A beautiful- but zero- of a weekend.

After a nearly one month hiatus from my Uber driving, due to my "real" job having me on the road for a significant stretch, I was excited to fire up the Uber App this weekend and get back to saving for Spain.

 The sun broke as the clouds separated and began to move out.   All was looking good.  My hot coffee was in hand, windows down, waiting for a "ping."   And then, I waited, and waited and waited some more.  

People create very intricate tracking mechanisms so that they can track rideshare profits or losses.   Everyone wants to know their per hour earnings after expenses.   My Uber earnings for Saturday and Sunday mornings, for about 3.5 hours each morning from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. was stunning.... Zero dollars per hour.  Yes, you read that right.  

This was a first for me.  I had some slow weekends in the past.  I had slow periods in the past.   Invariably, there would be a sudden shift and things would take off.  No so for this weekend.   The results were so poor, that by mid-morning on Sunday I hit Uber customer service to be sure there was no problem with my account after my long absence.   To my dismay, there wasn't.   The best I can figure is that we are in the dog days of summer, folks are on family vacations, and both major Universities in the area are on summer break.

The one result of this horrible weekend was my final expansion to my rideshare inventory.  I bit the bullet and signed up for Lyft in hopes of trying both to see if there is more action in one than the other.  Once I get my official Lyft "trade dress:"(the fancy name for the window clingy), I will try Lyft and Uber to see if one outperforms the other in my area of operation.

The process of signing up for Lyft was very similar to Uber.   If you are considering either, here are the things you will want to have at the ready:

  1. Your current driver's license -  be sure it hasn't expired.  A photo of your license will need to be uploaded, so snap a pic.
  2. A photograph of your current state automobile registration for upload.
  3. A photograph of your current state inspection certification for upload.
  4. A photograph or the information from your current licenses plate.
  5. A photograph for upload of your current vehicle insurance policy.

With those items loaded, and your application complete you wait for approval.   A couple of things really impressed me when applying for Lyft as opposed to the process I went through for Uber.   One is that the process was complete very quickly---within three hours of beginning work on the application.  The other is the quick and helpful service provided.  I inadvertently miskeyed the year of my vehicle.  This was causing a conflict with the uploaded insurance card (it appeared as though the insurance was for a different vehicle than I had registered as my Lyft vehicle.).  I used "help," explained the problem, and got an actual response from a real human being within 15 minutes.    There have been times with Uber where I still haven't received a reply for help requests submitted months ago.    

(A neat screen on the Lyft app that shows likely demand by day and hour---a cool tool to help plan for the week that isn't available on Uber).

Once the application complete and approved, I opened the app (though I didn't go online) just to see how it looked.   On a personal level, it was more appealing to the eye.  The colors were more lively and screen easier to see. The Lyft app did, however, try to force me to have a Lyft bubble open all the time on the home screen of my Samsung Galaxy 8 Note.     That isn't a problem per se, but I found it very easy to inadvertently open the app and go online.    I reminded that problem through settings, and I look forward to giving this a try next weekend.   Come back to see how it goes!    If you are a Lyft driver or rider and have any words of wisdom or advice, please take a moment to comment.

Thanks.   Have a great week.