About Rideshare Dashboard
My name is Simon Kwok and I am the creator and managing editor of Rideshare Dashboard. I started driving for Lyft and Uber back in 2013 after serving jury duty with another driver. After that chance encounter (we were stuck in the same room for 3 weeks), my life completely changed. At this point, my wife used Lyft a few times but I haven’t even heard of either service. It had only launched about 6 months ago in Boston and I always biked or drove so I never needed Lyft or Uber. I had heard of Uber, but I only knew their black car service and not UberX, which hadn’t become super popular back then.
When I first started with Lyft, they still had the hourly guarantees. I started working right during winter break by coincidence and mostly sat around collecting the guarantee. They didn’t have any trip requirements since they only launched a few months ago. I averaged just under a ride an hour most nights. There were even some nights I sat on my couch and took a nap before a request came in.
At the same time, I applied for UberX. It took a few days for everything to get processed and I went into the office New Years Eve to get the Uber iPhone to start working (back then, they only had the driver application on iOS. It took another 6 months for it to become available on Android). I worked the rather chaotic New Years Eve night. I drove a few hours before New Years Eve and a few hours after. I had one drink that night and after dropping off my wife at home, I started driving again around 1am. I didn’t make a large amount of money that night but it was enough to get me to continue driving.
The unique geography of Boston makes it a good place for rideshare. The fares are a bit higher than the rest of country while trips tend to be shorter and you often drive from one hotspot to the next. Lyft still had the guarantees for another few months while Uber always had surge pricing since there weren’t enough drivers in early 2014. Things changed quickly during middle of 2014 when Lyft removed the guarantees and Uber onboarded a large number of drivers.
The site launched in January 2014 primarily to write about my experiences as a rideshare driver and to help answer questions many other drivers had. When I started, there wasn’t a lot of information publicly accessible and much of it was learned on the job, which can be frustrating. With rideshare, there is a lot to deal with as soon as you get a customer request. Trying to process this information and learn about rideshare at the same time creates a lot of stress, which leads to lower customer service. A lot of information was acquired through other drivers or by driving and my goal was to make the information accessible. The most popular posts at the time was about my hourly income and how to deal with taxes and deductions. Now the site has grown to many new topics, such as insurance and deliveries.
At the time, I had a full time job so I mainly drove when I wasn’t working. I worked on average 15 hours a week. I would wake up early and drove in the mornings from 7:30-9:30am, get to work by 10am, leave by 6pm and drive another few hours until around 8pm. I live less than a half mile from the Prudential Center in downtown so I almost always woke up to surge pricing and getting home at night never took me more than 20 minutes. I would then work on the site on nights and weekends, building it up steadily.
Over the next few months, I was invited to become a mentor and did a few mentor sessions. During this time, you were matched based on proximity so you could either accept mentor requests or ride requests while you were in driver mode. During the week, I would leave my app online at my workplace, which was about 20 miles from Boston. About once or twice a day, I would get mentor requests from that far away from the city. I mostly got requests from North of Boston. I averaged about 4-6 mentor sessions a week. They paid $35 each so I would have about $200 to start the week without driving. I continued to drive and average anywhere between $400-$800 a week, depending on how much I drove.
After receiving many emails about my content and typical questions about rideshare, I decided to build an online training program for rideshare drivers. This would be aimed to answer basic questions about Uber and Lyft and what to do is specific situations, like a drunk passenger or not finding your passenger. I also decided to create another training program specifically for taxes and it became a huge hit when I launched it in early 2015.
When my wife was done with residency in Boston, we talked about moving to another city. She wanted to do a fellowship and ranked various programs in other cities. It was a match system, so we were letting the system tell us where we would move. Luckily, she got her top choice in Seattle, so we picked up and move across the country in July 2016.
I took the opportunity to drive across the country from Boston to Seattle. I had been thinking about doing a Lyft in every city and this was the perfect opportunity to do it. Boston to Seattle would be the shortest route through all of Lyft’s cities. I also wanted to give back to charity so I decided to send all the fares and tips to charity along with putting in some of my own money. For 16 days, I drove about 600-800 miles a day (2-3 full tanks of gas a day) and gave Lyfts in about 60 cities. You can read about my entire trip in this link, along with some awesome time lapse videos.
In Seattle, I finally had the time to try out new sharing economy companies, such as deliveries. They don’t pay as much as rideshare, but you can use almost any car (or bike on Postmates) and you don’t have to deal with people. Parking can be an issue with various services but it also has its own unique challenges and problems. I put in my schedule at least two days of working on deliveries and Uber/Lyft to learn more about deliveries and to keep up to date with rideshare.
Currently, I am working on this website full time while getting my MBA online at George Washington University in DC. I live with my wife in Capitol Hill in Seattle and we are trying to share one car.
Sponsors and Advertisers
We offer various levels of sponsorship and advertisement on our website and through our social media presence and extensive email list. We can work together to build an advertising or sponsorship plan to achieve your marketing goals. Email me at ridesharedashboard at gmail.com to get started!
I am always happy to help with any articles or publication you may have. I am available for comments, phone interview, or video segments. Email me at [email protected]!
Be sure to follow us on our various social media channels. We are always posting great content on our social media page and it is an easy way to connect with us or find out the latest news about rideshare and deliveries:
You can also follow us by signing up for our email list:
Support Rideshare Dashboard
The best way to support this website is to share my posts and links to friends, family, and local Facebook groups. My goal is to reach more drivers with my content and this would surely help with that! I work tirelessly to update this website myself (no support staff) and it is the readers who do the most to support this website.
You can also spread the word about our various online training programs that has helped hundreds of drivers over the past two years.
Sign Up To Be a Driver
There are various signup bonuses for each company and you can get a bonus by using one of the below links. Note that signup bonuses can change and are different in various cities. Contact the companies directly about the signup bonus in your city:
- Sign up to drive on Uber
- Sign up to drive on Lyft
- Sign up to shop for Instacart
- Sign up to deliver on Postmates
I have set up a main page that lists all the various auto insurance that covers rideshare drivers in all 50 states. Also, Esurance insures drivers nationwide and allows them to drive on Uber and Lyft but they make it clear they do not cover when you are online with the various rideshare services. I have told them outright I drove for them and they were fine with it. Esurance is very competitive in terms of pricing and coverage so go to the link and check them out!
As an independent contractor, we are left to our own devices to get our own health insurance. Recent federal laws require us to get health insurance or face tax penalties. eHealthInsurance is an online marketplace to browse and shop for health insurance. They can also determine if you qualify for a health insurance subsidy from the federal government. Go to the below link to see what your rates are. The plans are of reasonable price and there are many options to choose from in terms of companies and plan options.
- Compare Affordable Self Employed Health Insurance on eHealthInsurance
Our Online Training Programs
Many drivers start out driving for Lyft and Uber without knowing much about the job at all. Due to drivers being treated as Independent Contractors, Lyft and Uber have limited options to formally train us as drivers. They provide driver support but it is not as comprehensive as formal driver training, so this is why I have developed various online training programs for drivers:
- Basic Lyft and Uber Training Program
- Ultimate Lyft and Uber Training Program
- Rideshare Taxes Course for Lyft and Uber Drivers
Shop on Amazon
I buy almost everything on Amazon. Everything I have bought for rideshare is through Amazon and most products I have bought have been great. If you use my link to buy items you would normally get on Amazon, I get a small commission from it and helps support this site!
I have helped hundreds of drivers personally as a Lyft Mentor and Recruiter and have gotten many of them to be mentors themselves. I have also coached hundreds of drivers online through email, phone calls and online video chat to help them improve their rating and hourly earnings with tips and tricks I have learned over the past three years. To request a coaching session, send us an email at ridesharedashboard at gmail to get started!
I have consulted for various rideshare companies and emerging startups to answer their questions about the rideshare industry and help them make their services better for drivers. As a driver and delivery courier, I know what type of products work and how to reach drivers with various products and services. Contact us at ridesharedashboard at gmail to get started!
I have helped a few publications on their stories about rideshare, whether it was about Uber’s lack of training to their rider policies. Feel free to reach out to us to help with your article at ridesharedashboard at gmail!
You can view my Media FAQ here.
List of publications:
- Uber and Lyft Battle to Attract New Drivers
- Facing a Price War, Uber Bets on Volume
- Uber and Lyft and Self Driving Cars
- How Do You Value a Company Like Uber?
- Uber Drivers Stage ‘Honk-In’ Protest Over Wages In Front Of Uber HQ
- New York Uber Driver Refuses to Take Woman in Labor to Hospital, Charges Her $13
- How A Few Drivers Are Turning Uber’s Lagging Driver Training Into a Cottage Industry
- Uber Driver Training is Now a Cottage Industry
- Uber Raises UberX Commission in Five More Markets
- Lyft Might Not Deliver $1000 Driver Bonus
- Can Ride-Sharing Provide an ‘Uber-Lyft’ to Your Income?