This post is for all the Lyft and Uber passengers I’ve given rides to over the years. Hopefully, it will answer some of the most common questions I get as a late-night Lyft and Uber driver.
What’s Included in the Price of a Ride?
I’ve learned that I’m not just my passengers’ Lyft and Uber driver; I’m also the entertainment.
Over the years, I’ve earned the title of free tour guide, underpaid relationship adviser, wannabe marriage counselor, wing-woman, dating coach, spiritual guru, silly friend, and chubby confidant. Sometimes I think I know more about some of my passengers’ lives than I know about mine.
I have had hundreds of drunk college kids, townies, and travelers pass through my van doors every night. I fill my vehicle with a wide selection of music, gum, road trip games, dirty jokes, and lots of storytelling. Most of my rides only last 3 to 15 minutes, but let me tell you, I work my ass off all night long. Because once I drop off a passenger, I go pick up another. I follow the same routine every night, but there is never a dull moment.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I do get a few creeps or drunk and belligerent assholes that need to learn respect. Or, they don’t talk and stare down at their cell phones for the entire ride. Others passengers want to talk to me. They want to hear my stories, and they want to share some of their stories with me. So whether it’s just as a friend to talk to or a safe ride home—they need me. And they always let me know just how much.
I can usually tell which kind of ride it will be before a passenger ever gets into my car. But some passengers surprise me, and some stories give me a case of the feels.
What’s Your Craziest Lyft or Uber Story?
When I’m not pretending to be someone’s counselor, I’m the entertainment and storyteller. And a pretty good one, I guess, since I’ve won multiple competitions without ever knowing there was one. But practically every night, often multiple times a night, a passenger will ask me the same question: What’s your craziest story? So, when they do, I always mention the name Braxton because his story made me think about never driving for Lyft or Uber again.
>>>Click here to read Braxton’s story on LG<<<
Why Do you Drive for Lyft and Uber?
When my passengers ask me why I drive, I tell them the truth. I do it for the money, except I call my earnings “toilet paper money” because while it probably won’t pay my mortgage, it does put food on my table and help me afford to wipe my ass.
I’m also a freelance writer, which means sometimes I’m self-employed, and other times, I’m unemployed. And I can’t lie—the old saying about starving artists is true, depending on whether I’m working on a paid project or not. But either way, I need to make money.
The second reason I became a Lyft and Uber driver is for extra creative inspiration, and my passengers provide plenty of that.
Sometimes I joke with my passengers about giving up my social life years ago to drive, which is not entirely true. My social life has somewhat improved. I meet hundreds if not thousands of new and interesting people each week, which is also an opportunity to plug my blog. *wink
We Have to Live to Learn
The third reason I drive for Lyft and Uber deserves a section by itself because it stems back into my teenage and college years. Back then, we didn’t have rideshare. We either drove ourselves to parties, or we hitched a ride from someone else who might be in worse shape than we were.
That is how two of my close friends died.
In July 1997, my best friend’s brother, who also happened to be my homecoming and prom date for two years, died in a DUI rollover crash. There were four people in the car, but my two best friends seated in the backseat were the only people who died that night. The front passenger fled the scene on foot, as did the intoxicated driver, leaving one of my friends pinned in the backseat and the other dying in a cornfield.
I know the details sound horrific, but what’s worse is that neither of my friends had been drinking. They just needed a ride home, so they accepted a ride home from a drunk driver. I wish they would’ve called me.
Any way, the third reason I became a Lyft and Uber driver, specifically a late-night driver, is to provide a safe ride home to late-night partygoers.
Now, every night I drive, I count all the faces of passengers who I’ve helped get home safely, which feels good. I know my efforts won’t change what happened, but maybe I can save somebody else from feeling the same pain I felt once I learned that two of my close friends were dead.