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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is general advice that may be useful in most locations. Please start or join existing threads in your home city forum (not here) to share your experiences with your fellow drivers and they in turn may help you. Have you seen any surges? Where and when? Did they last or disappear quickly?

It may take a while for Uber and Lyft to catch on in a new area. The faster it does, the more business for each individual driver, but having too many drivers in one place reduces individual driver earnings and surges. Too few drivers is not good either because riders that must wait too long may choose other alternatives.

Best Places & Times to Drive
  • Uber Where-to-Drive Tips
    • NYC-Suburbs (Long Island, Westchester. Also Dutchess County Colleges)
    • Upstate-NY (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse)
  • Go where the taxis hang out, but keep a low profile because the taxi drivers already don't like you and have been known to express their feelings in various nasty ways.
  • Early morning hours,
    • before public transportation opens, people need help getting to work.
    • Airport runs to beat the traffic
  • During the day,
    • AM & PM Rush Hours near Transportation centers (train stations & bus depots)
    • Hotels (when is checkout time?)
    • Kids who missed the morning school bus or always Uber to school.
    • Supermarkets, shopping centers and malls, especially holiday sales.
  • Friday afternoons, people leaving work early.
  • Residential Colleges & Universities, except during breaks, once you figure out the campus, but expect more short trips and even fewer tips.
  • During the weekends,
    • Day: People shopping, getting brunch
    • Night: to & from the downtown nightspots, to & from private parties, but you may need to deal with drunks.
    • Nightspot Staff going home, 30-90 minutes after closing.
Oversupply of Drivers

This is a continual complaint in most locations. The more drivers in an area, the less income per driver and the fewer surges, but U/L still profit. Despite horrible driver retention rates, both Uber and Lyft are constantly adding new drivers. The oversupply problem never completely disappears, but it does move. Experiment by changing your locations and times to find new busy areas, without an oversupply of drivers.
  • During inclement weather (rain, snow, freezing temperatures, heatwave, etc.)
  • Off-hours (example 3rd shift, midnight-8am)., when part-timers are working or asleep to be alert for their regular jobs.
  • Away-from, but nearby the most popular areas. (example: one town over)
  • The trick is determining where there is greater rider demand at those times there are fewer drivers. Usually, people going to work or airports, and of course when bars close, especially on weekends.

Finding Surges

Surges are great, especially if able to predict in advance. May be found
  • during morning & evening rush hours near transportation hubs.
  • at popular weekend nightspots near closing time.
  • at end of major concerts or sporting events (baseball, football, etc.)
  • at popular college hangouts, at end of off-campus college events or major parties.
  • When the local Uber office is sharp, they announce these in-App, in-advance.
It can be frustrating to be in the middle of a big surge and get no requests. This has happened to me.

Hidden Surges

Upfront pricing is used to hide surges from riders according to this. Surges are very unpopular with riders, who equate them with "price gouging". Surges are very popular with drivers.

U/L continues using surges to move drivers into high demand areas. However, any oversupply of drivers means fewer and less intense surges. Despite high driver attrition, U/L are constantly hiring large numbers of new drivers.

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