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Old 05-11-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Uber

Where in hell is all this money coming from. Billions every year coming in from Banks? Rich people? Pension funds? Drug cartels? A billion and a half shares, five time the US population?
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:14 PM   #2
Diaphone Jim
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I don't believe I have ever seen a Uber or a Lyft.
A website (going on mileage alone, I would guess) told me it would cost between $35 and $135 to take me to the library, 15 miles away.
Findings released yesterday say these services have increased the traffic in SF by 40%.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:45 PM   #3
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You won't see it, it's just people in regular cars.

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Findings released yesterday say these services have increased the traffic in SF by 40%
Here's the study, 2016 versus 2010. To be precise, they say Uber and Lyft accounted for the traffic, but they haven't increased the traffic. The economic recovery increased the number of trips people wanted to make, the ride services facilitated them.

It's like, I didn't drive J to the airport last time, she got an Uber. If not for Uber, the trip would have still happened, but the car used would have been mine.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
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What's more, your car would have then returned to your house with no useful rider, as opposed to the Uber which almost certainly picked up someone else from the airport as soon as J got out.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:21 PM   #5
tw
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A ten mile Uber trip might cost $15. Of that, Uber might take $5 or $8. A typical cost of driving ten miles would be greater than what the Federal Government let's you deduct - $5.80. So how much did that driver make in that half hour? Probably less than minimum wage.

How many have no idea how great their expenses and how trivial their profit margin? But then most without a grasp of the arithmetic only see cash. Cash flow rich and income poor. A common problem among those as arithmetically challenged as casino gamblers and consumers of lottery tickets.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:07 PM   #6
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How many have no idea how great their expenses and how trivial their profit margin?
I'm gonna guess under 20%. Why would you figure you know better than they do? They're the ones doing it, and if they do it for six months they will know an awful lot more than you.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:38 PM   #7
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I'm pretty sure tw is imagining that Uber drivers are a bunch of housewives and college students driving under 10 hours a week for "extra income." Typical driver in my experience is a male immigrant ages 30-50 driving 40-80 hours per week for a combination of Uber and Lyft customers. At least 30% don't speak English well or at all, and the rate is much higher in big tourist cities like Orlando. Some Spanish, but mostly Middle Eastern dudes.

Nowadays most also me their card as I get out, encouraging me to call them directly when I'm ready to go back and they will charge me less (i.e. cut Uber's percentage out of the equation.)
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:23 PM   #8
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The last two times I had a physical therapist coming to my house for a few weeks, he was an uber driver on weekends. Single, college grad, lives 30 miles south but comes to the city to drive for Uber. He said his income has been cut in half over the last 5 years because of the increase in drivers.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:44 AM   #9
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I like using Uber even though itís never cheap and the driver doesnít always understand my directions.

My first Uber ride was in Feb 2016 and Iíve been using it pretty regularly while in the US. Most of my trips are 5 miles or less and cost $7-10.

The longest trip was Tampa to Tallahassee during that storm in 2017. Irma. The fare was $236 and the mileage was 234. Duration was 7hr 15min.

All flights out of Florida were over $1500 if you could book one. Uber took me out of the path of the storm, caught a bus to Atlanta and everything was fine.

Itís not cheap but itís been very useful.

Uber gives me options if the weather is not great for biking and when carrying things on the bike is not practical.

Getting a drop off at a congested store is a great option in areas where parking space combat is a regular occurrence. Some areas are more likely than others that parking space conflict escalates to the cops arriving, as you would expect. Itís a mixed bag. The details are not relevant when an event shows up on your police record. Uber takes that possibility completely out.

Parking and securing a car is a non issue. At the cheap rented dump where I stay or anywhere else. Push the button, a car arrives. Easy.

My interaction with law enforcement was consistent when I was driving because Iím always in a new place. With out of state plates, stickers, etc. Cops see this an opportunity to persuade you to convert all the registrations to their jurisdiction. I am a contract employee. There could be a much better paying job for me in another state tomorrow. Or the current contract could end without notice. Thatís the world that I thrive in but changing over to your state, sir? Only to pay for it again with the next contract? Not going to happen. Sorry. Uber bypasses all this horse crap. My interaction with law enforcement is zero. Right where I like it.

There are things that you can do to help your Uber driver too. The service is valuable to me so if thereís something I can do to make things smoother then Iíll probably do it. A tip helps as you might expect. Those brass colored dollar coins work great. Sacagawea coins. They arenít commonly used and are a bit of a novelty to tip with.

This is my UBER rider identification light. Day or night it helps the driver find me to pick me up. Itís cheap and effective.

In the comment section for driver messages add ďguy with the flashing red led bike light.Ē If the driver knows English, itís easy.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diaphone Jim View Post
I don't believe I have ever seen a Uber or a Lyft.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
You won't see it, it's just people in regular cars.
There were many Uber LED lights in Florida Not as helpful during the day but that seems to be the only symbol that is in that area of the windshield so still helpful ish.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
What's more, your car would have then returned to your house with no useful rider, as opposed to the Uber which almost certainly picked up someone else from the airport as soon as J got out.
Someone told me that when a driver drops a passenger they need to get in queue at the airport. That might be long or short but you have to be managed as to who gets the next fare. Maybe to prevent a frenzy of drivers tearing after people coming out of the airport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tw View Post
A ten mile Uber trip might cost $15. Of that, Uber might take $5 or $8. A typical cost of driving ten miles would be greater than what the Federal Government let's you deduct - $5.80. So how much did that driver make in that half hour? Probably less than minimum wage. .
In normal pricing, yes, a lot less. There are other drivers that do something else while waiting for a fare. This one driver was some type of life coach talking on the phone during the ride which is fine by me. Others are fiddling around with some kind of IPAD thing working on something else while they wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tw View Post
How many have no idea how great their expenses and how trivial their profit margin? But then most without a grasp of the arithmetic only see cash. Cash flow rich and income poor. A common problem among those as arithmetically challenged as casino gamblers and consumers of lottery tickets.
The much better paying rides are earned during local events. Drivers have reported ( but not under oath ) making a few thousand bucks a weekend during events. Itís not every weekend that thereís a game of some type going on but when there is, thereís ďsurgeĒ pricing. That might be 2-5 times the normal fare with very short gaps in between rides.

When surge pricing is in effect, the app notifies the rider. They have the option to accept or reject the ride with surge pricing. Sometimes waiting an hour makes a noticeable difference. Most of the time it doesnít. It makes it even more expensive. Unless the fare with surge pricing is more than like $50, I just hit the accept knowing itís not going to get cheaper.

There are some clues as to whether your Uber driver is making any money. When you accept the ride the details about that account are available including the number of rides and the year and model of the car. If the year of the car is the oldest eligible for Uber and the account has 13,000 rides, itís a good guess that they are making money.

When that model year slips out of eligibility for Uber, they get one model year newer with the same account. Mileage and looks are not a big deal if you are in it for the money. Not a big deal to me as a rider either.

If your Uber driver is a young woman with a brand new car thereís a good chance the dealer probably fed her some horse crap about making the payments driving for Uber. If when hailing an Uber the rider had the choice to select the ride instead of the driver accepting the rider, a nice looking young woman might have some leverage in making more money.

If your driver shows up in an old shit box with a mis color matched replacement fender, probably making money.

If your driver shows up in an average car but he looks to be about 80, is wearing $5-10k in gold and expensive Revo sunglasses, it might not matter if heís making money or not. A good number of those guys are very likable. Sure theyíre doing it for the money, whatever that might be but also a chance to talk to someone new. Someone that remembers how to have a conversation without an electronic device.

Youíve heard of the single serving friend from Fight Club? Drivers get a lot of them.

There are some people out there that drive Uber solely for the single serving friends. It works both ways too. How long do you work at a job before you know everyoneís stories? They may be good or bad but you know what they are going to say before they say it. Mix it up, take an Uber.

Uber might also be a good lead/customer generator. How much does one pay for leads? How much does one pay for advertisement?

Uber could be both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
I'm gonna guess under 20%. Why would you figure you know better than they do? They're the ones doing it, and if they do it for six months they will know an awful lot more than you.
They may know more about driving Uber than TW, but not until they get their first earnings statement. If a driver is new, less than 6 months experience they could not understand that they are losing money.

But that might not be a bad thing for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
I'm pretty sure tw is imagining that Uber drivers are a bunch of housewives and college students driving under 10 hours a week for "extra income." Typical driver in my experience is a male immigrant ages 30-50 driving 40-80 hours per week for a combination of Uber and Lyft customers. At least 30% don't speak English well or at all, and the rate is much higher in big tourist cities like Orlando. Some Spanish, but mostly Middle Eastern dudes.
That sounds about right, say 50% English as a second language, just a few months in country. Those are the people that pick me up from 20 miles away at 3:40 am. Those people are awesome. Theyíre awkward and meek but they are doing what they have to in order to get their rating up. Theyíre always polite and more helpful than most other drivers.

The other 50% might be college students, retirees, housewives and people just looking to make extra money because they have no other options now days.

Uber is many different things to people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
Nowadays most also me their card as I get out, encouraging me to call them directly when I'm ready to go back and they will charge me less (i.e. cut Uber's percentage out of the equation.)
That might be a benefit of being Clodfobble. Sometimes I ask them but in following up they decline.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:49 AM   #11
slang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slang View Post
Someone told me that when a driver drops a passenger they need to get in queue at the airport. That might be long or short but you have to be managed as to who gets the next fare. Maybe to prevent a frenzy of drivers tearing after people coming out of the airport.
That's not right.

That's for the taxis?

The Ubers wait in a far away parking lot, then you have to find them. They can't find you. That surely came about in wrestling between the Ubers and taxis at the airport.

This is what the situation was like at the Atlanta airport. The nice people on the airport staff gave me directions to the Uber area but the signs directing you there did not have the word "Uber" in it.

There was a long walk involved. Took about 20 minutes for me to get there.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:26 AM   #12
Griff
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:40 AM   #13
tw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
They're the ones doing it, and if they do it for six months they will know an awful lot more than you.
Numbers ignored to make an emotional conclusion. Slang, on the othe rhand, posted logically. Surge pricing, for example, does make more money. And, ironically, surge pricing has made transportation much more available at those venues.

One can go for years with a large cash flow (believe they are making money) all while loosing money. Then many years later, expenses are incurred / realized. Another classic example of why finance numbers do not report reality until so many years later. So, as Slang noted, some do not care they are losing money.

Are they making money? Yes, if one can live and save at less than or around minimum wage. Why do professional taxis cost more? They are not burning their candles at both ends. They are charging based upon what it really costs to drive a mile. They know what the real profit margin is.

Many Uber drivers do not know how much each mile costs. And would not learn until many years later when expenses are finally incurred. Many Uber and Lyft drivers do not know how little money they are actually making. Since resulting costs only appear long later. As Slang notes, some do not care. Or it is the only job they currently can get.

Last edited by tw; 05-12-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Why do professional taxis cost more?
The biggest reason is licensing of taxi medallions. You can't drive a yellow cab in NYC if you don't have a few hundred thousand dollars for a medallion. It used to be over $1,000,000 for a single car, before Uber.

And then there's cost of sales, advertising, business insurance, liability, the real estate to warehouse all the cars, effects of regulation, cost of recruiting, hiring, and maintenance of personnel in a specific location, hiring people on a specific schedule where they may be idle, hiring managers as well as operators, having enough cars available for unpredictable conditions...

And are you aware of "surge pricing" where ride sharing can be more expensive than professional taxis, but professional taxis are nowhere to be found?
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:42 AM   #15
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Thanks for bringing that up, UT. So I didn't have to.

NY hot dog stands are no better...





:

Ten years ago in my humble little town, an eight mile ride in a taxi was $17. And ya had to tip the guy. It's a small town, you're getting that same driver next time. No tip this time? What do you think the chances are he'll be on time next time?
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