I’m tired of Summer and the its oppressive heat

I’m tired of Summer. I hate Summer and I wish it would just go away. Summer weather is bad enough in July and August, it’s ridiculously unbearable in October.

From AccuWeather:

Temperatures will be on a dramatic roller coaster ride across the northeastern United States through early week as record-challenging warmth battles cooler autumn air.

An upward then downward swing in high temperatures of 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit will mean residents should not put their fall jackets or long-sleeved shirts too far into their closets.

Warmth surging back into the Northeast will send temperatures soaring from Friday’s highs that were mostly in the 60s to highs in the 70s and lower 80s on Sunday.

A moderate rise in humidity will accompany the warmth, further making the day feel like the calendar has flipped back to summer.

Washington, D.C., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; New York City and Binghamton, New York; and Burlington, Vermont, are among the communities that will see record highs challenged on Sunday.

In fact, early-morning low temperatures on Sunday were within a few degrees of the day’s typical highs.

I’ve paid my 2017 Summer dues. Summer is over and it’s now Fall. I have no time in my life for Summer’s oppressive heat in the middle of October. I live in Maryland. The middle of October is for watching the leaves change and drinking apple cider. It’s not for combating heat stroke and drinking Gatorade.

Summer sucks and I hate it.

The Lyft driver app has an intermittent connection problem

I’ve tried to drive for both Uber and Lyft. When I get a request for one, I try to go offline on the other. Evidently Lyft is running a special in western Maryland that gives riders five dollars off their first twenty rides. This should cause an increase in requests for Lyft rides. Sometimes I does. Last week I made more money from Lyft than I did Uber. Sometimes it doesn’t as Lyft seems to have problems connecting to me.

I logged into both apps this morning, the Uber driver app and the Lyft driver app. I got a constant string of text messages from Lyft:

Because Lyft will not let you be logged into both the driver app and the rider app at the same time, I cannot look at the rider app to see if Lyft can still see me. With Uber, I can go into their rider app and make sure that my location dot is sitting squarely in one of the car icons.

Every time I get one of these text messages from Lyft, I go offline and then back online. A few minutes go by and I get another text message. It’s annoying.

I don’t know what the problem is. I don’t know if it’s somehow caused by both the Uber rider and driver app being up and running of it’s just a problem with Lyft’s network. To test it further, I guess I’d need to log out of both Uber apps and use only Lyft. I don’t really want to do that.

Yesterday I picked up a couple from one of the restaurants at the Valley Mall. I was logged into both Uber and Lyft. They were using Uber. During our conversation, one of them mentioned that they took Lyft to the restaurant. I asked why then they used Uber for the return trip. She told me that when she looked at Lyft, there weren’t any cars available.

Even though I was logged into Lyft, the rider app showed there were no cars available.

Whatever is going on with Lyft here in the Hagerstown area, it’s not worth the hassle or frustration. Until it gets sorted out, I’m sticking to just Uber.

Uber made $6.5 billion in profit last year

Uber released last year’s profit and loss statement to Bloomberg News. It shows that they grossed $20 billion in fares for the year. Considering that Uber drivers, working as independent contractors, take 75% of fares, that would mean Uber should have netted $5 billion in profits based on fares last year. Instead, Uber made $6.5 billion in profit last year.

How can that be? Because Uber doesn’t split fares with drivers 75/25. Not really.

As an Uber driver in the Hagerstown area of Maryland, I make the following:

  • $1.50 in a base fare
  • $.15 a minute
  • $1.10 per mile

Uber then slices 25% off that total and then gives me the other 75%. But that’s not all of what Uber makes. They also charge the passenger a booking fee. That booking fee is not split with the driver. What is a booking fee? From Uber’s website:

The booking fee is a separate flat fee added to every trip that helps support safety initiatives for riders and drivers as well as other operational costs. Previously known as the safe rides fee, your booking fee will appear in your trip receipt.

As a driver, I cannot wait for those safety initiatives to kick in. It should be exciting to see what they are. I feel safer just thinking about it. I feel like someone put a helmet on my head, a mint flavored mouth piece in my mouth, and wrapped me in bubble wrap.

The booking fee in Hagerstown, Maryland is $2. It doesn’t matter how long the ride is, each rider pays a flat two bucks to be picked up in the Hagerstown area.

Hurry up and wait

I was online with Uber for two hours and one minute on Wednesday. I got only one (1) ride request, and that was at the beginning of my shift. I took home $7.06 for the nine minute ride. According to the Uber’s fare calculator, the rider paid anywhere from $10 to $14. For most of the two hours and one minute, I was sitting in the Target parking lot reading the new John Scalzi novel on my Kindle. I had the windows down and there was a nice breeze going on. The book, The Collapsing Empire, is quite good. At least the first one hour and 45 minutes of it.

I like driving for Uber

I actually enjoy driving for Uber. Most of the time that is. I just wish I spent more time driving and less time reading on my Kindle. I feel like Uber tries to saturate markets with new drivers.  Instead of trying to retain the drivers it has, it’s always trying to sign new drivers. That’s why they are always offering new driver bonuses. On one hand, I can see why they do it. Uber never knows when it will have any number of drivers ready to pickup Uber riders. It’s not like we have shifts.

We work when we want to.

Buy The Collapsing Empire on Amazon

Why people hate driving for Uber

I decided to drive for Uber today. I went out this afternoon and ended up taking only three trips. The second trip irritated me. Not the trip, but the way Uber handled it. It’s one of the reasons why people hate driving for Uber.

Uber sent me a notification that there was a rider at the Hagerstown Walmart. I accepted the trip and drove to Walmart. The rider sent me a text message telling me which entrance he was at. I got there and helped him put his bags in the car. I began the trip and I learned from the Uber Driver app that he wanted to go to Greencastle, Pennsylvania. It was around 11 miles away.

I got on Interstate 81 and began driving up to Greencastle. The rider asked if I would mind stopping at a convenience store before we got to his destination. No problem. When I pulled off the interstate at his exit, I stopped at the convenience store he wanted to go to. I waited about five minutes while he bought whatever he wanted to buy. He came back out to the car and I drove him to his destination.

As soon as I dropped him off and completed the trip, I put the Uber Driver app in offline mode. I was in Pennsylvania. With a car registered in Maryland, I knew I could only begin Uber rides in Maryland, Washington DC, and Deleware.

As soon as I got back south of the Mason-Dixon line, I tried to put the Uber Driver app back in online mode. It wouldn’t let me. It said I was in an area that I wasn’t registered with Uber to drive. I was back in Hagerstown at this point. I went ahead and rebooted my iPhone. That allowed me to bring up the Uber Driver app and go online.

It still didn’t show how much I made from my last trip. I didn’t worry about it because I know sometimes it can take a while for trips to be tabulated. I took another trip and decided to call it a day. It annoyed me that my trip up to Greencastle still wasn’t showing in my earnings report.

I stopped by the grocery store, bought a few things, and went home.

Once I got home, I checked Uber and they’re still processing my second trip. How many hours will it take? I’m sure the fact that the trip took me to Pennsylvania made things more complicated for Uber, but Uber sent me there. They should have the ability to calculate trips from the Hagerstown Walmart to Greencastle. People from Greencastle routinely shop at the Hagerstown Walmart.

Uber needs to focus on improving their basic software and the ability to process trips in a quick and accurate manner instead of trying to build a fleet of soulless robot cars with reportedly stolen software.

Lyft is now in Hagerstown

Lyft, the ridesharing alternative to Uber, is now available in the city of Hagerstown. This means that if you need a ride to Walmart, the Valley Mall, or anywhere else, you can utilize the services of Lyft. Even if you need a ride to Baltimore or Washington DC, you can now take a Lyft to your destination.

Uber has been in the Hagerstown area for some time now. With all the negative publicity emanating from Uber as of late, it’s nice to know you now have an alternative.

Need a Lyft account? You can sign up by going here. You’ll even receive a free $5 just for signing up.