Prop 22 – Here’s what Uber must now provide drivers in California

In November, California voters passed Prop 22 allowing drivers to remain independent contracts with certain guarantees. Other states are reviewing this legislation with thoughts of bringing it to their state. So what exactly does Prop 22 offer gig drivers?

According to Uber drivers in California will now be receiving the following:

Guaranteed minimum earnings:

  • 20% more than the pickup city’s minimum wage
  • $0.30 per mile for expenses.* 
  • No limit to how much you can make, but if you earn less than the guaranteed minimum over 2 weeks, they’ll pay you the difference automatically.**

Injury Protection:

  • If you get into a covered accident, Uber’s insurance will help protect you and your family from financial hardship. Benefits include medical expense coverage, disability payments, survivor benefits.

Healthcare stipend:

  • With a qualifying plan and an average of at least 15 active hours per week each calendar quarter, you’ll receive a stipend to help pay for your healthcare.
  • For both rides and deliveries, drivers will be considered active from the moment you accept a trip until the moment you complete it.

Other Changes:

  • Deactivation appeals
  • Safety course for new drivers
  • Required breaks
    • Required to go offline for at least 6 consecutive hours if you drive and/or deliver by car for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

It will be interesting to see which states will decide to follow the Golden State.

Friday: Car maintenance hacks

Contacting driver support for both Uber and Lyft

We’ve all had issues while driving on our rideshare platforms. More often than not, we need to reach out to support. Both Uber and Lyft have more than one way to contact them. Below are the most up to date ways for drivers to contact support on either platform.

Uber

  • Through the driver app:
    • Open the driver app
    • Click on the hamburger icon(3 bars) in the upper left-hand corner of the app
    • Click on “Help”
    • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on “Call Support”
  • By phone: 800.593.7069
  • Email: support@uber.com
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uber/
  • Twitter: @Uber_Support
  • Greenlight Hub: To book an appointment at a Greenlight Hub that is open click here

 

Lyft

  • Through the driver app:
    • Open the driver app
    • Click on help
    • Search for a topic with the “Contact us button”
  • Online: help.lyft.com
  • Twitter: @AskLyft
  • The Hub: to find an office in your city go to https://www.lyft.com/hub/hours

Contacting support can require patents. Getting your issue resolved in your favor may require calling support multiple times and speaking with different representatives each time. Finding the right representative can mean the difference between success and failure.

Where to pee?

Rideshare drivers have always struggled with finding a clean restroom while out on the road. Since the onset of Covid-19 those choices have dwindled dramatically. 

One option is at the gas station when you fill up. They often have open restrooms but it is not a guarantee. 

The worst situation is when you have to go and there aren’t any choices at all. I’ve started carrying a product I found on Amazon called Mini Toilet. Its single use only and can be used by both men and women. After use, it zip locks closed and comes with a small garbage bag for disposal. Amazon often runs out of this one so here is another option called Coolrunner Disposal Urine bags and basically works the same. I am sure there are plenty of other similar products out there but these are the ones I’ve tried and they work great!

When this is all over, I hope we can go back to using Starbucks as they have a location on every corner. 

Wednesday: Contacting driver support for both Uber and Lyft

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

5 big mistakes food delivery drivers make all the time!

This pandemic has had a big impact on our lives in so many ways — including how we make money. With the rapid drop in requests on both the Uber and Lyft rideshare platforms, we have had to shift to UberEats, GrubHub and more. Since this has been a new shift for many of us, we are bound to make some mistakes along the way.  

So what are the 5 biggest mistakes that food delivery drivers make?

  1. Parking illegally – You are trying to be efficient with your time because there is nowhere to park. You think to yourself, it will just take a minute to run into the restaurant to pick up the order or to drop it off to your customer. You get back to your car and ouch, there’s a ticket on the windshield for parking illegally. This one ticket may be all of the money you make for the day. Stop taking chances, find a proper spot to park. If you are dropping off your order it might be worth it to text your customer. Say, “This is your UberEats driver, there is no where to park that I can see, do you know of a spot?” It is surprising how often they do!
  2. Forgetting to pick up the sauce (picking up extra is always good), plastic utensils and napkins – Your customer is hungry and there’s no sauce or anything to eat it with. Nothing says “No tip” like no sauce!
  3. Not using the hot bag especially, in front of the customer – When you are delivering hot food make sure you have your hot bag to transport the food in. Also, when you do deliver it, make sure you remove the food out of the hot bag in front of your customer. This will show them you did your part in keeping their food hot! Be careful not to let any drinks you were carrying spill along the way.
  4. Not sending your customer a text message when you are on your way – This little extra communication is a great way to show you are on top of things. Quite often I find that the customer is waiting outside for their order because they got the text. It is also a good idea to send your customer a quick thank you text after you drop off their food. The real money in doing food delivery is in the tips. Every little extra thing you do will often lead to more tips.
  5. Working at the wrong time of day – The reason you are doing this is to make money. Plan your day around the best delivery times, especially dinner time. Evening delivery orders tend to be larger and more expensive. More often than not, the larger the order the larger the tip.

Even in food delivery, you’ve got to be on top of your game to make the money you deserve!

*Previously posted on July15th

Tomorrow: Uber Connect

3 more apps every rideshare driver should have on their phone – part 2

Today’s blog is part 2 of 2 on what apps every rideshare drive should have on their phone. 

Pretty much everyone has Google Maps on their phone as it is a rideshare basic for all of us.  However, another great GPS app is Waze. Both of these apps are free but one of the big differences is the route the Waze app chooses to get you to your destination. With Google Maps you are more likely to see yourself using a predictable route using freeways/highways and side streets. With Waze your route might take you off the beaten path. I like to say that Waze will take you ways you never thought of going. (I love a good dad joke.)

Waze also provides you with a lot more detail on traffic, car crashes, road construction and other problems on the road. This is also the reason why I prefer Google Maps because there is sometimes too much information popping up on your phone screen and it can be distracting. Both are effective at getting you to your destination quickly. Give them both a try so you can determine which one works best for you.

It is not only important to know how to get around your city or town – you also need to know how to get around your finances. Quickbooks is the financial app must-have for us drivers. We are running our own businesses and we need to have an app to track mileage costs and expenses, and something to help us with quarterly tax preparation. This app can do all of that and more. The cost is around $10.00 per month and is worth every penny. It is best to have it loaded on both your laptop and on your phone so you can make the most of the features it provides. (If you are looking to track your mileage, we recommend MileIQ; Stride is another popular option.)

The apps we’ve recommended so far have you well on your way to both geographic and financial organization, but how do you prepare for unexpected car problems? Many of you may already be AAA members, but there are other options that are now available if you are not a AAA member. For example, Honk offers 24/7 roadside assistance by connecting you to local services, with help arriving in 15-30 minutes. They will help you out with common break-down problems, like a flat tire or a dead battery – or a towing service, if needed.

*Previous posted on July 7th

Tomorrow: Is it worth it to turn your car into a moving billboard?

3 apps every rideshare driver should have on their phone – part 1

Apps on our phones have really changed so much of what we do in our lives. This also holds true for us rideshare drivers. Simply having an app with GPS has truly been a game changer. But beyond a GPS app, what other apps should we have on our phones that will help us be successful while driving around our cities and towns?

One of the must have apps is Mystro* and unfortunately is only available on Android. If you are an iPhone user, there is a work around – by tethering your IPhone to a second android phone. Mystro allows users to seamlessly look for rides on both Uber and Postmates platforms at the same time. You can accept trips hands-free and filter out certain kinds of trips like UberPool (currently suspended due to Covid-19). The app also allows you to filter trips by tier type. For instance, if you only want to accept Uber XL trips from the Uber app, you can do that. It is a great app to have but it is not free. You can either pay a small fee per ride, pay by the month or pay up front for a year. The choice is yours, but this app will quickly pay for itself because it will help to keep you busy making more money.

Because you are going to be busy, you will need to purchase more gas. GasBuddy allows you to find the nearest gas station to you when you are running low. And the app is free! If you need directions, it will map out directions using GPS. Now, if you don’t mind driving a little further, GasBuddy will also help you find the gas station with the cheapest price. Their price tracker is constantly being updated and I have found the app to be pretty accurate.

Just because you are at a gas station doesn’t mean their restrooms are in service.  All too often when you need to “go” you are faced with an “Out of Order” sign hanging on the facility’s door. Having the Flush App on your phone will quickly find you a place to “go.” This free app uses crowdsourcing to locate which restrooms are open, so it is pretty up to date. You can even search for restrooms with internet connections. Given that so many of your regular go-to places are likely closed right now, using this app is exactly what we need during times like these. 

*Please note the endorsement of these apps was made without any form of compensation.

*Previously posted on July 6th

Tomorrow: 3 more apps every rideshare driver should have on their phone!

If you haven’t already signed up to do food delivery, here’s how!

According to the New York Times, Uber recently acquired Postmates as yet another way to further expand their offerings beyond rideshare. UberEats and other food delivery companies are not only a great way for rideshare drivers to generate income during Covid-19 but also safer because there is no rider.

Some Uber drivers may be unsure of how they can get started with UberEats, but it’s really quite simple once you are logged into the Uber App:

  1. Tap the status bar at the bottom of your map screen.
  2. Select the settings icon at the bottom of your screen to get to “Driving Preferences.”
  3. Tap “Deliveries” to turn on UberEats. If you accept the terms, you’ll can start receiving delivery requests right away.

To avoid making some of the newbie mistakes, check out our blog from July 15 – 5 big mistakes food delivery drivers make all the time!

If you are already an Uber driver, UberEats is the easiest for delivery service to get started with but they are not the only game in town. Some of the other app-based delivery services to try are DoorDash, Grubhub, and grocery delivery like InstaCart.

The more income opportunities we make available to ourselves the better off we will be to support ourselves and our families.

*Previously posted 7/22/2020

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

What board games are people playing during Covid-19?

We are all spending a lot more time at home right now. One way to pass the time is to play board games – and if you can incorporate travel dreams into your game play, even better!

Back in March, the Washington Post published an article on 12 board games with a travel theme. From that list, I have picked what I believe would be the most fun to play during this time of social distancing.

Pandemic is an extremely popular cooperative board game for 2-4 players or teams about racing to cure a global viral outbreak by traveling around the world and investing resources in research and relief. As the Washington Post says, “Dark humor, cathartic, or triggering? You decide.” There are expansions available as well if you get really into it. For ages 8 and up. From $36.

Ticket to Ride is a chance for cross-country train travel! Up to 5 players will try to lay out the longest train tracks for maximum points. Simple to learn and with versions set all across the globe, it’s a surefire hit. Ages 8 and up, from $41.

Trekking the National Parks awards points for seeing the most nature has to offer! You and up to 5 other competitors will try to visit as many national parts using the travel resources you have available to end up as the winner. From $44

There are a lot of other great travel board games choices listed in the article, be sure to check them all out. (If you want even more options, you can try BoardGameGeek’s “Travel” category.) So even though we can’t travel much right now, we can dream of places to go and have family fun while doing it! 

Monday: What is the best cell phone holder?