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 the gas station where 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 work great!

When this is all over, I hope we can go back to using Starbucks with locations on almost every corner. 

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

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?

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

Get your cleaning and PPE products NOW from Uber or Lyft

On Dec 31st, unemployment insurance will run out for gig workers which includes rideshare and app-based food delivery drivers. There is a small chance Congress may pass an extension or new legislation. However, if Congress fails to act, those drivers who have not been driving will be forced to return to feed their families.

With the rate of infections increasing at an alarming rate across the country, all drivers will be looking for sources of PPE(personal protection equipment). Store shelves in many areas are already empty of things like Clorox wipes.  

Both Uber and Lyft offer PPE to their drivers. The distribution of these products varies by company and from city to city. 

Click here for instructions on how to claim yours from Uber. 

According to CNN Lyft is providing drivers free PPE at its Lyft stores. Lyft also has a program to help its drivers purchase and install plexiglass in their cars. 

If you already have a supply but need to re-up or haven’t received or purchased your PPE, the time to act is now! Demand for these items is sure to increase over the next several months.

Monday: Where to pee?

Don’t discount riders who say they will tip in the app!

You’ve just completed a trip and the rider says to you as they’re leaving, “Thank you, I’ll tip you in the app”. You turn your head, roll your eyes and give them 1 star. 

When it comes to earning tips from riders, many of us have been jaded. Tips that were promised by riders never appear in our accounts. No one can debate that the way you feel isn’t justified but are you jumping the gun?

When you complete a trip, a driver is prompted to rate the rider before moving on.  Riders rarely order a second Uber right away and thus are not prompted to rate you or give you a tip right away. In fact, it may be several days or longer before you receive their rating or a tip. Some riders aways tip, some never tip and others only tip when they feel you did really did a good job. The way you rate your rider should be based on how they conducted themselves in your car over the entire trip and not on what they said at the end of the trip. Neither riders nor drivers want to receive a 1 star rating especially if it wasn’t justified. Be patient, that tip may still be coming!

Friday: What roadside assistance program are you using?

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+

A good kind of contagion – a smile

When we hear the word contagion our minds go straight to thoughts of danger for us and our families or a plot for a Hollywood movie. However, not every contagion is dangerous. Smiles are a great example of a contagion that is good for us. But what is the science behind why smiles are contagious and good for our health?

According to Pennsylvania University, when a person is smiling, they are viewed as “attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.”When a person sees another person smiling, his or her orbitofrontal cortex is activating, which processes sensory rewards. So when a person catches another person smiling, he or she feels rewarded, which is a good feeling which is what makes it contagious.

Some great health benefits come from something as simple as smiling. The Henry Ford Health System reports that smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced stress
  • Strengthened immune system

 

Furthermore, studies show that people who smile appear more likable, courteous, and competent. Smilers tend to be more productive at work and make more money.

I think we can all agree that the thought of making more money from smiling is enough to make us all smile!

*previously posted on Aug 1st

Monday: Are there some good deals on new cars during Covid-19

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

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. 

*Previously posted on July 21st

Tomorrow: A new paint job versus a vinyl covering for your car?