presenting driving as a secondary gig and some (Harris & Kreuger) have even called for a third class of worker since your average Uber driver doesn’t fit into the traditional employee/independent contractor boxes.  But the problem with these assessments is that they don’t take into account who’s actually doing a majority of the work.

Based off the numbers collected in our survey, we calculated that 50% of drivers are working 20 hours a week or less, but they only account for a total of 24% of the actual hours worked out on the road.  This is similar to the phenomenon we see with Airbnb ‘super hosts’ that bring in a majority of income for Airbnb with hotel style listings as opposed to private rooms or individual listings.

If you take the mid-point of hours worked (i.e. 5 hours for 0-10) for drivers in our survey and multiply it by the number of drivers you get a rough approximation of each group’s contribution to the total hours worked.

Hours Per Week # Of Drivers % Of Total
Drivers
% Of All
Hours Worked
0-10 85 19% 4%
11-20 139 31% 20%
21-30 107 24% 26%
31-40 57 13% 19%
40+ 65 14% 31%

You can see pretty clearly that a majority of the work is not being done by the 0-10 or even 10-20 hours per week crowd.

This poses several questions:

  • Which group of drivers (part-timers who make up a larger % of the workforce but do less of the work OR full-timers who make up a smaller % of the workforce but do most of the work) should be given more weight when it comes to policy discussion?
  • Should a third class of worker be created for a group of workers (0-20 hours per week) that only make up 24% of all hours worked on the platform?
  • If 30+hrs/week is considered full-time, that means half of Uber’s drivers could actually be more closely associated with employee designation than the independent contractor designation based off hours worked.

Another analysis performed on Uber’s data from January of 2015 came to a similar conclusion.

Why Do Drivers Drive?

What's the most important thing to you as an on demand worker?

Uber touts the flexibility of driving for Uber all the time and it’s actually one of the points that I’ve always agreed with them on.  I don’t think most people realize just how flexible being a driver is.  I can literally turn the app on right now and get a request within 10 minutes and be making money.

Companies like Active Hours (affiliate link) even allow you to cash out your Uber earnings the same day.  So you could go out and drive a full day whenever you want and have the money in your bank account by that night.  That’s pretty damn flexible!

Satisfaction With Driving

Overall, I am satisfied with my experience driving for UBER.

When Uber announced in December that their drivers were happier than ever, I was pretty skeptical.  It didn’t pass the smell test for two reasons.

  1. Drivers are now making less than ever because of fare cuts, so even if Uber replaced their entire workforce, how could drivers who now make less money be happier?
  2. Uber has actually gotten less flexible over the past year since they now institute policies like guaranteed hourly earnings which require drivers to work certain times and accept certain percentages of fares.  If drivers care so much about flexibility, wouldn’t less flexibility mean less happiness?

Uber’s survey actually found that 81% of polled drivers said they were satisfied with the overall experience of driving for Uber — up from 78% the previous year.  Uber polled an unknown number of drivers (and received 833 responses) from 24 of Uber’s largest markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City.

My survey was sent to 10,234 drivers and of the 453 driver responses, only 48.4% of drivers somewhat agreed or strongly agreed (my top markets also included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City).  So I think my skepticism of Uber’s survey was valid.  I’d be curious to know exactly how Uber picked it’s sample size for this survey and what questions they asked (both of which were withheld from me at least).

 

About Harry Campbell, The RideShare Guy

Hello TFF Readers, my name is Harry Campbell and I run a blog for rideshare drivers called The Rideshare Guy and I also write about the on demand economy for Forbes.  I’ll be sharing articles from time to time on what’s going on in the world of rideshare and what you need to know as a passenger whether you enjoy taxis, rideshare or all of the above!