Via is a rideshare company with a unique business model that’s allowed it to distinguish itself from others like Uber and Lyft.
Currently, the company only operates in three areas: Washington, DC/Arlington, New York City, and Chicago.
But, that hasn’t stopped it from slowly gaining popularity among price-conscious consumers.
If you’re interested in becoming a Via Rideshare driver, we’ve got all the information you need right here.
In this article, we’ll outline the driver requirements, vehicle requirements, and average salaries of Via drivers.
Plus, we’ll dive a bit more into what distinguishes this company from other competitors in the industry.
It’s not difficult to become a driver for Via. But, there are a few specific requirements you have to meet.
First, you must have a valid driver’s license and have at least one year of driving experience in the US.
Basically, the company wants to know that you’re prepared to navigate the streets and abide by the laws without getting into an accident.
So if you haven’t been driving for at least 12 months, you’ll have to wait a while before you can apply.
Also (and this one should be obvious but just for the sake of clarity), you have to live in an area where Via is offered to drive for them.
As we stated above, this service only operates in three cities right now.
If you don’t live in Chicago, DC, or NYC, you’ll can apply to be a Lyft or Uber driver instead.
It is important to note that in New York City there are additional requirements.
The company actually requires all drivers in the Big Apple to be licensed by the Taxi & Limousine Commission (T&LC).
This is a requirement for all rideshare drivers, including Uber and Lyft.
This is a little inconvenient, we know. But, the nice thing about it is that the company is happy to help you through the licensing process.
If you notify them that you live in New York City but that you don’t have a T&LC license when you sign up, they’ll reach out and send you all of the forms you need to get one.
Like most rideshare companies, this one also requires a background check.
When you submit your application, you’ll have to consent to one.
That way, they’ll be able to run a screening to make sure that your driving record and criminal history are clean.
As long as you meet those requirements, you should be alright to drive!
In order for you to get approved as a Via driver, your vehicle has to meet a few requirements.
First, it has to have been made after 2010 if it’s a non-luxury vehicle. If it’s a non-luxury vehicle, that year moves back to 2005.
Also, it must have a leather interior, no fabric seats allowed.
If you live in Chicago, your vehicle also has to pass an inspection before you’re able to start driving.
There are two ways you can do this:
Ultimately, these are the only criteria.
The company maintains an ongoing list of recommended vehicles that they prefer their drivers to have. You’re not required to drive one of these vehicles,” but it greatly increases your chances of getting approved.
As long as you meet the requirements outlined above, you can apply to become a driver. It’s a pretty quick process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes if you have the required documents readily available.
Here’s what the process looks like:
First, you’ll sign up for the service using the form on their driver portal. The sign-up form will prompt you to enter your name, phone number, email, and city.
After you fill that out, click “Drive with Via.”
Once you click through, the interface will grant you access to the Driver application portal. There, you’ll fill out the rest of the app.
The first step is to enter information about your driving history and vehicle.
Once you’ve filled out the initial form, Via requires you to answer a number of questions about your citizenship and status.
Basically, the company needs to confirm that you’re authorized to work and drive in the United States and that you have a vehicle that meets their requirements.
Once Via confirms that you are eligible, they’ll ask to schedule a time to meet at one of their Driver Centers.
Additionally, you’ll have to upload some important documents such as:
Of course, if you live in New York City, you’ll also have to show proof of TLC License. So, you can upload a scanned copy of that here, as well.
Lastly, you’ll need to consent to the background check.
It’s unclear exactly what their criteria is, as they don’t outline it on their website or in their Terms of Service.
But, it’s easy to imagine that they check your background to ensure that your driving record doesn’t have any major infractions on it, that your license is valid, and that you haven’t committed any violent crimes or felonies.
The orientation process is a little bit hazy because, while we know that drivers have to complete one, it’s unclear as to what it consists of.
Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer much info on their site.
But, if it’s anything like Postmates’ and Lyft’s orientation sessions, we can imagine that you’ll spend some time learning about what the job entails and how to handle certain situations.
It’s also possible that you may go for a drive with a senior employee (as is the case with Lyft).
Once you complete the orientation, you’re ready to start driving!
In certain ways, driving for Via is similar to Uber Express Pool.
You’re an independent contractor, you’re able to set your own schedule, and you have the option to accept or deny whichever rides you choose to.
You work through the Via driver app.
Whenever a customer books a ride (and you accept it) you’re responsible for heading to a corner nearest to their location, picking them up, and driving to them their destination.
Although this may sound the same as Uber and Lyft, it’s actually not.
The big difference is this:
Whereas most rideshare companies pick their customers up at their doorsteps, Via does not.
Instead, Via drivers pick their customers up on a nearby corner. And they drop-off their customers off at the closet corner to their destination, too.
Ultimately, this means that Via’s drivers don’t have to worry about driving down dead-ends and side streets.
They stick to main roads, providing a “corner-to-corner” rideshare service.
This reduces unnecessary detours and put few miles on driver partners cars.
Another big difference between this and other similar service is that it’s a full-on rideshare app.
In other words, all rides are shared, similar to UberPool or Lyft Line. There are no individual pickups here.
So if you become a Via driver, the company will assign you additional passengers who are already on your “route.”
If you’re headed in a certain direction and a customers books a ride, Via will add them to your route and notify you of their pickup location.
Via has a support team that communicates with passengers in real-time to ensure that they are on the corner when you arrive.
This streamlines the process and reduces wait time.
Like most gig jobs, a driver’s income depends on where they work and what time they give rides.
Obviously, certain cities and times of the day are just busier.
If you work during rush hour, for example, you’re bound to log more rides than if you’re working during a slower time.
There are essentially two ways that you can make money driving for Via.
The first is called Blue Mode.
In Blue Mode, you’re paid an hourly rate during your shift.
This hourly wage applies no matter how many people you pick up or how many stops you make.
Unfortunately, you don’t get to set your own wage.
The company assigns the pay rate in accordance with the demand for drivers.
Typically, the Blue Mode flat rate is between $10 and $20 per hour, depending on the time of day.
Sometimes, Blue Mode is not an option.
The company usually offers this on certain days when they expect a high demand for drivers.
Usually, Blue Mode is accompanied by a minimum guaranteed earnings.
So, the company basically promises you an amount that you’ll earn during your shift.
If you work for the entire shift, but your earnings don’t add up to their minimum amount, they’ll compensate you for the difference.
The second way to earn money as a Via Driver is in Flex Mode.
Flex Mode operates similarly to DoorDash, where you’re assigned a minimum payment for every ride.
So, every time you pick someone up, you’ll receive a certain amount of money.
This amount is not fixed, as it depends on the time of day and the demand for drivers.
But usually, the company sets the Flex Mode rate between $15 and $20 per hour.
The great thing about Flex Mode is that you can log out whenever you want, as long as all of your passengers have been dropped off.
In Blue Mode, however, you have to wait until the end of the shift if you want to collect the minimum guaranteed earnings.
Flex Mode drivers prefer the spontaneity, which is similar to the schedules of Uber or Lyft drivers. You can drive when you want, for how long you want.
Don’t have a car of your own but still want to work as a Via Driver? Well, you can!
The company has a Vehicle Leasing Program that allows you to obtain a car through them.
Oftentimes, they offer special discounts to drivers who lease specific cars.
For example, Via NYC is currently offering a $2,000 bonus to drivers partners who lease a Mercedes Metris through them.
Unfortunately, their leasing deals run pretty high. Their Metris Lease Deal, for example, starts at $425 per week.
That’s pretty pricey, even though it comes with a $0 downpayment.
So, you’ll have to determine whether or not the cost of the lease is worth it for you. Otherwise, it may be smarter to look elsewhere for a cheaper lease.
According to Via, their NYC drivers earn the highest hourly salary of all rideshare drivers in the city.
The company claims that its independent contractors earn an average of $21.73 per hour after expenses.
If that is indeed true, then Via could be a great way to make some cash.
Although it’s only available in a few select cities, it might be a perfect opportunity for folks who have a car and want to use it to make money.