To Uber or Not to Uber

An Uber/Lyft driver learns there’s nothing easy about easy money.

| Winter 2015

  • Lyft Car
    And this whole campaign to recruit Lyft drivers is beyond unethical. Participating in it feels wrong.
    Photo by Flickr/Alfredo Mendez
  • Robots
    I keep asking myself “Do I really want to associate myself with a company run by a guy who longs for the days of driverless cars so he can get rid of the ‘middle man,’ i.e., drivers?”
    Photo by Flickr/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures

  • Lyft Car
  • Robots

I started seeing the ads on Facebook around the first of May:

Drive away with $500 — Exclusively for Lyft Drivers.
Drive for Lyft? Make $500 for trying UberX — All it takes is one trip.

Sign up today!

There was even a pink mustache in the ads. So I knew they were legit. I didn’t click right away though. There’s nothing easy about easy money. But the ads keep popping up in my feed two or three times a day. Out of curiosity, I click the link. I’m redirected to the UberX sign-up page. I check to see if my car qualifies. I’ve always assumed Uber is more selective than Lyft about what models and years qualify for their rideshare service UberX. Before I signed up for Lyft, I’d checked out Uber’s site. I remember seeing something about them only taking Priuses. Either I was mistaken or things have changed, because my Jetta totally qualifies.

Still, I don’t sign up. The offer is valid through May 31. Since I’m going to L.A. for my mother-in-law’s birthday in the middle of the month, I figure I have enough time before the deal ends. Besides, with how many ads are popping up on my feed, they seem desperate for drivers.

I’ve always been curious about driving for Uber, mainly because I hate Lyft’s pink mustache. Even though I never attached the thing to the grill of my car or placed it on my dashboard like so many drivers, where it looks like what you’d find on the floor after a furry convention, I generally feel it would be helpful to have something on my car to indicate that I work for a rideshare. Especially when trying to find drunk passengers on crowded streets at night. Uber drivers use a subtle neon blue “U” that illuminates elegantly from their windshields. They look classy as fuck. I wouldn’t mind putting that symbol on my car.

12/13/2017 11:41:33 PM

Well written but quite annoying. Had to read through too much uninteresting detail to reach conclusion. Wanted to stop readibg but kept going thinking there was an interesting climax around the corner. Also, i agree with the other reviewer that the foul language and reference is ugly and off-putting. Lastly, i do admire the writer's need and desire to interact with the passenger as well as his/her weery atitude toward Uber, considering its corporate culture.

1/8/2016 1:10:27 PM

The author has some interesting points about the conflicts of interest and I would recommend the story as informative from the perspective of the driver. However even though I don't consider myself a prude, I find many of her word choices offensive and in bad taste. Hate to sound elitist but I would definitely NOT want to make small talk with her if she were my driver under any circumstances.