How to Overcome the Slow Summer Rideshare Season
I lived through the full year last year and the summer slump was real and deep in Boston. Other drivers have noted that last year, but drivers are starting to see it this year. In Boston, the Harvard graduation was last week and MIT still has its graduation this past weekend but that will start the huge summer slump that usually lasts until August when more people come back from vacation and some college students return for the fall session.
As the weather gets better, there is a decrease in demand due to:
- Colleges are no longer in session (and grade school as well)
- More people rather walk or take public transportation with better weather
- More people and families go on vacation during the summer
Now, there are still plenty ways to cash in during the summer:
- Rain and thunder usually brings on surge pricing. The one thing people hate more than the cold and snow (yes its possible) is rain. Rain sucks. I hate it more than snow and freezing cold. Also, rain usually is a huge contrast to the sunny weather that precedes it, which always makes the day so much worst than it really is. (On the flipside, a really sunny 20F day is really deceiving you to think that it is nice out.)
- Mornings can still be lucrative as people still need to get to work or the airport, but less students going to class.
- Late evenings can be ok as people go out more in the summer but public transportation still closes at the same time (for those cities with public transportation). In general, more people go out in the summer than winter and they will still need a ride home.
- Very hot or muggy days can still be lucrative. No one likes the heat or humidity. (If you don’t know what humidity is, I hate you.)
There are fewer hours that Surge or Prime Time is in effect so you really need to make them count during the summer. Full time drivers will notice the summer slump more than part time drivers, but as always, check the passenger apps to see if there is any Prime Time or Surge pricing to see if its busy enough to drive. There are sometimes where it is very busy out but there is no prime time. You can stay busy but keep track of your income to make sure that are making enough for you to continue driving. Some nights, I can stay busy but only earn about $20 an hour because of the lack of Prime Time.
Driving on More than One Platform
If you only drive for one platform (Uber, Lyft or Sidecar), now is a good time to sign up for the other service and try them out. They are all giving out some good signup bonuses if you sign up with them as a new driver. When it gets slow out there, it definitely helps having two or three apps on at once so you can at least get a request from one of the apps. I used this effectively to increase my income last summer by a few dollars an hour. You should always be checking in between trips to see if the surge or PT is higher on the other service. It could make a big difference during the summer.
Here are a few posts highlighting the signup bonuses for each service if you were interested in signing up for them:
- The current promotion is $500 if you were a Lyft driver before 3/31/15. See this post for more information and how to sign up.
- Sidecar still has their $100 bonus after 10 rides.
Here are some other non-driving ways to earn money from Uber, Lyft or Sidecar:
- Passenger referrals. Just recently, Uber increased the referral fee up to $10 for every rider you sign up to use Uber. I know that last year, a few drivers amassed hundreds of passenger referrals by handing out cards. Here was a long video going over different ways to get passenger referrals:
- Driver referrals: now with the Lyft referral bonus higher than ever, get your friends to sign up to drive on Lyft. Some of the highest bonuses require 50 trips but doable within a month. Use your personal Facebook to try to get your friends to sign up and then reach out with other social networks (Linkedin?) Remember, it is double sided so both of you get the bonus so try asking everyone you know to sign up.
Have you seen a decrease or increase in rides in the last few weeks? Will you be using the above tips to help increase your income? Let me know in the comments below!Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions
- New Uber Drivers will get up to a $800 bonus after signing up: Sign up for Uber.
- New Lyft Drivers will get up to $800 if you sign up here using this link.