What I’ve learned after 8 years of ride shares
I booked an Uber for the first time in 2015 while traveling to San Francisco for work.
Since then, I’ve booked hundreds of Ubers (and Lyfts) all around the world. I haven’t rented a car since (although I’ve rented a handful of Turos in that time).
Eight years later with every intention of ride sharing indefinitly, here are eight things I’ve learned:
- Ride sharing saves me time and money. It’s much faster, usually cheaper, and more rewarding than renting a car or cab. I mostly use ride shares for business and vacation. I love it.
- Drivers like to talk about themselves. The vast majority of drivers are talkers. Granted, I’m good at listening and ask lots of questions, because I selfishly want to learn from other humans. But several drivers just unload and never ask a single question in return.
- I’ve been a free therapists to several drivers. Some drivers latch on to my ears and unload their life story. Some have even cried, which is pretty amazing. Sometimes it’s too much and disrespectful, if not unprofessional. But mostly I don’t mind.
- Other drives are perfect. They ask a few questions, break the ice, talk a moment over shared interests, then let me quietly enjoy the rest of the ride. I like these drivers a lot and tip them often.
- I’m a “top tipper” (but don’t feel like one). Without my asking, several drivers have volunteered that only 30% of riders tip. This is lower than I expected but roughly in line with what I do (I tip about 40% of the time, usually no more than a few bucks). I almost always tip on longer rides but hardly ever on shorter rides. Despite this, I’m considered a “top tipper” on both apps. I miss the days when Uber didn’t ask or even allow for tips and would gladly pay higher fares if tips were included.
- I’m 5-star rider. I feel like the competition is thin when it comes to garnering a quality rider rating. Being kind, respectful, taking a genuine interest in drivers (they are fellow humans after all), and being polite goes a long way. It also gets you really fast pickups from the best drivers in the nicest cars.
- I would love to hang out with several drivers. One in particular exchanged phone numbers with me but later ghosted my texts. I felt like I was in high school again after the rejection.
- I’ve only puked in one car. Just kidding. I’ve never puked in a car. At least not a ride-sharing one.
All hail ride sharing!