Tonight was most interesting. I was at home after getting shut out for 9 hours on Friday and got a rider to Schooners in Jupiter. I decided to play it like I did last year when I was the only Lux driver around when I went there, and find a rider in the area. This time, there were 4 or 5 Lux cars close to Indiantown Rd and US1, so I went to Publix for some chicken tenders and when I got back to the car there was nobody near Woods restaurant. I parked across the street in that strip mall at McDonalds in the Northernmost and Westernmost spot there. Looking at the rider app, there was a car North of me about 1 mile and a bit to the West in a residential area, a driver on US1 a block S of Indiantown Rd. , another on ALT A1A a block S of Indiantown Rd, and another on Military Trail a block S of Indiantown Rd.
I didn't have much coverage and was about to leave when another Lux comes along and also parks at McDonalds about 20 yards East of me. Huh? All he had covered was that strip mall and the Jupiter Beach Resort. I pulled up next to him and asked if he ever used the Rider App. He said yes and said if I wanted to know where the other riders were, he would check. That guy didn't have a clue.
So I went to Schooners and parked in their lot close to Love street. In the 20 minutes I was there 2 lux cars turned off US1 onto A1A and went into the Marina parking lot. Since I was closer to the Square Grouper and all bars and restaurants in the area, and since that other Lux was still North and West 1/4 mile, these 2 essentially put themselves off the grid completely. Next along comes a Lux car and pulls into the Schooners lot, where it says 'parking for customers only.' There were lots of spaces so he chose to park sideways across 3 spaces just 20 feet North of me, drawing attention to himself and blocking me completely out of the picture. I pulled up next to him and he was already slouched down taking a nap.
So I headed South toward home and remembered there was a concert at Perfect Vodka Amphitheater and headed to lot 4 but found they had once again been moved, this time to lot 5 off Southern Blvd. There was plenty of parking and about 30 Uber cars. Most were out of their cars so I talked to a few. They seemed to think Uber was randomly pinging the drivers there and it didn't matter who was standing closest to the pax. That seemed to be true. I got a request while in a crowd and was canceled before I could call to find out where the pax was at. Other drivers got canceled too. Some drivers called the pax, asked where they were going, and then canceled the rider. From what I could hear and see, about 25% of the rides accepted were from riders who walked up and made cash deals outside of Uber. They even had a Cop who used his loudspeaker to ask if anybody wanted to take a couple somewhere for $15. Did I mention there were no Uber staff there?
I was one of about 50% of the drivers who got shut out. In the meantime it was about 11:30 and the airport icon said there was a 4-14 minute wait. Looking at the Rider app, there were 4 Lux cars in the queue. With the last plane of the night landing just about then, I would guess there was about a 10% chance that one driver got a ride before it turned into a ghost town, and almost zero chance that any of the other 3 got work.