INTRO TO RIDESHARING

RIDESHARING – A PRIMER

Ridesharing will go down in the history books as one of the great inventions of the 21st century. In an effort to kill the taxi, a couple startups took what was once an idea and transformed it into what is now a way of life. Both Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the transport industry and with seemingly unlimited funding, they will continue to conquer what was once considered an impenetrable wall known as the taxi cab. See our other articles to learn about driving with Uber and driving with Lyft and also getting free Lyft rides. The sharing economy has everything, even free food delivery!

two yellow taxi cabs on city street between buildings for ridesharing primer feature


What Is Ridesharing?

Reliable. Friendly. Pleasant.

Ride sharing is an exciting new category of transportation that allows a rider and a driver to connect via a mobile phone application. The driver uses their own vehicle; personal vehicles tend to be maintained better than shared or fleet vehicles, so the experience is more pleasant for the customer than a traditional taxi. The rider can see an ETA, contact the driver, and also pay the driver directly through the app. Gone are the days of taxi companies making customers wait hours for a taxi and providing an ETA that was only accurate within 3 hours. Ride sharing vehicles are largely on time and the experience is pleasant for all parties involved.


Why Rideshare?

Your car. Your schedule. Your money.

Use an asset you already own to create additional income on your own schedule; few jobs offer this level of flexibility. Uber and Lyft are part of a rapidly-growing concept known as a “sharing economy”. With the rise of technology, companies such as Lyft and Uber have sought to make necessary industries such as transportation more efficient, and these industries are just the beginning. You can be a part of this new economy which will continue to evolve and progress, opening up doors for you as new and exciting partnerships are formed in other industries!

These powerful charts highlight the opportunity that awaits a motivated ridesharing driver; although most of the growth has only been in the last half-decade, this is only the beginning and both Uber and Lyft have positioned themselves to pick up the pieces that will inevitably fall when the Taxi industry collapses – will you be there to capitalize on it?


Laying the Groundwork

So we have your attention – good. Before you go any further please take a moment to review the basic requirements in order to drive. While mildly restrictive, ride-sharing requirements do not require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or any special certification! This is why so many people sign up to drive for Uber and Lyft.

Lyft Driver Requirements

– Pass a background check

– Have a valid Driver License and be at least 21 years of age

– Must have auto insurance policy (coverage varies by city)

Lyft Vehicle Requirements

– Vehicle must have 4 functioning doors

– Vehicle must be 2004 or newer, specific to your city

 – Air conditioning, heater, windshield wipers, turn signals and lights must all function properly

Uber Driver Requirements

– Pass a background check

– Have a valid Driver License and be at least 21 years of age

– Must have auto insurance policy (coverage varies by city)

Uber Vehicle Requirements

– Vehicle must have 4 passenger doors

– Vehicle must be 2000 or 2005 or newer, city specific

– Vehicle must have functioning turn signals, windshield wipers, heater, and air conditioner


Apples to Oranges

If you can meet the above requirements than you are one step closer to driving! Now, you just have to make the decision of who to drive for. Or do you?! We have compiled a small list comparing Lyft vs Uber for you:

– Both companies take a 20% commission and a small amount in various fees from each ride
– Lyft and Uber rates are generally the same, but pricing varies by city
– Lyft riders can tip via the app at the end of the ride, Uber riders cannot
– Lyft “Prime Time” is capped at 3x the normal fare rate while Uber “Surge” is uncapped
– Lyft is limited to everyday cars while Uber offers both luxury and large vehicle options
– Uber has a larger brand footprint and is generally available in more cities

While there are minor differences with Lyft vs Uber, the concept is still the same: use your personal vehicle to generate income. So why not drive for both! Most drivers are registered with both Lyft and Uber and just go offline from one app after receiving a ride request from the other. This way, you double your chances of receiving a ride request (which means potentially doubling your income!) and cut waiting time in half.


What about insurance?

While you must carry an auto insurance policy, the good news is that both Lyft and Uber provide a liability insurance policy to you! As long as you are giving a ride, the policy provides you coverage so there is no need to worry about an accident- you are covered! In fact, there are three phases to a ridesharing ride: waiting for a ride, en route, and giving the ride. From the time you turn on the app until the time you retire for the night, you can be sure that you are covered. The Uber and Lyft policies are nearly identical and we will let you as the reader see below for the comparisons and similarities between the two.

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Getting Started

If you like what you you have read so far then Uber and Lyft are for you. As a rideshare driver, you will meet many interesting people and most drivers make upwards of $20+ per hour. Driving on your own time as little or as much as you want is the biggest selling point when talking to potential Uber or Lyft drivers, and we have swayed many potential recruits from idea to completion. To get started with either service (and we suggest recruits sign up for both to maximize earnings potential), see the Uber or Lyft driver guide under the “promotions” tab. We dive much further into pros and cons, personal experiences, and even average rates for Uber and Lyft.  At the end of the day, a great side hustle is one in which you can pick your own hours and you are you own boss. So if this sounds like something that interests you, see our other pages!


See What Drivers Have To Say

SherpaShare, one of our partners, created an awesome tool that is so far unrivaled by any other ridesharing blog. SherpaShare’s main platform is to provide analytic tools to ridesharing drivers in an effort to make their (and potentially soon to be your business) more efficient. They provide a multi-sourced blog which offers great perspective into the daily lives of ridesharing drivers and one of the best features I have seen rolled out is below. SherpaShare Pulse brings drivers a real-time platform in which to communicate with other drivers and we think it is cool as hell! For more information, click on any of the comments below to see more.


Being an Uber or Lyft driver is rewarding, profitable, and even fun and we hope that you will continue to use Rideshareowl.com as a resource throughout your driving career. Don’t forget to check out our awesome partners and as always, feel free to email any of our writers at rideshareowl@gmail.com – we promise to answer your question as quickly as possible!

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