Industries > Transportation
Your Definitive Guide to
the Rideshare Industry
The rideshare industry is changing transportation as we know it. Learn about the most popular companies in the rideshare space, and how gig workers can capitalize on this lucrative industry.
Rideshare giants Uber and Lyft changed the way we get around.
They also changed the way we work and spawned a slew of imitators and competitors.
While only 9% of people used a rideshare service in 2014, 53% used Uber, Lyft, or an alternative in 2018. Looking at these numbers, it’s safe to say that ridesharing is here to stay.
According to Stanford economist Tony Seba, car ownership is dropping fast. By 2030, he says, only 20% of Americans will own a vehicle.
If so few people are going to own a vehicle, how will they get around?
Ridesharing, scooter sharing, and vehicle sharing are all part of the answer to that million dollar question.
On this page, we’ll explore the ways that workers in the transportation industry can make a living through various gig offerings.
What is Ridesharing?
Learn the basics of ridesharing and carsharing.
“Rideshare” is a catch-all term for the process of sharing a mode of transportation with another person. This could be sharing a ride through Uber, or sharing a scooter with someone through Bird.
Although we associate it with on-demand driver companies like Uber and Lyft, it also includes carsharing companies like Zipcar and scooter-share platforms like Byrd and Lime.
So, when we talk about sharing rides, we’re talking about all different kinds: cars, scooters, bikes, etc.
The Most Popular Ridesharing Companies
When you add up all of the on-demand driver services, the bike and scooter rental platforms, and carsharing companies, there are at least a few dozen out there.
The number of competing companies is great because it provides more options for gig workers and consumers.
Here are a few of the most popular rideshare services out there:
On-demand Taxi Services
- Uber: Uber is the leader in the rideshare space (more than 10 billion riders worldwide).
- Lyft: Lyft is a close second to Uber. They recently went public and are doing everything they can to capture more market share.
- Juno: Like Uber and Lyft, but with a stricter hiring process.
- Wingz: Provides rides to and from the airport.
- Careem: The most popular taxi alternative in the Middle East and Africa.
- Via: A carpool-style rideshare that drops you off at the corner closest to your destination.
- HopSkipDrive: A transportation service designed for children.
- Zipcar: Borrow a car anywhere, anytime, for however long you need it.
Scooter Rental Companies
- Bird: The leader of the quick-growing scooter sharing industry.
- Lime: Similar to Bird, this company offers easy access to on-demand scooters.
- Skip: A fast-growing scooter rental service based on the west coast.
No matter what you need – a car to drive, a bike to ride, a driver to pick you up – the rideshare industry has got you covered.
How Much Can You Make as a Rideshare Worker?
Find out how much rideshare drivers are actually making.
Since this is Gig Worker, we obviously want to talk about how people can capitalize on the booming rideshare industry.
Rideshare apps are a great way to earn some cash. But how much cash are we talking?
Is it really possible to earn $25 an hour like the promo emails promise?
Yes, experienced rideshare drivers can pull in $25 an hour.
But since ridesharing is a freelance business, a driver’s income depends on a number of factors. Let’s dive in.
How Much Do Rideshare Drivers Actually Make?
According to the experts, the average rideshare driver earns $20 per hour once they do more than 10,000 trips.
In other words, once they’ve put in 10,000 hours worth of driving, their salary averages out to $20/hour.
But, those who’ve only driven 500 trips make roughly $14.75 hour when you average all their shifts together.
Every rideshare company is different and there is a range of factors that impact a driver’s bottom line. Typically, an individual’s salary depends on the following factors:
Rate: Each company has a different rate.
Some companies pay a base rate for each ride. Juno pays drivers an $8 minimum hourly rate no matter how long or how far the ride is.
Others have a flexible rate. Lyft and Uber pay on a sliding scale, depending on the time of day.
Scooter companies like Lime pay per unit. Lime chargers make a minimum of $3-$5 for each scooter that is picked up, charged, and returned to the street.
Fees: Every rideshare services takes their cut. After all, they’re in this to make money, too.
Lyft takes 20% of the total ride fair for themselves. The rest belongs to the driver.
Uber takes 25%. This means that one-quarter of all the driver’s earnings go back to the company.
Juno’s commission is only 16.65%, which is one of the lowest in the industry.
Tips: Like most freelance gigs, tips are everything for rideshare drivers. Luckily, every rideshare company lets their drivers keep 100% of their tips.
Signing Up to Drive
Learn how to sign up to be a rideshare worker and start making money now!
Ridesharing is a fun way to make money. You get to set your own hours. You get to drive your own car.
Luckily, it’s not difficult to sign up. Here’s how to become a driver.
How to Become a Rideshare Driver
As we mentioned, it’s pretty easy to become a rideshare driver. And even though there are dozens of companies out there, the process is relatively the same for all of them:
- Choose a company – Who do you want to work for? Depending on your skills, you may want to drive for Juno, charge scooters for Lime, or loan your car on Zipcar or Getaround.
- Go to their website – Most companies have a big “APPLY HERE” button on their homepage.
- Find a driver signup promotion code – This isn’t a necessary step, but we highly recommend it. Each company offers a driver signup promotion code. Don’t leave free cash on the table. Grab a promo code before you fill out an application.
- Fill out the application – These applications are usually simple. You’ll need to enter your name, address, and other basic info.
- Pass a background check – You’ll also consent to a background check. The company will scan your history to ensure that you have a clean record.
- Complete a vehicle inspection – If the job requires you to shuttle passengers, you have to get a vehicle inspection. The company wants to make sure that all customers are safe. They’ll reach out to schedule this after you complete your application. Bird, Lime, and YourMechanic don’t require a vehicle check as no customers enter your car.
- Complete orientation – A few rideshare companies require online or in-person orientation. These are usually simple classes that outline the basic expectations of the job.
- Hit the Road!
Rideshare Workers Requirements
Find out if you meet the minimum requirements to become a rideshare worker.
Uber has about 2 million drivers worldwide and Lyft has 1.4 million. Other companies employ at least a few hundred thousand. So it’s obviously not too difficult to be a rideshare driver.
To become a rideshare worker, you (and your vehicle) just need to meet a few basic requirements.
What Do I Need to Work for Uber, Lyft, or another Rideshare Service?
Every company has different requirements for drivers. But, they all share a few basic criteria.
In order to work for any rideshare company, you should meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Live in a city where the company operates
- Hold a valid driver’s license
- Valid vehicle insurance
- Have a bank account
- Be able to pass a background check
The background check is an important part of the application process. Rideshare companies scan their applicants’ criminal histories and driving records.
Typically, any major infractions disqualify. Violent crimes, property crimes, and major traffic violations can prohibit you from becoming a driver.
You’ll also need access to a vehicle. The vehicle must look decent and run well. Any cosmetic or operational problems are noted during the inspection and reported to the company.
Rideshare companies have pretty strict guidelines when it comes to vehicles. Before hiring you, they want to make sure that your car is large enough (and safe enough) to shuttle passengers around.
If you want to drive for Lyft, the company requires a vehicle with at least four doors and five seatbelts. That way, they know that everyone in your car is safe and secure. Uber, Via, and others have a similar policy.
Some companies have more specific requirements. Via, for example, only allows vehicles with leather seating. Uber and Lyft require leather seats in cars used for luxury services.
Scooter companies are less strict in their vehicle requirements. They don’t care what you drive or what it looks like because there are no passengers.
How to Increase Your Rideshare Earnings
Maximize your earning potential with this helpful tips.
As we pointed out above, it’s normal for a driver to earn between $15 and $20 per hour.
But, it’s possible to earn far more than that.
If you approach the job strategically, you could walk away with more than $150 at the end of your shift.
How to Make More Money as a Rideshare Driver
Here are a few things you can do to boost your earnings:
Take Advantage of Promotions
Most rideshare companies increase their rates during the busiest times of the week.
Lyft ups their base rate during Prime Time. Uber offers Boost Promotions and Surge Pricing. Via pays more during Peak Hours.
Each of these promotions helps drivers to make more money. While a driver might make $8/hour during a standard Lyft shift, they can make up to $24/hour during a Prime shift.
To maximize earnings efficiency, drivers should work during these promotions whenever possible.
Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car
Gas is expensive. And as an independent contractor, rideshare drivers are responsible for all expenses, including gas.
Over time, the cost of fuel adds up. If you drive a big SUV that gets 10 miles to the gallon, you may have to fill up your tank twice during one eight-hour shift.
You can keep fuel costs down by driving a hybrid or electric vehicle. If you keep gas expenses down, you’ll walk away with a lot more cash at the end of the day.
Work For Multiple Companies
A lot of freelance drivers work for more than one company. There’s no rule against that.
If your car passed the Uber vehicle inspection, it’s going to pass for other companies, too. So, you can make more money by driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time.
That way, if one platform is experiencing a lull, you can check the other app. This is a great way to keep busy throughout the day.
When driving for both apps, don’t accept the higher paying ride, accept the closest ride. Over time, you’ll earn more completing nearby rides than driving out of your way to get a higher fare. The goal is to have someone in your car as much as possible.
Rideshare Promo Codes
Save money (or make more money) by using a rideshare promo code.
The industry is growing fast. As competition increases, companies are striving to secure new customers before another business gets them.
They’re also trying to get new drivers on board. After all, an influx of business means they need to hire more people.
Many companies offer promo codes in hopes it will convince potential customers and employees to try their service.
How to Use an Uber Promo Code (for Passengers)
If you’ve never tried Uber, you can save some money on your first ride by using a referral code.
Here’s how you do it:
- Download and open the Uber app.
- Select the Menu icon in the top-left corner of the app.
- Tap the Payment option.
- Select the “Add Promo/Gift Code” option.
- Enter one of the promo codes below and click “Apply”.
- Use the code NEWRIDER15 to get $5 off each of your first 3 trips
- Use the code NEWRIDER16 to get $4 off each of your first 4 trips
- Use the code NEWRIDER18 to get $3 off each of your first 6 trips
- Use the code NEWRIDER25 to get $2.50 off each of your first 10 trips
How to Use a Lyft Promo Code (for Passengers)
Lyft offers discount promo codes for new riders. You can save as much as $20 by using a code.
Here’s how to use yours:
- Download and open the Lyft App.
- Tap the Menu button in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Select the Payment icon.
- Enter the code into the “Add code” box.
- Tap “Apply” and Lyft will apply the bonus to your account.
How to Use an Uber Driver Referral Code
If you’re currently an Uber driver, you can earn cash rewards by getting them to become a driver.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open your Uber app.
- Select the Menu icon.
- Tap the “Invite Friends” option.
- Choose how you want to message them (SMS, email, Twitter, etc).
- If the driver clicks your link and signs up, you’ll receive a bonus payment after they complete a set number of rides. The number of rides varies depending on the city and the promotion.
How to Use a Lyft Driver Referral Code
Lyft is constantly on the lookout for new drivers. If you get your friends to sign up, the company will give you a bonus!
Here’s how you can refer drivers:
- Open the Lyft app.
- Select the “Earn” option from the lower-right corner.
- Choose either email or text to send your referral code out.
- If the recipient clicks the link and signs up, you’ll get a bonus after they complete a specific number of rides. The bonus amount and the number of rides depend on the exact market.