Officer Jeremy Cummings of the San Francisco Police Department recently sat down with Breeze ambassador (and resident rideshare expert) Trent Walker to discuss the on-demand economy and how to navigate legal grey areas as a driver. Although Officer Jeremy is based in San Francisco, he offers useful advice that is pertinent anywhere such as the best way to deal with unruly passengers.
Take a listen to the interview and share your thoughts. Have you ever been forced into a situation where police intervention was needed? How did you handle the situation as a rideshare professional?
Our resident rideshare expert, Trent Walker recently sat down with a veteran taxi driver. Bill, a 70-year-old taxi driver has been driving in San Francisco for over 25 years. He’s seen the ever-changing city through good times and bad. Trent encourages us to listen to the entire podcast until the end. There are definite differences between an Uber/Lyft driver and a taxi driver (in terms of what is legally feasible and required), but that difference is waning as rideshare drivers face increased regulation.
Of course, there are many more apps out there that can supercharge any Uber or Lyft driver’s mobile business. We’ve got five more for you — check them out right now!
It’s worth noting that driving and cell phones don’t mix. Drivemode gives a nod to that notion, upgrading your smartphone for safer use while you’re transporting passengers.
Basically, the app is a hub from which you can navigate to all of your apps. It includes big, bright buttons that you can swipe without having to look directly at your phone (just use your peripheral vision).
Drivemode integrates with some awesome apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Spotify. Plus, you can accept calls directly through Drivemode — just make sure you’re using a Bluetooth headset!
When it comes to rideshare driving, your car is your cash machine — and you always want to keep it humming along. RepairPal is just the app to help you do that.
RepairPal helps you find nearby auto repair shops while getting accurate quotes. You can also use it to keep track of your repair history (no more relying on memory or paper notes!). Lastly, like Honk, an app we’ve previously mentioned, RepairPal can help you get roadside assistance that doesn’t require an annual membership fee.
Want to charge up your car? PlugShare’s got you covered.
Quite simply, PlugShare gives you a big map of charging stations around the world — and it’ll let you find a nearby station so you can keep your hybrid (like a Toyota Prius from Breeze!) running strong. PlugShare will also show you user-generated reviews and any applicable station charging fees.
Playing some music when a new rider hops into your car is a great way to break the ice! And with the Spotify app plus an AUX cord or Bluetooth receiver, you can play pretty much anything your rider wants to hear.
With Spotify Premium — which is $9.99 a month — you can play music without ads (pretty much a requirement when playing music for passengers) and even download music for offline play.
According to data from Uber, poor driving is one of the five biggest reasons for rider complaints. When it comes to rideshare driving, if you’re a safer driver, you’re a better driver.
There’s an app that can help you improve your driving game: Driver Feedback from State Farm. Driver Feedback gives you scores on your acceleration, braking, and cornering so you can analyze how safely you’re driving. You’ll be able to compare scores from your various rides and even unlock fun little achievements as you drive more with the app.
Right now, the average mpg (miles per gallon) for cars in the United States is a little over 25. That’s pretty good news!
Here’s some even better news: You can get 51 mpg in a Prius.
Yes, that means drastically reduced fuel costs! Many people start rideshare driving without considering the cost of gas. Gas is a business expense that every savvy rideshare driver should track and seek to decrease.
When you drive in a Prius, you’ll have to fuel up less often. You’ll also spend less on gas overall — meaning you’ll take home more earnings at the end of the day.
2. Get a car in perfect condition
Both Uber and Lyft have a lot of requirements for cars they allow on the road. Just take a look at the Lyft requirements and you’ll get a sense of the condition your car needs to be in.
Unfortunately, many people have cars that aren’t up to snuff — the cars could be too old, in rough shape, or have a host of other issues.
This definitely won’t be the case with a Breeze car! Our Priuses are from model years 2014 and 2015. They also come in perfect condition so you’ll sail through the Uber or Lyft vehicle inspection.
3. Impress your passengers
When it comes to rideshare driving, looks matter (at least in terms of your car).
Your passenger is getting into the car of a person they don’t know, so first impressions are paramount. When you roll up to a pickup location in a shiny Toyota Prius, you can be confident you’re putting your passenger at ease.
Passengers love sitting in clean cars as well, and you can be sure your Breeze Prius’ interior will be comfortable and spotless.
In the end, your car will help you get those coveted five-star ratings so you can stay on the road and keep earning.
Want to see why a Breeze Prius is the right choice?
At Breeze, we chose the Toyota Prius as our car of choice for a host of great reasons: reliability, safety, cost, and much more.
Do you want to get into a Prius and finally start making money as a Lyft or Uber driver? See how easy it is to get started by clicking the button below!
Waze is a really cool app that aggregates data from drivers on the road to show you real-time traffic information. With Waze, you can see if there are any road incidents along your route so you can navigate around them and save time.
Whether you’ve been driving for a while or you’re just starting out, you need to get Everlance.
Everlance is a mileage and expense tracker, and it’ll be invaluable for your rideshare business. It takes the hassle out of keeping mileage records because it can automatically log the distance of all of your trips. Furthermore, you can use it to input expenses in a clear, easy-to-read record.
The cherry on top? You can use the information you’ve collected from the app to claim big deductions at tax time.
It’s tough to beat AAA Roadside Assistance, which for many people is the gold standard of reliable towing services. But if you don’t have a membership with AAA, you might want to try out Honk.
If something happens to your car on the road (knock on wood), you can contact Honk to get help. Honk offers services like battery service, tire changing, towing, and lockout service — basically anything you might need help with when you’re stuck on the side of the road.
Perhaps one of the more unconventional things you’ll experience as a rideshare driver is not having any co-workers. That said, you might wonder if you can talk with any other drivers around you.
Luckily, you’ll be able to do just that with Pulse. Pulse puts you in touch with other drivers in the area so you can share advice or just shoot the breeze with your “co-workers.” Consider using the app to organize in-person meetups too!
Our go-to rideshare specialist and Breeze driver extraordinaire Trent Walker has experience driving for both Lyft and Uber. He’s very close to completing 10K rides! Go Trent!
We sat down with him recently to talk about the two platforms; the differences, his personal preference, useful tips, and ways to maximize your income as a driver in the sharing economy. Take a listen and share if you agree/disagree with his thoughts.
Of course, there are monetary incentives for both drivers and passengers:
Drivers make more money because there are multiple passengers and because there’s less downtime between fares. Also, rides last longer because there are multiple pickups.
Passengers pay less (with the tradeoff of potentially longer rides and sitting with other people!).
Since there’s a bit more complexity to UberPool and Lyft Line fares, you’ll need to rely a bit more on the official apps to guide you. The apps will tell you who to pick up and who to drop off, and all you’ll need to do is follow what they say.
Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, mostly speaking, it is! Just keep a few things in mind while you’re driving and you’ll be more likely to have a great experience.
First, don’t be afraid to mark passengers as no-shows
Theoretically, passengers should understand they should be outside at their pickup location before you roll up to them. It’s a carpool, so it’s pretty important that everyone is on time.
With both UberPool and Lyft Line, however, if your passenger isn’t at the pickup location within two minutes, you’re allowed to cancel the ride with no penalty.
You can handle late pickups however you’d like, but a good strategy to use is:
Wait for the late passenger for one minute.
If the passenger hasn’t shown up at the one-minute mark, call them.
If the passenger still hasn’t shown up at the two-minute mark, cancel their ride and go on your way.
You can wait any amount of time, but two minutes is a good rule of thumb because it strikes an appropriate balance between being courteous to both your current passengers and your pickup.
As you pull up to a pickup location, consider also letting your current passengers know about your protocol for late passengers (see the next section below).
Anticipate confusion for new riders
If you have new passengers who have never used UberPool or Lyft Line before, they might not really know how the process goes.
A good strategy is to casually ask your new passenger if they’ve been on UberPool or Lyft Line before. This is a good idea for a few reasons:
It helps you start a conversation!
You’ll find out right away if this is your passenger’s first time on a Lyft Line or UberPool.
If the passenger says they’ve been on an UberPool or Lyft Line before, it’s best to assume they know how everything works and not try to teach them anything.
If the passenger says they haven’t been on an UberPool or Lyft Line before, tell them a little about what to expect. Of course, they should be somewhat familiar with the carpool concept, but you might be surprised. By the end of your mini-conversation, they should understand a few things:
They’re not going straight to their destination. By using UberPool/Lyft Line, they’ve agreed to potentially spending a bit more time in the car while you pick up other passengers.
They can’t change their drop-off location. This is important to allow the Lyft or Uber app to correctly route you along the way.
Your protocol for a late passenger is [insert your protocol here]. A good script is, “If the person is late, I’ll wait a minute to give them a chance to show up. Then I’ll give them a call. If they’re not out by two minutes, we’ll take off.”
Having your onboarding conversation might not eliminate all of the confusion for a new rider, but the important thing is it’ll reduce the chances of the passenger being surprised.
As always, keeping the passenger in the loop (thus helping to heighten the passenger experience) is a great way to keep your rating up.
Also, speaking of passenger confusion, this leads nicely into our next tip…
Lastly, be chill and think on your feet
If you’re just starting out with UberPool or Lyft Line, know that your first few rides will come with a bit of a learning curve.
You’re not just fulfilling one fare with one destination; instead, the complexity of one ride is increased because it may include multiple fares. Pickups and dropoffs may throw a few kinks into your rides, and you’ll need to get all of your passengers on the same page in terms of having a pleasant conversation. Oh, and people might be confused about how the process works as well!
So just be chill and keep a cool head. It definitely helps to have a few systems in place (for example, telling your passengers about your late-passenger protocol), but some things will happen that you just can’t anticipate.
Get into the mindset that you’ll be prepared to respond to any situation that crops up. For example, maybe four passengers will be standing on the side of the road waiting for you to pick them up, and you’ll need to calmly explain to them that they’ll need to use a regular Uber or Lyft (UberPool and Lyft Line only allow two passengers per carpool pickup).
One of your best options at all times is to gently educate your riders. There are certain rules as to how UberPool and Lyft Line operate, so just tell your passengers what to expect and help them understand.
Of course, don’t forget to have fun! Driving for Lyft Line or UberPool is a great opportunity to meet new people and connect different passengers who otherwise would never ride with each other. Make the most of the opportunity and have a good time.
Let us know how your UberPool and Lyft Line driving goes!
We love hearing how our members are doing on the road. Drop us a comment anytime with tips, suggestions, or questions.
We’re happy to announce that we have partnered with Zesty, a food delivery and catering service that empowers companies to eat well, work happy and be awesome!
Zesty’s mission is to improve the health of humanity and we empower companies to eat well, work happy and be awesome. They curate healthy, delicious food experiences from the best local restaurants and deliver them to companies around the Bay Area.
Zesty is offering Breeze members a $200 bonus for completing 15 shifts! With guaranteed hourly wages at $25/hour in San Francisco and $22/hour in Menlo Park/Palo Alto, you can reap the benefits of knowing your schedule a week ahead of time. They also help by paying for parking!
As a Catering Captain you will help Zesty with deliveries, set-up, and help present catered meals. You would need to be available for a minimum of two weekdays per week during the mid-day lunch hours. To take advantage of this bonus, be sure to apply at zesty.com/deliver and include “Breeze Bonus” under the “How/where did you hear about Zesty?” section.
As we strive to continue finding new ways to help you success on the road, we hope that partnerships like this help you find innovation to maximize your earning potential.
Introducing an awesome new Breeze blog series, ‘Ask a Driver‘! Our driver this week is Brian a part-time driver and student out of Sacramento, California. Get to know fellow driver Brian as well as popular driver hangouts, pro-tips, and his stories of the road.
Meet Mursal Ahmed of Seattle! Mursal is one of the nicest people we’ve met hands down. He’s a very kind individual who deeply cares about his community and we love interacting with him. He also happens to be one of our top referrers and does so, not for the $200 referral bonus, but because he believes it’s a good decision for helping people in his community get a car. Check out his experience being a Breeze member:
Question: Why did you decide to drive for Breeze?
Answer:Before I decided to drive for Breeze, I was really looking to lease a car. I checked a local dealership to get approval and the process was very complicated. I needed to put down a $1,000+ deposit in addition to an extensive credit check. I met a friend of mind who was changing oil at dealership, and he was driving new Prius. I asked him where he got the new car and he started to tell me about Breeze and their service.
I signed up for Breeze and the process was easy and quick, with the process being a week. I got hooked up with brand new Prius. I just wanted to say that I had an wonderful experience. Breeze did an amazing job answering all of my questions and making sure that I was comfortable with my new car before I hit road. I decide to drive for Breeze because my entire interaction with Breeze was extremely pleasant and made it a very enjoyable driving experience. I would and will recommend to others.
Question: Describe your Breeze experience in 3 words.
Answer: Transformative, affordable, reliable.
Question: What is your favorite part of being a Breeze driver?
Answer: My favorite part of being a Breeze driver is the ability to easily make money. You are you own boss. I also like Breeze’s customer service and reasonable lease package. The car is beautiful, solid, comfortable, and has all the technical features I really wanted. Also, all maintenance is taken care of.
Question: What is your most memorable driving experience?
Answer: When I got a request to pick up 2 ladies, one of them is my manager from my other job. She didn’t recognize me until I said her name and she was so excited when she saw me. She was like ‘ok I won’t put the address in take me to work’, which is where I work too, it was funny and awkward same time. Question: What is your favorite on-demand service to drive for and why?
Answer: I think both Lyft AND Uber, if you put in the hours. I am sure you will make good money, but you have to know surge time for Uber. I definitely keep up with news regarding events, like large business conventions, or maybe specific sporting events.
Question: Do you have any tips/tricks that would help a new driver to succeed?
Answer: First tip is that you have to know your city very well because sometime the GPS app get frozen or reception is bad. You need a reliable GPS app. Second, keep your car clean and neat. Get in your car with the intention of having a great time, providing a great service, and meeting great people.