Ten Consequences of Driving for Uber and Lyft

After seven months of driving full time for Lyft and Uber, these are ten things that make me dread going into driver mode:

1. Vehicle Depreciation

1wearandtear

Besides passengers slamming my doors, which has caused a mysterious rattle, scuffing my interior, leaving behind trash and generally making the kinds of messes you’d expect from a two year old, there is also mechanical wear and tear. The more I drive, the more things go wrong with my car. I figure I have about two more months until I need new brakes and tires. And then my rideshare days are over. I just don’t make enough from driving for Uber and Lyft to afford to keep driving for Uber and Lyft.

2. Boot Malfunction

2boot_replacement

My right boot is more worn than the left. To be fair, this may have more to do with my bony heels, but it’s not something I ever noticed until I had to keep my foot on the gas and brake pedals for hours at a time.

3. Physical Discomfort

3pain

My neck is like an open wound. No doubt from glancing over my shoulder as I switch lanes in traffic all night long, always diligent to keep an eye on my blind spots, as well as the other cars on the road, speeding bicyclists, impatient cab drivers and cavalier pedestrians. As a result, the muscles that run along my jaw are steel rods. I have very little radius when I turn my head left or right. The tension never goes away. There is a real possibility that I may have some dislocated vertebrae. My joints hurt. My right ankle has a creak in it. And I have a chronic case of hemorrhoids. No matter how much ointment I apply, they remain perpetually enflamed. I noticed once, when I was a Lyft passenger, that my driver had a hemorrhoid pillow on his seat. I may need to acquire one of those in the near future…

4. Spousal Neglect

4pissed_off_spouse

Since I’m out late driving on the weekends, the Wife’s home alone. And she’s not happy about it. I’ve tried driving during the weekdays, but the gridlocked traffic makes getting anywhere in the city a chore. It’s not worth the frustration. I spend more time driving to the pinned locations than I do taking passengers where they need to go. And the only time you can get surge pricing is on weekend nights. And holidays. Or special events. So…

5. Fear of Deactivation

5ratings

Nobody enjoys being judged. But constantly feeling threatened with “deactivation” is downright humiliating. The rating system employed by Lyft and Uber focuses on only one aspect of a driver’s performance: passenger satisfaction. And it’s not easy making people happy. Even when the ride has gone perfectly, there’s never a guarantee the passenger is satisfied. All it takes is one drunk passenger on a power trip and you’re deactivated.

6. Erratic Sleep

6erraticsleep

I work late and come home late. But I can’t sleep late because my head is filled with dreams about my Lyft summary, which is the only way to find out what I made the day before and what’s happened to my rating. Sometimes the summary is in my inbox before I wake up. Other days the email doesn’t arrive until the afternoon. With Uber you know, for the most part, what you’ve made at the end of each ride. And your rating is updated in the app as feedback is left. So at least you’re disappointed in real time.

7. Misanthropic Tendencies

7misanthropic

After a while, you really start to hate people. I’ve met some really great folks in my car, but I’ve also encountered a lot of stinkers. People that I’d rather see under my front tire than in my front seat. But I have to maintain a sunny disposition and be accommodating to my passengers or risk a negative rating. Not an easy task when some passengers are just straight up assholes. They input the wrong location. They make you wait. They ignore you. They talk down to you. They say racist and sexist things in your car. Your only retaliation is to rate THEM low. Which doesn’t amount to much since it’s unlikely Uber or Lyft would ever deactivate a passenger’s account. I guess we should just be grateful our passengers act like self-entitled douchebags rather than punching us or holding guns to our heads.

8. Paranoia

8paranoia2

Every time I go out to drive, I say a prayer that nothing bad happens. I can’t shake the nagging sensation that if something goes wrong, I’ll be fucked. Uber and Lyft tells us to use our personal insurance in the event of an accident. But our insurance won’t cover any damages since we’re engaged in commercial activity. So what’s the point of having personal insurance to do rideshare? Not that things would be better with the insurance companies Uber and Lyft use. I’ve read numerous reports from drivers who’ve been in accidents and had to crowd source funds to get their cars fixed. Or just being left in the lurch. We are hardly protected under normal circumstances, but what if we’re at fault? Oh, the horror… And with Uber, there’s no support number. We can only email them afterwards. On top of all that, both Uber and Lyft charge us a deductible. So if we are covered, we still pay out of pocket, even if we aren’t at fault.

9. Monetary Deficiencies

9poverty

Because of the price wars, as Uber and Lyft fight it out to determine who will be the preeminent rideshare platform, drivers are getting squeezed more and more. The rates just keep going down. As it is, I’m broke as hell. My credit cards are all maxed out, most of the time my bank account is overdrawn and I have a painful toothache I can’t afford to fix. Not to mention taxes… I don’t want to even think about what I’m going to do when it’s time to pay taxes.

10. Self-loathing

10hammer

If you’ve made it this far on my list of rideshare consequences, you might be wondering why I don’t just quit. I know it’s stupid to complain about something you can’t control. And I know it’s my own damn fault. I bought into the promise of ridesharing as an alternative source of income with a good amount of freedom and it turned out to be a lie. I fell for the classic switcheroo. I’m an idiot. So why don’t I just get on with my life? Well, that day is coming. Without a doubt. For now, the hell I know is better than the one I don’t. And I like driving. I like meeting people. I like exploring the streets of San Francisco. But there’s no future in ridesharing for drivers. Hell, the way things are going, there won’t be a future for taxi drivers either.

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28 thoughts on “Ten Consequences of Driving for Uber and Lyft

  1. Pingback: Being Uber Ain’t Easy: Why All Rideshare Drivers Should Support Regulation | I Drive S.F.

  2. Jack H

    True, 10000% true. I do it for Lyft, I fell for the scam. Dirty bastards. I am stuck doing this due to bad knees, but the more I see of it, the more I hate Lyft. Pure parasites, feeding off the poor.

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  3. joseph

    I enjoy reading how u describe as a uber driver…great writing with funny picture which make me laugh….yes indeed I feel the same way u do….tks for sharing yr heartwarm feeling…it makes me that I m not not alone…i m a full-time uber driver in singapore…
    cheers to u n take good care…drive safe

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Ten Consequences of Driving for Uber and Lyft – taxicabtips

  5. James barton

    I freaking hate lyft, they never allowed me to say my side of the story. I was blamed for the odor of some previous passenger and deactivated, after some other passenger didn’t like the way I spoke. Poor babies! And lyft hates us all, uber’s not much better although the bar is not all that high

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  6. Pingback: From Uber/Lyft to Taxi: It’s the Cabbie’s Life for Me | I Drive S.F.

  7. KSM

    I think I’ll stick with truck driving. You people are pathetic to think the simple minded job of driving a car would be something to support a family with or actually add up to something worthwhile in the first place. If all you can do is drive a car your always going to be low man on the totem poll in the transportation industry regardless of how much you beg barrow or bitch to support your own ignorance blind faith and wishful thinking.

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    1. Jason

      Whatever uneducated trucker. I have a CDL, B.A. in Buisiness Management and am still driving as an UBER driver. Im not trying to support anyone by doing it Im doing it as I enjoy it. I will be fast asleep with my family tonight while your sleeping at a truck stop somewhere. At the least realize a truck driver really has no room to talk about any occupation as neither does anything other than DRIVE a VEHICLE. Sorry smart trucker but your the same as them but have to drive further.

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  8. Pingback: I Drive SF: From Rideshare to Taxi | Behind the Wheel

  9. Ewis

    Lyft stands for slavery. Lyft treats its drivers like slaves. That’s because they don’t invest a single penny in them. They take them for granted. I worked for this company 10 days only and they fired me for 0.1 point below their standard rating. They never sent me a negative review, notice or a warning. In the meantime, I received an email from them confirming that I was deactivated for the age of my car. Based on this email, I went ahead and bought a $12,000 car on loans. However, they refused to reactivate me and insisted I was deactivated because of low rating. They acted as if they never sent me anything about the age of my car. My whole family and I have already removed it. I will tell the world about this situation. They only care about themselves and their customers. I have a family to provide for and I’m now stuck with the payments on my car.

    Liked by 2 people

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  10. Panchito

    After travis new fare prices
    We the drivers can not quit
    We cant give up
    We started this crab; now we got continuing supporting travis and the pseudo riders scum, now
    Whats going to happen with them?accostumed to pay nanopeanuts for taxi we can not let them down
    This poor disgusted pseudopax are not willing to ride anymore on the stinky taxis
    Also with this new rates homeless and walfare recipients would be able to have a decent transpirtation
    Travis will be very proud of us for help him to depreciate the taxi industry now “new rates” by a 80% and make believe all this cheap, frugal, arrogant, cinics, disgusted, shameless, classless pseudo ridets that we are a bounch of mental retarders doing this just for fun or the pleasure to meet such scum
    Keep doing like that ill like to see how you end up in the bext comming days dealing with the stress and the pressure of know that some scum people is rating you despite the nanopeanuts they are paying you comparing with the disgusted stinky cabs
    So please erase that stupid idea of quit from your head
    Travis at this point is very pleased
    And dont forget; he loves you

    By the way
    The forum Uberpeople.net is a joke they dont allow the freedom of speach at all
    Running by travis And his crew
    They only want to read beautiful lies but not real issues
    As soon you said something real as soon you are banned

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  11. elma

    U fucking stupid. U r not a driver that’s why. U a fucking cheap ppl. U just think about ur self. U don’t see that drivers who have family and need to take care of. U wanna have a safe ride for nothing. U fucking deserve to just have taxis. No more uber.

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      1. Siden Him

        Lyft makes it possible to earn 250 or more easily in 3 to 4 hours of driving. Try it before you call someone a liar. Ignorance is your handicap.

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  12. Pingback: The Uber You Reap Is The Uber You Sow | Behind the Wheel

  13. Panchito

    love uber
    I dont know whats wrong with you guys; i still dont understand why so many people is so shabby
    I’m convinced that the best invention after the car was uber; uber is what the car needed as a complement
    Before uber I usually pay 55-60dlls plus tip; now My Uber fares are usually around 18-22 dlls and I dont even worry anymore about tips; couple times i have to wait 30 or 40 minutes for uber to arrive but this was on the past now uber had hired tens of thousands of new enthusiastics and smart drivers so the waiting time is now reduced to nanoseconds; the other time an old tender lady came for us in a brand new hyunday 4 doors sedan with a very friendly kitty; but who cares if I end up saving 55-60% comparing with the stinky cabbies; besides they always have great snacks and cold sodas and water and the drivers have been great. The surge times after midnight, in my experience add only a couple dollars more per ride
    Other great feature that I love from uber is that you can see the picture of the driver and the car you going to ride if for some reason it doesnt fit your standards you can cancel it right away and request another driver; this feature is something lovable really rocks
    Ive had less than pleasurable experiences with cabbies and pretty much hate all of them in general, sorry cabbies. Uber makes the experience enjoyable and UBER X is cheaper than a cab. I also like the fact that your cab rides are logged in case there is a problem or you forget something in the car. The app is easy to use and doesnt take a genius to use. Easy peezy in times where your motor skills arent too sharp, if ya know what I mean.
    For all of this and many more reasons I love uber a company that really cares about the safe and the economy of people
    Actually i have understood that uber is lowerin prices again i got to thank uber to comtribute in such remsrkable way to help the economy of all his riders
    God bless uber &
    Got bless america

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    1. Russell

      Investors are gong crazy for Uber – Forget the BEAR CASE for Uber – Let’s talk about The BULL…
      I am an Uber Partner – “Selected form thousands” to be an Uber Ambassador – but now I am speaking out – I will not be threatened or intimidated, nor will I be bribed, the other tactic Uber use if the first don’t succeed.
      I have studied the practices of Uber and with my previous experience in policing (London Metropolitan Police – Advanced Riot-Policing & In Counter-Terrorism) I can assert that their Modus operandi (MO) is closest to that of an illegal drug cartel.
      How so?
      Well they get into the market by handing out FREE SAMPLES, unashamedly, even to young kids and try to have an appealing, “cool”, “hip”, “trendy” dare I say it, “Uber” look.
      Then, not wanting to put themselves in a position of law-breaking, no Uber don’t want to run that risk – they are all about RISK AVOIDANCE (read their consumer and driver/partner agreements, they may astound you in this regard) , so Uber, not wanting to take any actual risk, just reap the profits, target people who need to make some extra money.
      They get these people “on the hook”. Give them cash advances, supply free mobiles to use for their nefarious activities, block law enforcement fro accessing their technology by using advanced technology (that’s a growth area for organised crime PS) and send them on their way to do Uber’s ILLEGAL dirty work…
      & the poor UberX driver… as they become dependant on the business they are “running” illegally through the free phones what do Uber do?
      They no longer treat them as a friend – they are just a “USER” of Uber tech.
      They no longer subsidise their product…
      They ramp up the Uber commissions…
      They start trying to get the “USERS” to spread the use to others. Other “USERS” – users has been used to define drivers and riders by Uber!
      Then the free stuff dries up…
      Have Uber created the perfect USER market?
      Will people remain addicted…?
      I am an Uber partner – I have started to fight back but not just me – thousands like me, yes THOUSANDS!

      Oh yes – like an illegal drug cartel – Uber pay ZERO tax!

      Not just drivers, but “RIDERS” (dam it – call them customers!) and professional, educated people are hard to fool forever! With Drs, Solicitors, Barristers, Surgeons, Politicians, Accountants, Mayors and especially those who are in regulated industries such as Finance & Banking, Publicans, Pharmaceutical, Health, Mechanics and many many more, all realising the potential threat that Uer and their blatant attack on our very legal systems, almost globally, represent!
      Why, well that is simple… none of us like to be played for a MUG- we are all starting to see through the Uber Spin – Hype and quite frankly utter BS!
      Like all big empires that rose quickly, the fight back has begun – @arrestinguber twitter feed is just one of many resources adept at taking the fight to uber.
      UberPeople.net is another.
      Will this all affect the future investor confidence – ABSOLUTELY!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Panchito

        Come on bro please dont be too shabby, this one is more fun you going at love it:

        http://kdvr.com/2014/11/01/how-to-avoid-getting-burned-by-uber/
        This is really really funny:
        “(The driver) was shocked, he was embarrassed actually,” Asbury said. “He gave me his card and he was like, ‘Make phone calls. Get in touch with customer service. This can’t be right.’”
        Get in touch with costumer service? Helloooooooooooo
        If this drones bastards don’t even have a number with this stupid app to take care of their own issues
        I wonder: Who was pretending to call his mom, his girlfriend, batman?
        Loooooooooooool

        Like

    2. ProWorkingClass

      You said it my friend. “they always have great snacks and cold sodas and water and the drivers have been great.” Who pays for that? Uber? Lyft? Sidecar? If anyone to be praised for anything, it is the driver, not the bureaucratic gang that is sitting behind a phone app. All these predatory companies are stealing the credit from the hardworking desperate drivers. The technology is very easy to acquire and there are many apps out there that could replace the Uber/Lyft gadget. The fight is not against the technology which taxi cab companies should have embraced long time ago; it is against this gang/thug business model which puts the driver and the rider at disadvantage while flouting the law and unjustly enriching. It time that both the drivers and the riders wake up to this new wave of hardcore non-regulated greedy venture. It is not capitalism, not communism, not socialism. It is simply the mark of the beast: screw everyone, rewrite the law, take advantage of bad job market, operate at zero liability, and answer to nobody. The drivers must rise up and the consumers must support them or else, the ride-share industry would be the new banking industry demanding bailouts from taxpayers soon. This may not be quite an exaggeration after all.

      Liked by 1 person

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  14. Spartacus Mathias

    I feel your pain all of those things that happened to meet you and it’s not just your friendly Hills it’s any kind of heels here I’ll give you a free piece of advice driving loafers may sound kind of funny but they’re the only shoes I told up and trust me as a 12 year veteran and driving a cab I know Oh that’s right I don’t sympathize with you because you fucking stole my job Whatever you get actually I hope you lose your girlfriend you lose your house lose your cock and end up sleeping in a cardboard box on the street being eaten by rats that’s right I wish the beast of rats on you you fucking scumbag

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