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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm of the opinion that waiting more than 15 minutes between pings means that it's not worth being logged in. Here's why:

You are going to kill your hourly rate. Keep in mind that Uber only logs your hours when you are actively en route to a ping or during the trip. They don't count the waiting in between trips or the drive time back to a wait area. So use a mileage tracker like Vezma to track all your time and miles and use that data to calculate your real hourly rate.

You are unnecessarily adding extra drivers to an area that doesn't need them. This is great for Uber but shitty for drivers. Drivers need to be busy and having a bunch of available drivers means none of them will be making money. Optimally drivers should be locally organizing and agreeing to work set hours (outside of weekend nights of course because that is road warrior status) This way you would know that on a Tuesday between 5-9 only you and a couple other drivers would be working your local spot.

When an area lacks drivers it will surge. Granted no one gives a shit about the surge but it's nice to hit one and when we log off and go home on a slow day or night we increase the chance for surges. I'm looking at my area now and see like 4 drivers in the little business section. They will not be making money, there are too many there for this time of day. Why sit there in your car waiting for like an hour to get a ride that may only be for $5!? That's a dumb way to run a business that doesn't require you to be open for biz when there are no customers!
 

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I think it all depends on your area. If you're downtown in a major metro area, the "15 minutes or log off" rule might apply.

However, in areas with less Uber penetration it doesn't really work that way. For example, I was logged in for two hours from home on Sunday night and didn't get one ping. I logged in on Monday night and received only one ping, but it was a nice $30 ride, and I made about $22 for an hour's worth of work.

If I can be at home and logged in, I have no problem staying logged in all night. Doing this PT after my regular job, if I have a free evening I decide whether it's going to be an Uber night or a "drink a few beers" night. I can still watch TV, clean, or pursue other hobbies until I get a ping.

On weeknights, I'll generally take my ride and sit near the destination for about 10-15 minutes - if I get a ping, great. If not, I head back toward home and do it all over again.

On weekends during the day or during bar shift - getting pings in my area doesn't seem to be a problem.

Slow weeknights or busy weekends, many drivers on or if I'm the only one within 15 minutes of some locations - a ride is a ride and I'll generally take it. Our area seems to get a pretty fair amount of longer rides, which makes it worth while to be on as much as possible if you want to make coin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree that there isn't a lot of harm in being logged in when chilling at home. Because yes you can wait a couple hours before you get a hit, probably because you live in a low activity zone for anytime but busy hours. I think that is the case for a lot of drivers who don't live in the center of a large downtown zone. But it also makes the case for not sitting there all night with your app on for like two $10 trips. You slow down the pings for the drivers who are actively working. Is it really worth the $5 in gas and the wear and tear and the interruption of your life for that hour or 2 you spent in the car for $10 an hour? I think as contractors we gotta be honest about what are real hourly rate is when we do the math at the end of the night.

I do kind of a hybrid of what I think you are doing, which is to hang out at home till you get a fare do the trip and head back home and wait.

I will fire up the app at home and log in when I feel like I want to get my work day or night started and its a good time to couch troll for fares. Eventually I get a ping and if I decide its worth doing I take it. After that fare I head to the nearest location where I know I can snag another ride or to the predetermined location I have already planned to work that shift and wait. At this point my shift is started and I'm already in the black assuming I didn't just drive 10 minutes to take a guy on a $5 ride. I don't go back to my house because I'd be wasting gas, time and most likely I'd be waiting a while for another fare. So far I'm finding the $15-20 fares that only take me 10-15 minutes away from my spot are good low stress money makers. You can hit like 3 in an hour and be netting $25-30. If its a tuesday night and I fire up the app and work for like 2 hours where I grossed $35 an hour. I log off and go home. Why risk wrecking that beautiful hourly rate by chasing surges or driving out of my way thinking there will be business elsewhere, it's a tuesday night I made some cash already take the money and run!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'm looking at the pax app now. It's 11am there are 6 cars in the business section near me only 1 is moving. These drivers are morons, they are gonna be waiting an hour to get a fare. Unless you'd rather be sitting in your car all day scarping up $6 an hour than enjoying your life that is a terrible strategy and those drivers will fail. Now there are 8 cars there at least 4 still haven't moved. proof

Furthermore if I wanted to be a dick, I could turn on my app and troll for a nice long ride. I;m close enough to those guys that I'd be in their que for rides and ahead of them for anything north of them, so those suckers will miss a potential rate making fare for what was a slow couple hours because I swooped in and harpooned a whale! But I'm not a dick and I'm not ready to start a shift so let them have some crumbs.
 
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