Long trips can be a real blessing on a slow day.  The only problem is, if it is a long enough trip, the odds of getting a ride back are slim.  One of our team members at GR Rideshare Adventures got one this past weekend. As many of you know, our company is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He received a request to the Detroit area, about a 2 hour and 20-minute drive. The odds were that at 7 pm, he was not likely to have a ride request take him from Detroit back to the west side of the state.  So, what do you do?  

No one wants a 2+ hour dead head back.  There has long been a rumor that Uber is cool with a driver telling the passenger that the drivers’ app would remain “on trip” for an agreed upon time period or distance after completing the ride. Doing this allows the driver to be compensated for the return travel time appropriately.  But this is a tough one. It’s not in the Terms of Service (TOS) that I could find, or at least not in the Grand Rapids TOS. It is possible that the TOS varies state-by-state. Plus, if a passenger were to fight the charge, it is likely that the driver would lose.  

What some of us do is request additional cash up front.  This, too, could be a breach of the TOS and risk your eligibility to continue driving. Like any other recommendation from us, do so at your own risk.  I’m sure we all know that “I’ll tip you in the app” is a gamble not worth taking. Team members of GR Rideshare Adventures strive to just be frank with people.  “To do this ride, I will need extra cash up front to cover the cost of going home” or whatever. It’s up to you. If they say no, apologize and tell them you can’t do that ride at that time and that they will need to request a new driver.

Of course, you don’t have to do any of this.  You can just hope your passenger treats you well.  If it is slow enough, it still might be more profitable than staying home.  It is your call, but these are possible solutions for those of you who are looking for some advice. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your worth and the worth of your time, but be mindful that there do not appear to be any hard and fast rules. One of our team members had this experience,

“This ride was not at the airport. When I picked him up he had a suitcase. We got back in the car and then I looked were we were going …Detroit. This ride was on Lyft so I knew that I would get paid more. I’ve done a fair amount of long rides and have come to the conclusion that they are not worth it. Anything that takes you away from your market, most of the time is not worth it. I turned to him and said, I am going to need some money on top of the cost of the ride. I will have to drive back empty which will cost me quite a bit of profit. He asked how much and told him $50.00 I think this is fair. I basically want $25.00 per hour for my ride home. I told him he could tip me on the app when we are finished or cash. He handed me $50.00 and we were on our way.”

Now you do take a risk having them not do it on the app or report you. I have done it on the app before and they have done what the said they were going to do. I think if you have an “agreement” they are much more likely to follow through on the app