It’s been crazy busy for this novice UberX driver. Uber handed out a lot of free ride codes, word of mouth has kicked in, and everybody wants to try the thing out.
Melbourne Cup day was a big earner for me. Taking all these beautifully dressed people out to the racecourse, the app hardly stopped offering me fares. I’d drop a passenger off and immediately have a new job.
Of course, Uber had offered a guaranteed $25 per hour for 11 AM to 1 PM, so there were plenty of drivers out on the road.
They also offered the same deal for 3 to 6 PM after the big race, but I figured all these folk would have a few hours worth of grog and fast food onboard and the chance of “soiling” was high.
Uber says that if need be, take photographs, take the car to a professional detailer and submit the bill. That sounds time-consuming and expensive.
I’ve got an international flight coming up in a few days. I’ll sock away a few airsickness bags and have them in the car before I drive an evening shift. From my years in the cab, I’m pretty good at spotting problem passengers and dealing with those who might throw up, but still, I want to have some insurance available in case I’m caught on the middle of a bridge or stuck in solid traffic with nowhere to pull over.
And yesterday, the day after the Melbourne Cup, even busier. I worked six hours in two mini-shifts, and the jobs flowed in. Good taxi work. Good passengers. Good money.
I’m getting a fifty-fifty split of passengers. People who have used Uber before in other cities and have been waiting for the Canberra start. And people using the system for the first time. They might have a free ride or discount code, and they are a little uncertain about how it all works.
But I give them a good ride, offer cold water, play Mozart, and they are sold at the end when I just end the ride with a swipe on the app screen and they can get out and go on their way with no delay, no fumbling with credit cards or cash.
I can see the good word spreading and good times ahead for this part time driver.
Oh, and my rating has climbed to 4.96. Happy passengers: happy driver!


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