Ridesharing is one of the newest forms of 'new economy' earnings. Recently, I was looking to get started ridesharing with apps such as Lyft and Uber. The past few months I have researched to give the low-down on what has (and hasn't) worked. Depending on your expectations, ridesharing can be a fun side-project, a solid alternative to traditional jobs or a frustrating attempt at chasing money that may never materialize. The most important thing to any unproven venture, such as this, is realistic expectations and I hope to give that.
The reports here are specific for the Bay Area in California. I live in San José but often am able to make it up to San Francisco to drive. Overall, I have found, net of expenses, I can get ~$24/hour in the South Bay (around San José) and up to $28/hour in San Francisco. One of the major issues with ridesharing (or thrills, depending on your perspective) is that the results can be very unexpected. Some hours I will be able to pull in $70+ and others I am sitting around waiting for a big ride that never comes, pulling in $5-$10 during that timeframe.
(Remember: Uber is offering $1,000 to try 40 rides driving for its platform! You can try it out, see if you like it and then quit!)
The biggest asset to ridesharing is the flexibility that it affords. You don't have a boss. You don't have hours. If you don't feel like earning money, you can turn the app off and head home. If you want some extra money or are feeling bored? Feel free to put the app on and sit around your house waiting for a call. In fact, this writer is now writing this article from a coffee shop after getting a little weary of the drive.
There is not much commitment either, there is no downside to giving it a try and seeing if you like it. In fact, if you get started ridesharing today, Uber is offering $300 for riders to complete 40 rides with their ridesharing platform. You should be able to gauge by that point whether you enjoy ridesharing or not, and you should be able to complete ~1.5-2 trips/hour so the total commitment is only 20-30 hours, which can be spread out over multiple weeks or months even.
What do you have to lose?
RewardBus has a wealth of other information on ridesharing, including tips and tricks to maximizing your earnings, the tax advantages and some tales from the road!
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