For me, Uber has been a good source of supplemental income. It is definitely NOT something that I would want to rely on as full-time income but it is decent as a part time gig. The background check is not a big deal, nor is the car inspection. I had my inspection done by Honda of Lincoln during a regular oil change wi no additional cost. If you are not due to have your oil changed for a while you can get the inspection done for anywhere between $15 and $30. Call around for the best deal.
Insurance is definitely an area of concern as Nebraska does not currently have any insurance carriers that have a ridesharing policy. Most insurance carriers n Nebraska will drop your personal coverage if they learn that you are driving for rideshare so it is best to NOT volunteer that information to your carrier. Uber does provide insurance but it has its limitations ($1000 deductible, $1 million maximum liability, collision is secondary to personal, etc...). I know the risks and I choose to drive anyway but that could easily come back to haunt me.
As far as number of fares goes, that depends largely on when you drive. I can only comment on late nights on weekends as that is generally the only time I drive. I can generally stay busy between 1 and 3 a.m. 7 to 10 p.m. Can be reasonably steady but there is generally no surge in effect during that time. Husker home games (football) can be very profitable or very average depending on the game time. I believe that demand is lower during daytime hours but there are also fewer drivers during weekdays so they generally stay busy.