How much do Uber drivers make in NYC?

Posted by: RideGuru Team Oct 25, 2017
Updated Jan 16, 2020


How much can you earn driving for Uber in New York City? Do you make more money driving with Lyft or Uber?

If you live in New York City, than you can vouch that the cost of living in the big apple is one of the highest in the world. With rent prices for one bedroom apartments generally hovering between 2-3 grand, many city dwellers choose to take on a second job to help pay the bills.

Driving for a rideshare company such as Uber can be an easy way to earn some extra cash, but how much do you really make driving for a rideshare company in NYC?

Our RideGuru Fare Calculator, not only calculates the cost of rideshare rides, it also calculates how much you can make on any given route. We decided to run a little test in New York City and see how much you can expect to make as a rideshare driver and which rideshare company pays out the highest per ride amount.

To start our test we entered in a standard New York City route from two tourist locations, the Empire State Building to the Central Park Zoo. This ride is approx. 2.5 miles and 15 minutes. We decided to compare Lyft, Uber, Juno, and the standard yellow cab. Keep in mind that this comparison is between only the standard ride services (UberX, Lyft, and Juno Bliss) this does not include comparisons between specialty services like Uber Black or Lyft Plus.

Take a look at the results.


Driver Earnings

Ride Cost for Passenger










Uber drivers make more than Lyft drivers but Juno actually beats out both of them! Juno has been known to boast about their high driver payout and it looks like they have a solid reason too, paying out over $4 more for just a 15 minute ride. For kicks we put in what you would make as an official taxi driver and surprisingly, while taxis are by far the more expensive choice for riders, drivers still make less than Juno drivers and they hardly make any more than Uber drivers.

Next we wanted to see how much you could make per hour with each service. If you multiplied each 15 minute payout by 4 to equal one hour you would get an hourly payout of $37.72 for Uber, $29 for Lyft, $45.24 for Juno, and $40.84 for Taxi.

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While these numbers look great, you will have to remember that unless you get a really long route of over an hour, you will always have down time between ride requests and more often than not you will only be earning anywhere between 30-45 minutes out of every hour. The amount of downtime you may experience varies between services. Uber tends to have the least amount of downtime out of the 3 rideshare companies as they have the most users, though Lyft is steadily gaining more New York City customers while Uber for the first time ever is in a decline.

It is also important to keep in mind that we completed this test without any surge pricing at play. All 3 of the rideshare companies we compared do have surge pricing and if you play your cards right and drive popular routes during peak times you could make significantly more money than what is stated above. And, as a bonus if you are a great driver and get nicce riders you may make some tip money (thanks Uber for finally adding in-app tipping!)

Finally, we do feel it is important to note that there are a lot of hidden expenses when you drive for a rideshare company. At the end of the day you will have to factor in your gas expense, car insurance, car maintenance, and taxes.

Comment below on if you think it is worth it to be a rideshare driver? Drivers, after all expenses are paid how much do you actually make per hour?

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