How I Made $27/hour driving for UberX


About two weeks ago, I wrote a Medium post about becoming an @UberXKing. The story was about the process of signing up to become an UberX driver. It included a rough financial model built off of conversations I had with folks that already drove for UberX in LA. My goal was to explore the viability of making a living as a driver on the Uber platform. That post was widely read, so I’ve decided to share more of my UberX experience here on Medium.

Last week, I actually hit the streets as an UberX driver and started to live tweet the experience from @UberXKing. Coincidentally, this was around the same time that GQ published Mickey Rapkin’s Uber Cab Confessions. Below I will share with you my own story, data, and observations.

It was a thrill to fire up the Uber system for the first time last Wednesday. When I clicked the “go online” button as I pulled out of my driveway, I was pinged almost immediately by an Uber user a few blocks away from me. I picked him up, started the ride by clicking another button. After about 10 minutes of awkward silence, I had a nice conversation with my passenger. It turns out he is an entrepreneur too and was also contemplating driving for Uber in his spare time. We became LinkedIn connections during the ride. I dropped him off at his dinner after driving 13.08 miles in 59 minutes for a grand total of $34.03. Click the button to end the trip, give him 5 stars, and click the button to go back online. Ping. Another fare down the street. And the night continued like that until about 2am.

I drove Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. I took off Saturday to visit the Getty Museum with some friends, and went back online Sunday for the evening.

On Monday, I got an email from Uber outlining my time online, making some suggestions for increased income, and comparing me to the best drivers in the area. I have shared the information I received below…

Apparently I can make $29/hour just driving during busy hours on nights and weekends.
This is a nice visualization that Uber provides driver to show when you drove respective to busy hours.
I think I know who my 3 non five-star ratings were. The common thread was a lack of meaningful conversation.
There are a few metrics I can improve on next week. It turns out that my fare maximization techniques worked and I typically earned more than the average driver.

After only 21.8 hours online I earned $601.40 for an average of $27.50 / hour. I had about $60 in gas costs because I was driving around my less than fuel efficient Jeep Wrangler. Overall, not bad given the flexibility to work whenever you want, the joy of great conversation with interesting folks, and the ability to explore the city in a truly unique way.

If you have been thinking about driving for Uber — now is the time to give it a shot. To sign up to drive go to Partners.Uber.com. Please share your stories with me!

And follow @UberXKing for live tweets from my time driving for UberX. This is where I share my ideas for improvement to the UberX experience and data I collect while speaking with actual customers. Chris Sacca even favorited one of my tweets about how every Uber GM should drive regularly.

And if you’ve made it this far, please join my mailing list to learn more about other stuff I am up to these days… Thanks for reading!