The Industry Giant “U” Created the Market But . . .

In developing this site, and thinking about all the driving I have been doing at all hours of the day and night, I want to share some free flowing thoughts and personal observations.

  • Uber (U) revolutionized the transportation industry by providing a way for individuals to earn extra money with their personal (or rented) 4 door vehicle. It is a BRILLIANT idea that is working well for many, but not all.
  • Rideshare services are the ideal answer for people who don’t have access to a car or MARTA. And you MUST use one or the other to get around Atlanta.  It’s also great for people who don’t want to drive or who refuse to deal with the traffic. And of course, it’s been really beneficial for the people who wisely choose not to drink and drive.
  • And because the first rideshare company has been promoted itself as a ‘side hustle’, that is exactly how it is treated by drivers and riders alike. Meaning, it’s a part-time gig with unmatched flexibility — work when you want for however long. That freedom cannot be beat!
    For too many drivers, however, driving is their entire ‘hustle’. Uber/Lyft earnings are their sole source of income (for whatever reason). I can speak on this because U has been mine since August 2016 and I have been diligently working toward changing that. (And it’s working!  🙂 )
  • They created an app that everyone loves and uses, but it’s NOT necessarily helping people get anywhere in Atlanta ON TIME, unless you know to schedule your trip. I remember when U introduced that feature because I also have the rider app and can see what a rider sees. But I don’t recall there being much hoopla or detailed instructions about using it.

They lost an opportunity to help ease some of the stress associated with traveling by car in this city.

The NEW to Atlanta service can make a dent in the ride-hail market IF drivers encourage a SCHEDULED pick up time that accounts for:

  • estimated travel time;
  • delays due to traffic (which ought to be a given); and
  • time for a driver to reach you from wherever they may be in Atlanta.

I would think most drivers would want to help passengers get to their destinations ON TIME with the least amount of stress possible for both passenger and driver.

  • There are countless people who ride both Uber/Lyft. Those companies apparently listen more to the riders by allowing them to use star rating systems that do nothing more than give an attaboy/girl to diligent, hard working and dedicated drivers.
    As drivers, however, we aren’t interested in a pat on the back for driving ourselves and you safely to and from your locations. We would do that if you weren’t in our cars. We like, drive for, and understand $$$$$ better.
  • The passengers with the new ridehail service can tip up to 30% in the app.  I got my first tip instantly added to my pay for a SCHEDULED ride from the airport to a Buckhead hotel back in April/May. The pay for that ride (exclusive of the tip) is more than I have ever earned on a similar U airport ride.

Had that Buckhead to airport ride been an UberX, the app shows the upfront price of $21.99.
When Uber takes its 25% ($5.50), the driver earnings are $16.49

However, if the fare is calculated based on time and distance (what drivers are actually paid for), then you can clearly see there is a difference between what the rider is charged and the driver earns:

20.31 miles x $.75/mile = $15.23
27 minutes x $.12/minute = $3.24
$18.47 Minus Uber’s 25% ($4.62) = $13.85

Here is the Flexx passenger’s fare and my earnings, plus tip for the scheduled return trip to the airport. 🙂

20.31 miles x $.80/mile = $16.25
27 minutes x $.16/minute = $4.32 (the app actually shows $4.86 so I used this amount to add to mileage)
$21.11 + $1.00 Base Fee = $22.11 Minus Flexx’s 20% ($4.22) = $17.68 + $4.42 (tip) = $22.11

In this case, my tip wiped out their fee so I earned more than $20 for a 30 minute drive!

What do you conclude? Are drivers being fairly compensated? Are riders being overcharged?

ALL the bad press is the reason I really decided to ‘go hard’ for this new way of transporting people around Atlanta. I AM past tired of reading yet another something about the industry giant or its founder, Travis Kalanick. That video of him and an Uber driver that went viral . . . I have refused to watch and never will watch it because I understand he’s not the nicest guy breathing.

SO . . . because I like helping people, and prefer to function and flow in integrity and honesty, I know I need a backup plan/exit strategy. And I’m betting there are some drivers out there looking for one as well.

Getting excited about what has come to Atlanta, a real ground floor opportunity available for those people who ‘see and get it’, has been a God-send! It had been 2 years since I had been this focused on something that I wanted to tell the world about.

  • Atlanta’s traffic and its modes of transportation make for unbelievable stress that really could be avoided if riders would just take a breath and PLAN their trips!
  • I started riding MARTA in 1978 — the bus was 15 cents and there was no train. If I wasn’t at the bus stop on Decatur Street (across from my alma mater, Georgia State) by 7:45PM, I was stranded downtown, calling Mom or Dad to come get me.
  • I don’t remember when the trains were introduced, but I know Atlanta never prepared for its own exponential growth and it’s evident by the way MARTA runs. You cannot go East to West or North to South without going downtown FIRST.
  • MARTA bus travel is time-consuming because not only are you waiting on the bus to arrive, it’s stopping every few minutes. My son and nephew both tell stories of 2 hours on the bus to get to work. That’s after walking 25 minutes TO the bus stop.
  • And because of the bridge collapse on I-85N, Atlanta’s traffic is now next to unbearable, particularly for the people living along it’s corridor and to the North. Those people who aren’t already requesting Uber or Lyft, are now having to ride MARTA. I have no doubt the experience has been a shock to their system. And of course, the stations that have parking are full EARLY, which basically means there’s no parking at any of the stations.
  • SunTrust Park and Uber . . . I have only done one pick up which was for the Exhibition Game before the season started. I knew then I had no desire to have that experience again, no matter what the surge may be. Opening Day for the Braves was great, but it was NOT for Uber. I heard it was a nightmare.
    I have also heard that there were all of 3 people who decided 14,000 parking spaces would be reserved for VIPs and season ticket holders, and the remaining fans of the 40,000 seat stadium should rely on Uber. As to how the flow of traffic would work for the baseball games at the new stadium . . . it’s still being figured out.
  • Apparently SunTrust personnel were ‘trained’ but it’s real obvious drivers were left in the dark. If drivers want to be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, on a single lane winding street with no exit, waiting to find your rider . . . YOU ALL Can Have THAT! I understand some riders waited 2 hours for their ride!

Anyway, my goal with this site is to provide information that helps people make an informed decision about how they could use the new service to their own advantage, if they would simply rethink a few things.

The most important being SCHEDULING your morning and/or afternoon commute! Just Imagine . . .