Uber Premium begins on August 20th

On June 26th, Uber announced it would be discontinuing both Uber Black and Select from the service options within the app. On August 20th, Uber will launch Uber Premium as the sole elevated option for riders. 

For riders it will make their choice simple. Furthermore, the additional wait time of up to 10 minutes will remain.

What this change means for drivers is unclear. The big question is the rates: Will drivers be paid based on Uber Black or Select rates? Does it mean more drivers will now be able to drive as Uber Premium drivers? And lastly, will Uber be changing what vehicles will qualify? There are a lot of questions to be revealed over the coming weeks.

Be sure to check back in for the answers. 

Tomorrow: What to look for when buying a mask?

Since Uber bought Postmates, what does it mean for drivers?

Uber’s acquisition of Postmates was all over the news including in the New York Times. Uber continues to look beyond just rideshare for income. Though it may seem like a great deal for Uber because it raises their share to 37% of the food delivery business, what does it mean for drivers?

According to Fortune Magazine, some people believe it will benefit drivers. That is because the increase in members gives drivers more power to bargain with Uber for things like increased pay and job security. Others believe that there the purchase of Postmates will further increase the number of orders drivers can have and thus increase their take home pay.

However, there are some drivers who naturally have concerns about how this will all play out. One such group are former Uber drivers who switched over to Postmates after being deactivated by Uber for various reasons. It’s easy to understand why they would now worry about a second deactivation! We shall see how things play out over the next several months.

Tomorrow: Another look a wearing a mask

Uber expands where drivers can set their own pricing

In California, rideshare companies are having to adjust to AB-5 legislation that basically said drivers were employees and not independent contractors. Uber pushed back by rolling out driver led pricing last January. This was initially a test that was designed to show that drivers are not employees but independant contractors. It was rolled out in a few select cities like Palms Springs, Santa Barbara and a few others. 

On July 9th, Uber announced it will be rolling out this new pricing model throughout the State of California. The push is to ensure that drivers remain independent contractors and Uber can continue to keep its gig worker business model. 

More and more states are looking at their own version of AB5. It will be interesting to see if both Uber and Lyft try to come out in front of any legislation in other states before anything further passes. 

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

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

Everyone is talking about dash cameras for their cars, especially rideshare drivers. It is a great way to protect yourself by proving you were not at fault in an accident, proof for Uber or Lyft of an unruly rider who chose not to wear a mask or is acting inappropriately, evidence of your actions if you were pulled over by the police and so much more.

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to buying a dashcam, so what are some of the features that you may want to have?

Price – DashCam models can start out at $50. and move on up to more than $400,. but some of the features you may want as a rideshare drive can be found in the $200 range. 

Easy installation – No one wants to read a book or need a computer science degree in order to install your camera in your car and the app on your phone.

Video quality – 720p is pretty standard but you might want to consider 1080p which would allow you to zoom in on a face or license plate. Some models in the upper price range are now offering 4k but that is more of a luxury than a necessity. 

Parking Mode – We all have to leave our cars unattended from time to time. This mode will automatically start recording the moment it senses a vibration.

Dual Cameras – You also want a model that has a camera facing forward to record any kind of traffic incidents you may encounter and one that is rear facing to catch the activities of an unruly rider. 

Wireless streaming  – This is a nice to have feature because it allows you to view footage from your camera without having to remove a memory card. 

Dash cams can be found at many of the big box stores or online. For this kind of purchase I like Costco because of their excellent return policy, and they never charge a restocking fee! However, they do require you to pay a membership fee.

Tomorrow: Uber starts letting drivers set their own price

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to you and your family.  If you choose to drive on this day, please drive carefully as there may be many people out there who are driving under the influence!

Monday: 6 Apps every rideshare driver should have on their phone

Is it time to go back to the airport to get your next ride?

The travel Industry has been hit the hardest as a result of Covid-19. Americans have been staying home out of health concerns for themselves and their families. This has led to airlines canceling flights and very few if any trips to or from the airport.

Recently though, there has been an uptick in travel as the summer season has arrived. Some airlines are no longer leaving the middle seat empty and allowing flights to fly at 100% capacity.  According to One Mile at a Time, the TSA reported they had more than 600,000 travelers clear security on June 22nd. Those are the highest numbers in 3 months. However that is a 78% decrease when compared to this time last year.

In my opinion, if you get a trip to the airport, it might be worth waiting around for 15 or 20 mins to see if you get a trip request. Otherwise, I would move onto busier areas of your city or town in order to find your next trip.

Tomorrow: How can you tell it’s time for a brake job?

What to do with all of the pictures on your phone?

Technology has allowed us to take pictures whenever we want. Gone are the days lugging around a camera; we now catch amazing photos on our phones. Whether you are taking selfies, landscapes or life’s memorable moments, if your phone is like mine, it is packed with photos and getting fuller every day. But what do you do with all of those photos and how can you find one when you’re looking for it?

The best way to get started is to get organized. For iPhone users, Artifact Uprising has 10 great tips to help you organize your photos, including setting your favorites, creating albums, embracing the delete button and more! For Android users, Google Support provides you with instructions on creating and editing photo albums on your phone.

Once you have everything organized, you may want to choose to have some of them printed. Today there are so many options like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart all have services where you upload your pictures through their app or online and then pick up the hard copies at your local store or have them mailed out to your home. Amazon offers a similar service but without a brick and mortar location for pickup.

A popular option is to have your photos made into something you can hang on your wall. With Mixtile you can upload your favorite photos and they will print them out on an 8”x8” photo board that is backed with an adhesive for easy mounting. You can also rearrange them on your wall without damage to the paint.

A unique option although more expensive is to have your pictures printed on glass. With Fracture Me you are not limited to just one size and the photo quality is really spectacular. This is the way to go for those truly special photos you want to hang on your wall like a piece of art. 

So many of us have more time on our hands due to Covid-19, so this is the perfect time to get organized and do something special with all of those memories hidden on our phones.

Monday: make caring for yourself part of your new routine

When was the last time you had your car’s cooling system checked?

The hot summer season is upon us. As the temperature increases, our engines are working harder to stay cool.

According to Bluestar, a typical vehicle with a four-cylinder engine cruising down the highway at 55 miles per hour will produce nearly 5,000 controlled explosions per minute inside the engine as the spark plugs ignite the air and fuel mixture in each of the cylinders. These explosions produce an extreme amount of heat and will destroy an engine in a matter of minutes if not controlled. The engine’s cooling system is designed to control and regulate these high temperatures.

Should the system break down, damage typically occurs to heads and head gaskets which is a very expensive repair. It’s a good idea to have the radiator and the cooling system inspected every 12 months or 12,000 miles. In general you want to have your cooling system in for service every 30,000 miles but check with your car’s service manual to be sure.

Driving a car that is well maintained will save you money, relieve anxiety and add confidence to your rideshare driving day!

Tomorrow: What are the cost savings on an electric vehicle as a rideshare driver?