I recently signed up as a driver. What is this thing I am hearing about maximum number of hour I can drive or operating limits? It says nothing in my contract and Uber said nothing about it upon signing up. Is it all fake news?
Are there limits to the hours Uber and Lyft drivers can work and drive?
The Guru Take
In the US, there are operating hours cap of 10-12 hours on Uber App.
Yes, there are operating hours caps on an Uber app, in order to make sure the drivers are adequatey rested to operate their vehicles safely.
This practice started in specific local markets, such as Chicago, where city ordinances limited the number of hours a vehicle operator could work within a 24-hour period.
City imposed limits - Examples
City of Chicago
The law applies to all Chicago drivers across all rideshare apps. No rideshare driver is permitted to operate in the City of Chicago who has exceeded 10 hours of online time in a 24-hour period.
- Online time is anytime your rideshare apps are on, including time spent waiting for trip requests, driving to pick up riders, waiting for riders to get to your car, and transporting riders
- Your 10 hours resets at the beginning of the next 24-hour period
New York City
The rule below applies to all TLC-licensed drivers. No company is permitted to dispatch trips to drivers who have exceeded the following:
- 10 hours of passenger time in any 24-hour period (Passenger time is when a rider is in your car. It does not include time spent waiting for trip requests, driving to pick up riders, or waiting for riders to get to your car)
- You can reset the 10 hours and get back on the road after 8 hours offline
- 60 hours a week of passenger time (Sunday to Saturday)
Now for All US Cities - Built into the Driver's App
In early 2018, this practie has been extended to all US cities, and the mechanism has been built into the Uber's Driver App. After a driver reaches a 12 hours of driving time, the app will now allow the driver to go "online" and receive any more requests. This shut down lasts for 6 hours, at which point the driver can go back online.
Certain activities will not count toward the 12 hour limit, such as being offline or waiting in a queue at the airport. This can extend the shift, but eventually a driver will hit the 12-hour limit - unless the driver goes offline for at least a continuous 6-hour.
Lyft also has a similar restriction, at 14 hours.
Does the Driver App warn the driver?
Drivers can track the time spent online and be reminded when the maximum time is almost reached. Here’s how it works - according ot Uber:
- "You’ll receive a notification when you have less than 2 hours left online, another when you have less than than 1 hour left, and a final reminder when you have less than 30 minutes left
- The app will automatically go offline if you’ve been online the maximum amount, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to finish any trip you’re currently on
- The app will inform you when you’ll be able to go back online to receive trip requests at the start of the next 24-hour period"
What if the driver drive for multiple companies?