Should rideshare drivers be helping riders with their luggage?

Many rideshare drivers believe that they should not help a rider load their luggage. I believe that drivers should be helping their riders with their luggage. This post is not about starting a debate on that issue. Let’s just say you are amongst the group who does and leave it there. However, in the light of Covid-19, should this practice continue? I have held my 5.0 star rating for many years and I believe that we are not just offering someone a ride but we are also providing a service. But what is the risk of exposure?

The CDC has written an article about the Coronavirus exposure through luggage and they say the risk is low but read it for yourselves and make your own decision.

My personal thought is you should continue to help someone with their luggage but in a new way. On a few recent trips, I got out of the car and opened the trunk for the rider but asked if they wouldn’t mind loading the luggage themselves and then the same procedure when dropping them off. So far it has worked. I do suggest having a box of latex gloves in the trunk just in case a rider says they have a disability or some other reason that prevents them from lifting.

Make sure you know how to safely remove latex gloves. Checkout this previous blog post that includes this information.

Rideshare rider requests are up in Asia and South America, is North America next?

We have all heard of the financial woes of Uber. As far as ridership, Covid 19 has meant few people taking rides, especially here in the US. 

According to a recent article by investor.uber.com, Uber had a net loss of $968 billion last year. However, Uber did see its gross bookings(Uber rides) increase by 16% in Q4 over Q3. Riders are starting to come back online. This growth was mostly seen in South America and the few remaining Asian countries where Uber still exists like Singapore.

As Covid-19 vaccinations increase over the next several months one can expect the economy to improve. According to USAToday, the US economy is due for a bounce back. With an improved economy, one can expect ridership will increase here at home, let’s hope!

Next week: Uber may bring ‘Prop 22’-style gig work standards to the EU

Are you required to notify your passengers they are being recorded?

For rideshare drivers, dash-cams play an important role in safety. Having one in your car can protect you from false liability claims when in an accident. They can also protect you from a false claim made by a rider to their rideshare platform about you.

With so much at risk, it’s easy to understand why more and more drivers are installing them in their cars. But what about your legal responsibilities when it comes to the rider’s right to privacy? According to Wiley.com’s online library, 16 states require two-party notification whenever recording. Those states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington. This means drivers need to let riders know that they are being recorded in their cars. Amazon has a lot of signage options you can use to let your riders know.

If you are currently in the market for a dash-cam, check out the July 20th blog post where we reviewed what to look for when making this purchase.

Monday: What do you look for when buying a dash camera for rideshare?

Covid-19 vaccination – Uber asks that rideshare drivers be classified as essential workers

Rideshare drivers have been considered essential workers since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the vaccine is about to be released, it appears that there may be an end in sight. 

State governments and in discussions right now to determine who should be at the front of the line for the vaccine. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi sent governors across the country this letter asking for them to ”ensure these individuals (rideshare drivers) can receive immunizations quickly, easily and for free” he went on to say, “I offer Uber’s assistance to you in making that a reality.”

Whether states decide to go along with his request has yet to be seen. The big question is if approved, will drivers decide to line up at the front on the line and be vaccinated and then drive?

Wednesday: How many hours do you drive as a rideshare driver?

Some interesting information on UberEats for drivers

We all know that user demand for rideshare is way down. According to QZ.com, demand in the second quarter of 2020 was down 75%. 

With such a sharp decline, many of us have turned to food delivery options like DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, and others. In October, Business of Apps posted an article claiming UberEsts has now passed Uber Rides in revenue. 

For drivers, the move to delivery is easy to understand given the increased demand as well as limiting one’s exposure to Covid-19. But what can we expect to earn and how can I tell which one has the best boosts?

Money – Quora.com claims Uber drivers make more money as UberEats drivers only get a set amount per delivery. Whereas, Uber drivers earn more per mile. So when you are being pinged for a delivery, it is best to only accept those coming from restaurants that are closest to you.

Finding the best boosts – Signing up with a different account for Uber Rides and UberEats can be the secret to increasing your income. If you run separate accounts, you can sign-in to each one and shop each app for the best boosts for different times a day. Shopping the apps is a great way for you to raise your income and use your time more efficiently.

In the gig economy, we all have to work smarter not harder to be successful. 

Friday: Dealing with vomit, are you prepared?

Tips on winter driving

Snow is falling in many parts of the country and in others, the rainy season has begun. In either case, we need to change our driving habits for the safety of ourselves and our riders.  

 

AAA has a number of great tips including for winter driving. Some of those tips include, accelerate and decelerate slowly, increase your following distance, don’t stop going up a hill, and more

AAA also offers tips for driving in wet weather. Some of those tips include, slow down, make room, avoid cruise control, and more.

No matter where you live, it’s important to check your local weather forecast so you know what kind of road conditions you will be dealing with each day.

Monday: Are fewer drivers using the turning signal?

5 tips for food delivery drivers

Since the beginning of Covid-19, many rideshare drivers have switched from taking passengers to delivering food. There are some obvious things that make drivers successful at food delivery. Those include not eating your customer’s food and picking up and dropping off the order on time.

But what else can be done to make delivering food easier? Below are some simple tips that can make the task of delivery much easier:

  1. Focus on main thoroughfares – When looking for deliveries in smaller cities and towns, focus on main streets, roads, and thoroughfares that lead from one urban place to another. This is where demand is greatest.
  2. Roll of quarters – Picking up and dropping off food, often requires parking at a meter. There are plenty of meters that still do not take credit cards. Having a roll of quarters is an efficient to pay for parking and avoid a parking ticket.
  3. Thermal food bag – Customers want to receive their order the way it was plated and piping hot. Not all delivery platforms provide drivers with thermal food bags. It is a good idea to have one of your own. 
  4. Food Box – Having a plastic bin or even a cardboard box for orders that don’t fit in the thermal food bag is a good idea. Big orders with multiple boxes of food shift around a lot while you are on the road. Having a box will help to secure these larger orders.
  5. “Enjoy” – When dropping off a delivery to a customer who is waiting at the door or curbside, try ending the delivery with, “Enjoy”. Adding this simple word to the end of each delivery can help with ratings and even tips.

Following the above tips will make your hours of delivery driving a whole lot easier.

Friday: Tips on winter d

What to look for when buying a mask?

As more and more cities, counties, and states are mandating their citizens wear masks while in public, we thought it was time to review what you should look for when purchasing a mask.

First of all, you should not be wearing an N-95 mask according to the CDC. These masks are still in critical supply and should be left to our healthcare professionals. However, there are still so many other choices making it difficult to figure out which one to purchase.  

USA Today has put together a list of 8 thing to look for when purchasing your mask:

  1. Choose the right fabric – Fabric has different sized spacing between individual yarns, meaning some fabrics will have larger or smaller “holes” depending on the construction and this will affect their effectiveness against the coronavirus.
  2. Tightly woven fabrics offer better protection – Dense and tightly woven fabrics will also offer the best chance of protection because these have the smallest “holes.” 
  3. Multiple layers increase effectiveness – Studies found that multiple layers of fabric increase the effectiveness of filtration of virus particles, but there’s a trade-off—it may be harder to breathe.
  4. Bandanas are not a good choice – A study from a group of engineers at Missouri S&T tested bandanas, pillowcases, and furnace filters for face coverings. Out of these items tested, bandanas performed the worst.
  5. Knit materials tend to stretch and don’t make for the best protection – Knits are made to stretch and when that happens the holes get bigger, which means it’s more likely that viruses can get through.
  6. Filters are effective but can pose a safety risk – While many masks for sale have an additional pocket for a filter, it could potentially do more harm than good. Certain types of household filters contain fiberglass which can be dangerous if inhaled.
  7. It should fit snugly to your face – Aside from fabric type, fit is a factor in the quality of a cloth mask. The mask should fit snugly on your face, covering your mouth and nose with no gaps.
  8. It is better to go with a mask than without – Some people may find wearing masks uncomfortable. If a double-layer tightly woven fabric mask is uncomfortable or makes it hard to breath, try a single-layer, lighter weight fabric or stretchier mask. These may offer less protection than a denser mask, but might be more comfortable to wear.

Knowing what to look for in a mask can make it easier to choose the mask that is right for you. 

*Previously posted on Aug 7th 

Tomorrow: 3 must-sees on Disney+

Help with fogged up glasses while wearing a mask!

Having to wear a mask during Covid-19 is an inconvenience we are all bearing right now. However, if you wear glasses or sunglasses, it can be challenging. This problem starts when your glasses fog up. It can happen when you are running around on the street doing errands but it can be really dangerous while driving.

So what can be done to prevent this problem? The Cleveland Clinic came up with some simple yet smart answers:

  1. Mask sure your mask fits tightly across the bridge of your nose – this prevents moisture in your breath from reaching your glasses.
  2. Gently clean your glasses with soap and water – soap residue prevents moisture from clinging to your lens.
  3. Use your glasses to seal your mask – make sure your glasses sit on top of the mask on the bridge of your nose .
  4. Tape your mask down – use a piece of medical tape to tape down your mask across the bridge of your nose. Make sure to use a tape for sensitive skin for this tender area of your face.
  5. Buy an anti-fog solution – these solutions are available from both online and brick and mortar retailers.

Be safe out there and wear your mask!

 

*previously posted on July 30th

Lyft Essential Deliveries Service

Yesterday, we talked about Uber’s latest delivery service, UberRush. They are not the only rideshare company getting into the delivery game. Back in April, 2020, Lyft also announced a new delivery service called Essential Deliveries.  

This new pilot program is aimed at government agencies, local non-profits, businesses and healthcare organizations and making deliveries of meals, groceries, life-sustaining medical supplies, hygiene products and home necessities to those in need, according to the Lyft Blog.

Currently, this service is being offered in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio, and Seattle. There is talk of expanding the service to non-profit organizations for deliveries from food banks, senior meals programs and even the Girl Scouts delivering their cookies. It will be interesting to see how this project moves forward. 

*Previously posted on July17th

Tomorrow: How to choose a good wine