Thursday, September 10, 2015

Driving for Lyft

I have spent the past week plus driving for Lyft.  It has been an interesting experience and I have met some very interesting people.  Not sure if the money is all that great but I have convinced myself that I am providing a public service.   With the availability of services like Uber and Lyft there is no excuse for anyone driving drunk or even buzzed.  I have also given rides to folks that have no other options.

Several weeks ago a friend of mine mentioned that he was interested in driving for Uber.  At the time I did not think much of the idea.  In fact I could think of several reasons why it was a bad idea.  However, soon I was out for drinks with several co-workers and I was not drinking because I had driven to the bar/restaurant .  As I stood around talking I noticed that most people were definitely not holding back and were probably going be driving sooner than later.  While I would gladly be the designated driver for my friends but I was thinking that there were people I did not know that might want a ride home.  I decided then that I would look into becoming an Uber driver.

I kind of let the idea simmer for a couple of weeks and a co-worker told me about Lyft and the pink moustaches.   That seemed to appeal to me so one night I had trouble sleeping and I decided to fill out the application to be come a Lyft driver.  It was easy and I could create an account using my FaceBook account.   Once I had the first part of the application filled out I was given several options to meet with a Lyft Mentor.   I picked a Saturday afternoon slot.

While I waited to meet with my mentor I kicked off the background check and downloaded the Lyft App on my iPhone.  I noticed that the ride and drive functions were integrated into a single application.

I was not sure what the mentor session was going to be like.  I was both looking forward and dreading it.   Jeff my mentor showed up on time and was professional.   Jeff checked out my vehicle and collected my document information.   He went through the app and answered my questions.  It all went smoothly and I was approved as a driver on Tuesday morning.

My first mistake of being was turning on the driver mode when I was not ready to drive.  When I noticed that I had been I decided to learn the app.  As within 15 minutes of turning on driver mode I had a ride request.  Since I was on my way to work I was not able to accept.   At that point I was determined to complete my first ride that day.

After work on my first day I turned on the driver mode of the app.  It took several hours before I got my first request and it was cancelled as before I got to the pickup.   If was probably cancelled before I left the house but I was still not familiar with the app and did not notice until I arrived at the location of the pickup.  As I was heading back home I got another request and I ended up with my first ride.  I would have had my second ride at that point but I was lost and fumbled my cell phone and missed the request.  I ended up getting a 2nd ride and 3rd ride that night as well.

So far I have found the experience to fun.  I have made some mistakes and a lot of wrong turns especially at night but I am getting the hang of it.  I have done mostly local rides but I did one JFK Airport trip.    I have met some interesting people and a little extra cash.  I am now a badass driver.

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