Ride Apprentice

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Posts by Jezzis

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Comments by Jezzis

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     3 years ago in  Are we allowed to temp check riders?

    Strictly speaking, if you are running a temperature you are violating both Lyft and Uber's terms of service and the driver has every right to refuse the ride. The bigger issue is in some markets (Phoenix for one, being outside for more than 2 minutes or so will give you a skin temp of a low fever) in the summer time. 

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     3 years ago in  Purchasing/renting an electric vehicle for rideshare

    I have often considered one for it, here is my take on the practicality of it.

    Tesla is the only brand worth considering for it, for one big reason: Supercharging. EV's all have limited range before a charge, but a Tesla can get you another 150-250 miles of driving (depending on model and driving conditions) in less than an hour. If it isn't a Tesla, you will be limited to about 75% of your max range per day, period.

    Now, the least expensive Tesla will be an older Model S (2012 or 2013) with some miles on it, which I would not be too concerned about the miles on a Tesla until it approaches 300k, and will run you $20k on a smoking good private party deal or more like $25-30k. It is worth noting that most of the 2012-2013 era Model S available have a 200 mile range, so plan on charging it every 150 or so. It may also be a little too old to qualify for the higher levels of driving fares, which could be a big advantage since you get the running cost of a Prius in a luxury class vehicle.

    Your next option is a Model S that is still higher mileage and new enough to qualify for the higher level fares. The Model S in a 2016 or newer model year will qualify you for Lux Black (highest for sedans) on Lyft, the 2014 will qualify you for Lux rides. Getting one that is 2016 or newer will cost you $40k+ even on a good deal.

    Then there is the Model 3 which still sell for $30-35K+ in any model year, and will qualify for the Lux Rides but are not nice enough for Lux Black, no matter the year. Even the base model of these can get 180 to 220 usable miles per charge, but again are likely $10k more than the least expensive Tesla option.

    So it really boils down to what you want your initial cost on the car to be. Any Tesla will be an amazing car, and allow you as close to the flexibility of a gas car as an EV can get (thanks to their supercharging network). If $20k is too high of a floor you are left with the status quo two best options for low cost of ownership: a used Prius if you don't want to try and capitalize on the XL market for the 50ish mpgs, or a used Minivan of reputable make to get those XL rides while keeping a 25-30 mpg mileage potential. Both of these options will run you $10-15K for a solid ride, some gen 2 Prius will be closer to 7 or 8k for a good one, but make sure it has leather, the Gen 2 Prius cloth is very thin and wears out super easy with lots of use.

    That is my honest take on EVs for rideshare. The only other point about the Tesla, is if you can secure one with Full Self Driving, there is the potential for a passive income stream on the Tesla Network when that comes as Elon is betting on. I will leave you to prognosticate on your thoughts on that, because that is a tough debate on both sides with the current state of Self Driving Vehicles, especially Tesla's vision system.

  • I drive in Phoenix, so 40 minutes is pretty far (and thus pays really well because it will most likely be 25+ minutes on the highway here) so those types of rides I do not care about a tip as much. The ones that should tip 100% of the time are the ones take a ride that is 8 minutes on the road for 2 or so miles and pay the minimum of $2.62 for fifteen minutes of your time by the time you get to them and get them in the car (and in my experience these type of rides take the longest to arrive at your car for pickup as well).

    On the other hand, Lyft/Uber could fix that overnight by paying the drivers $0.50 a minute for wait time past the first minute or two of waiting for the pickup (also on scheduled stops for the whole stop time) and increasing the minimum ride pay to $5. It would not make the system perfect, but would come a long way to making the platform more fair for drivers' time and only increase prices significantly for 5-10% of riders.

  • As a driver with about 6k rides under my belt, I choose not to screen rides based on where they are going (as is actually prescribed in both Lyft and Uber's terms, it specifically mentions not using the app features to avoid low income areas). A lot of drivers do screen these locations though. 

    The reason for most drivers has nothing to do with color of the person's skin (not denying there are probably racist drivers out there) or even really that they aren't as affluent (although some drivers believe this plays a role in getting tips), it is just as likely to do with road conditions. 

    In lower income areas of Phoenix for instance, the roads tend to be in worse shape and with more debris on them. This can be a hazard for your tires and therefore incur extra costs. Some of the entryways into and out of parking lots in these neighborhoods are not as smoothly designed and much rougher on the car, which can lead to damage on your front and rear bumpers. Then there is the feeling of safety factor. Just about everyone feels less safe in more run down neighborhoods, even many of the people that live there. 

    I highly doubt that it is Lyft and Uber are deliberately raising the prices in lower income neighborhoods, drivers just have many motivations to not spend any more time in these neighborhoods than their rides that take them there make them do. Both companies prices have a factor of supply and demand. If there are less drivers and more riders in the area, they will hand out bonuses to the drivers to get them to go over there. I do not have their algorithm so I cannot say for sure, I expect supply and demand has more to do with it.