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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realized something today that might help boost your ratings. At the very least, it will improve customer service, and I haven't seen it mentioned on any Uber driver board. So, I'll mention it here. The tip is: direct your pax on drop-off. This came up twice today with me.

1) Ride one: A group of Japanese tourists who wanted to be dropped off at the front door of the White House.
2) Ride two: A couple of ladies going to the Nats game.

In both cases, the White House and Nationals Park, you can't deliver them curbside to where they need to go. You also can't assume they know where to go once they get out of the car. In the case of the Japanese tourists, this was obvious, and I dropped them off at Penn & 15th and directed them to go talk to the guy in the little booth.

When I dropped the girls off at Nats Park, though, I got them right across the street from the park where all they had to do was cross it where I dropped them off and they were there. I was astounded when they got out of the car and promptly headed off the wrong way! I drove up to them, rolled down the window, and turned them around the right way, and they were very thankful. I thought it was obvious when I dropped them off in the shadow of the thing that they knew where to go. So much for assumptions.

So, never assume the pax know where they want to go. The number one thing that hurts your rating is when pax decide that you don't know where you are going. How much of that is when you do drop them off where they need to be, but they don't realize it?

In these situations, it's probably good to talk them and tell them where they are and where they need to go. Don't assume they know it!
 

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If you will go down Van Street, S.E. from M, that is the taxi drop-off route. If you are coming from the East, the d-DOT Traffic Directors will let you turn left onto Van from M. I have done this in my UberXmobile and no one has said anything to me about it. I do it in the taxi all the time, but that is what it is for. All that you need do is not follow the directions of the guy waving a flag who is directing people into some parking lot. Either go straight through or around him to the left (Van Street, S.E. is one way South during stadium events). You can discharge on Van St. at N or turn the corner onto N and discharge. I prefer to discharge on Van, as the passenger can see the Center Field Gate from there. All that you need do is point him at it. Frequently I will add "See? Over there. Just cross the street and go to your left". Tesfaye and Abdullah will honk at you, on occasion, but Tesfaye and Abdullah like their horns too much as it is, so I ignore them. If they drive by me and yell, I just tell them that they work too hard. They need to park and go to the game, eat some peanuts, Hebrew National hot dogs and relax. Too bad that I do not have time to tell them all of that, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AUD, I picked the girls up at the White House right after I dropped off the Japanese, at 1:15 PM. First pitch was what, 1:30? Dang if I didn't get them there in time for it or damn close, coming around through 395 and South Capitol Street. I dropped them off at 1:23 at the corner of South Cap & N, and they proceeded to walk straight into the hood. Couldn't believe it. Stadium on one side, hood on the other, which way do they go?

Gotta protect your pax.
 

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^^^^Yup, walk west on N, and you will be in the 'hood soon enough, allright. Murphy rides UberX, allright.

It is a wonder that you did not hit traffic going that way. I ride my bicycle, but I come from the area near Catholic U, so I do not use South Capitol Street to GO. I do use South Capitol Street on the way back, as I take a different route back than TO. As I do not ride a twenty-something speed mountain bicycle, I take a route that is longer but has much milder gradients. I have a 2009 re-issue of a 1953 Schwinn three speed, so at my age and condition, it would be a real challenge to get up some of those nastier grades on a more direct route.

As the Metropolitan Branch Bicycle Trail is not safe on weekends or weekdays between 1100 and 0700, that is out. In truth, the gradients are not too bad on it, plus there is no traffic for which to watch. Too bad that the criminals like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Traffic is insane on South Capitol to Nats Park, but if you can come into it via the 395 tunnel, you skip a lot of it. It was really sweet how that worked out. I was amazed, really. WH->Nats Park drop off, 6 or 7 minutes. Wow.
 

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I know how to do it, it is simply that I wouldda' thunk that the worst of it would be once you emerged from the tunnel. To be sure, most of those who drive to the game will go to the right to get onto M Street. Some will continue under it, but I would think that the exit ramp would be brutal as well as the part between the Skyline Inn and M Street (there is an Icky-D's on the other side of South Capitol, that is the area that I am considering at this time). There, you have the lane jumpers, the in-butters, people who think that their dirty laundry does not smell, and other sorts of annoying drivers.

It might have helped, as well, that the game was not as well attended as the other ones to which I have been this year. The "paid" attendance was thirty-three-thousand something, but I suspect that many of those who "paid" were season ticket holding no-shows.

Six or seven minutes for that trip is very good.
 

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The entire area immediately around Nats Park is undergoing gentrification. As far as drop offs there, I drop them off at M and Half Street, recommend them to walk one extra block north to L and Half for easy pickup after the game to avoid taxi line at M.
 

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Yes, they did build some new apartments on South Capitol Street. I am not sure if they are rental or overpriced condominiums (yes, I know, putting "overpriced" next to the word "condominium" in D.C. is redundant), but I can bet safely that their proximity to the ballpark drives up the rent/property value.

The neighbourhood East of South Capitol has changed. Gone are the warehouses and clubs. Still walk West of Half Street, S.W. and see how quickly you are in the 'hood. That 'hood ain't changing as quickly as the real estate agents would have people believe.

Only the most hard-core Uber users are going to walk to "avoid" a taxi line. My experience dictates that most people simply want a ride. If they see the taxi, they hail it. If it stops, they ride it. If they see the cab rank, they go up to it and board one. If they do not see a taxi, then they turn to other means. More than one so-called "ecKspuRRte" has predicted the demise of the taxi street hail, but so far, these Rocket Scientists have been off the mark. My conversations with my passengers, Uber users, sometime Uber users and non-users alike confirm this. A phenomenon that I am noticing more and more is street hails that will start to get out at the destination without reaching for a card or cash. Suddenly they remember that they did not use Uber, but hailed, so they must fish for something to use for payment. At that point, I do tell them that the next time that they do hail a cab, they should ask if it is an Uber Taxi. If so, they might try to pay with Uber, thus eliminating the wait at the end of the trip. I do explain that it is a dicey process, as, you would think that the request would go to the driver in whose cab the user is. It does not always work that way, though. The user can cancel immediately and try again, as Uber does not penalise if the user cancels within five minutes. The most that I have had to have a user try is three times; that happened only once. Most of the time, the request does go to me. Every once in a while, the user must try twice.

No, the street hail is not going anywhere--it is just too convenient and easy. Some may argue that the people do not need to come outside, they can order from inside the hotel, restaurant or club. That may have obtained in the early days (back when an UberX driver actually could pay the bills with his earnings), but these days I am hearing more and more complaints from Uber users about being left by UberX drivers if they do not come out immediately. Further, all one need do is read what is posted on this forum to know that one of the most expressed complaints from UberX drivers is passengers who keep them waiting. UberX users will realise soon enough that it costs them both money and annoyance if they are not outside when they request, or, at least, on the way out. What is already happening is that the user comes outside, looks to see if there is a cab, if there is, he hails it. If it stops, he gets in. If it does not stop, he requests whatever Uber he wants (Black, Taxi, XL, X). In many cases, for those of you who will work Downtown D.C., those fast cancellations at open spots that you get are the result of the user's hailing a cab. Some Uber users are impatient to the point that paying the cancellation fee does not bother them. They will come out, not see a cab, request, wait for the requested ride to show, wait some more, suddenly see a cab, hail it, it stops, they get in, they cancel the Uber. I have heard more than one conversation about this sort of thing. The requester blows off the companion's mention of a cancellation fee. These people are an impatient lot, even if it costs them, they let their impatience rule.
 

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Yes, they did build some new apartments on South Capitol Street. I am not sure if they are rental or overpriced condominiums (yes, I know, putting "overpriced" next to the word "condominium" in D.C. is redundant), but I can bet safely that their proximity to the ballpark drives up the rent/property value.

The neighbourhood East of South Capitol has changed. Gone are the warehouses and clubs. Still walk West of Half Street, S.W. and see how quickly you are in the 'hood. That 'hood ain't changing as quickly as the real estate agents would have people believe.

Only the most hard-core Uber users are going to walk to "avoid" a taxi line. My experience dictates that most people simply want a ride. If they see the taxi, they hail it. If it stops, they ride it. If they see the cab rank, they go up to it and board one. If they do not see a taxi, then they turn to other means. More than one so-called "ecKspuRRte" has predicted the demise of the taxi street hail, but so far, these Rocket Scientists have been off the mark. My conversations with my passengers, Uber users, sometime Uber users and non-users alike confirm this. A phenomenon that I am noticing more and more is street hails that will start to get out at the destination without reaching for a card or cash. Suddenly they remember that they did not use Uber, but hailed, so they must fish for something to use for payment. At that point, I do tell them that the next time that they do hail a cab, they should ask if it is an Uber Taxi. If so, they might try to pay with Uber, thus eliminating the wait at the end of the trip. I do explain that it is a dicey process, as, you would think that the request would go to the driver in whose cab the user is. It does not always work that way, though. The user can cancel immediately and try again, as Uber does not penalise if the user cancels within five minutes. The most that I have had to have a user try is three times; that happened only once. Most of the time, the request does go to me. Every once in a while, the user must try twice.

No, the street hail is not going anywhere--it is just too convenient and easy. Some may argue that the people do not need to come outside, they can order from inside the hotel, restaurant or club. That may have obtained in the early days (back when an UberX driver actually could pay the bills with his earnings), but these days I am hearing more and more complaints from Uber users about being left by UberX drivers if they do not come out immediately. Further, all one need do is read what is posted on this forum to know that one of the most expressed complaints from UberX drivers is passengers who keep them waiting. UberX users will realise soon enough that it costs them both money and annoyance if they are not outside when they request, or, at least, on the way out. What is already happening is that the user comes outside, looks to see if there is a cab, if there is, he hails it. If it stops, he gets in. If it does not stop, he requests whatever Uber he wants (Black, Taxi, XL, X). In many cases, for those of you who will work Downtown D.C., those fast cancellations at open spots that you get are the result of the user's hailing a cab. Some Uber users are impatient to the point that paying the cancellation fee does not bother them. They will come out, not see a cab, request, wait for the requested ride to show, wait some more, suddenly see a cab, hail it, it stops, they get in, they cancel the Uber. I have heard more than one conversation about this sort of thing. The requester blows off the companion's mention of a cancellation fee. These people are an impatient lot, even if it costs them, they let their impatience rule.
Those are all high priced apartments, not condos. I wasn't suggesting that the pockets of those SW "hoods" are likely to change anytime soon, nor do I want it to. It's despicable to price everyone out of DC(forgive me, I'm a rare Realtor:) Anyhow, my point is, most of DC is the "hood". You have natives on one block & Becky walking her dog on the next. So, proclaiming somewhere is a "hood" implies negative connotations that may or may not be accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those are all high priced apartments, not condos. I wasn't suggesting that the pockets of those SW "hoods" are likely to change anytime soon, nor do I want it to. It's despicable to price everyone out of DC(forgive me, I'm a rare Realtor:) Anyhow, my point is, most of DC is the "hood". You have natives on one block & Becky walking her dog on the next. So, proclaiming somewhere is a "hood" implies negative connotations that may or may not be accurate.
Understood, JaguaGirl, and I generally agree. But that area west of Nats Park is a dangerous neighborhood. Not the worst in DC, but no place those girls needed to be. There's an open air drug market in there:

Product Rectangle Map Font Line


My girls were walking straight into that. No, not if I can help it.
 

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Understood, JaguaGirl, and I generally agree. But that area west of Nats Park is a dangerous neighborhood. Not the worst in DC, but no place those girls needed to be. There's an open air drug market in there:

View attachment 11434

My girls were walking straight into that. No, not if I can help it.
Lol. As opposed to the closed drug market(up the nose) in the rest of DC??? Becky lives right next door to the local drug dealer/addict West of South Capitol Street. They are used to Nat's fans walking thru the "hood" over there. Ain't nobody thinking about your girl's...... Probably woulda gave em directions. Stereotypes are bad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No wonder driver ratings are such a concern. The "Hello, I'm a ****ing prick!" quotient among Uber drivers seems to be sky-high around here.
 

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The 'hood under question is the same one where the Domino's controversy occurred some ten to fifteen years back.
 

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......it has, and even South Capitol Street has changed. What has not changed is Half Street to Second; P to S. The Domino's controversy occurred on either Half or First, I forget now. Those streets are still dangerous.
 
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......it has, and even South Capitol Street has changed. What has not changed is Half Street to Second; P to S. The Domino's controversy occurred on either Half or First, I forget now. Those streets are still dangerous.
Unfortunately, that's not true. I've picked up more than one gentrifier living happily in the " danger" zone. It has, in fact, changed, also. Not to mention, what used to be my teeny bopper nightclub, is now a gay male strip club, on Half Street. Things do & have changed & junkies will still get high in EVERY quandrant of the city.
 

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Unfortunately, that's not true. I've picked up more than one gentrifier living happily in the " danger" zone. It has, in fact, changed, also. Not to mention, what used to be my teeny boomer nightclub, is now a gay male strip club, on Half Street. Things do & have changed & junkies will still get high in EVERY quandrant of the city.
They must be hiding from me, then. I have not seen one "gentrifier" in that "danger zone". I have seen plenty of thugs hanging out there, though. Recently, several cab drivers even have had the "privilege" of having Gentle Giants in Training throw rocks at their cabs. That seems to be one of the requirements for the Gentle Giant Training Course: Rock Throwing at Taxicabs and Metrobusses for Fun and Profit 101. The usual classroom for that Course is Stanton Road, but it does not, by any means, have a monopoly on that........and people wonder why cab drivers will not go to Stanton Road and METRO wanted to cut off bus service there...........

Yes, things change and have changed in some places, but not all.

I assume that the club to which you refer is 1900 Half, SW. The earliest incarnation that I remember at that address was The Pier, which was a gay club. It has been a straight strip club, a BDSM Club and a gay club several times over the years. Funny thing about that club, I never remember too many calls coming from there or going to there. The cab company of which I was an Official at one time OWNED the gay business for the cabs. We had Tracks, the bath house, The glory hole, The Other Side, The Lost and Found, The Eagle, The Chesapeake, Naples, Carroll's, Lone Star....all of it except that one. I asked around at the other companies. All of the drivers, dispatchers and Officials told me that they never did much there, either. This was long before Uber, mind you.
 
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