How to Pickup

Become a Passenger Pickup Expert

How to Pickup

What kind of a driver are you? Have you mastered the most important thing that we do, the passenger pickup? There  can be so many complications: Passenger’s not ready. Bus zones. Double parking. These are the things that we’re going to cover in this video.

Stick around because, at the end of the video, he's going to share with you the number one tool we have to become an expert at the passenger pickup. Scroll to the video transcript below to read the points covered in the video.

This video is from a US based driver, so you can ignore references to Lyft.

And when he talks about planning your pickup so that your passenger is on the right, that's because they drive on the right side of the road. For here, it's on the left, of course.


What do Uber and Lyft Say About Pickups?

Both Uber and Lyft don’t provide a lot of guidance when it comes to this. I went and I looked at the Uber website, and then I also went and I looked at the Lyft website, and there’s still not a lot. I even went to YouTube and I went to the Uber YouTube channel, and I typed in pickup as a search item and came up with a fairly decent video. It’s about three minutes long, which covers some of the essentials, but it’s interesting that there’s not a lot of training on how to do the pickup, and that’s the reason why I think I see so many drivers doing it incorrectly and giving us drivers a bad name. A lot of people get really pissed off when you have to go around a car that’s just waiting on a busy street for passengers to show up.

Getting The Ping

The first step is obviously getting the ping. We all love to get the ping, and when you get the ping, what do you do? Well, in my case, I look at it, I look to see how far it is from where I am. If it’s more than 10 minutes, I’m not going to accept it. If it’s 10 minutes or less, I’m good to go, and that’s pretty much all I look for. I take every ping that I get, and then I put on my GPS app. I hit the little navigate button. I like to use Waze, and off I go.

Important Pickup Notes

When I’m driving to make this pickup, I’m looking at a few things. First, I want to see which side of the street the passenger is going to be on. Every city’s got a different way of numbering the streets. In San Francisco, for example, if you’re on an east/west street, such as Sutter, I know that on the north side of that street is all going to be even numbers.

If I get an address of, say, 450 Sutter, I know if I’m driving down Sutter, going from the bay to the breakers, I know that 450 Sutter’s going to be on the right side. You always want to pick up your passenger on the right side of the street, especially if it’s a busy city street. You can get away with picking him up on the wrong side of the street if it’s just a quiet residential street, of course, but on busy streets, and that’s primarily what I’m addressing here, get on the right side of the street.

Make Sure You’re Going to Where You Need to Go (Not an Alley!)

The other thing you need to look at is you need to compare the address that you’re getting from Uber and Lyft versus the street that you’re getting directed. Sometimes with Waze, what I find is that it’s going to take me to an alley behind the address, so it’ll be on a side street or a street that’s parallel, but not the exact street that you’re supposed to pick somebody up.

You want to make sure you’re going to the street that Uber and Lyft have given you as the address. You don’t want to go to an alley, especially when you’re dropping somebody off. You look like you don’t know what you’re doing when you pull into an alley that’s behind the house or the building that you’re supposed to pick them up.

Passenger Isn’t There. Now What?

I’d say about half the time, the passenger is not there. They do not have their heels on the curb. Their toes are not on the curb. They are not ready to go. What do you do? Well, if it’s a quiet residential area, you just stop and you wait. But a lot of times, you’re in a busy street. Don’t stop traffic while you’re waiting for this passenger to show up.

What I recommend you do is drive around the block, get on the phone, communicate with the passenger, let them know that you’re there, you’ve arrived, and you’re going around the block and make sure that they’re going to be ready this time. This way, you can do a quick pickup and you don’t have to stop all of the traffic, which is just irritating, and it’s not necessary. Also, by contacting your passenger, that’s a proactive move, and that’s something your passenger is going to appreciate, and they’ll also be aware that you arrived on time and that you’re doing this extra bit of driving around to go pick up the passenger.

How to Handle Bus Zones, Taxi Zones, and Bike Lanes

The bane of our existence, bus zones, taxi zones, and bike zones. In San Francisco, if I’m in a bus zone and a bus comes behind me, they can take a picture and send me a bill for $300. Same thing with the taxi zone. They have these guys with cameras who will take your picture, and then you get a bill in the mail for $150.

If you’re going to go into a a bus zone, you got to make sure there’s no buses behind you and there’s no one taking pictures, but if that’s not the case, which it’s often is not, because those bus zones are pretty active, call your passenger, or as you’re driving by your passenger, just point, all right, and have them meet you just a little bit down the street or on a corner where you’re not going to get a big ticket.

Our Most Important Tool Is Communication!

The most important tool we have is communication. We all have our phones and we all have a way that we can very easily, with both Uber and Lyft, communicate with our passengers. The more you communicate, the better of a tip you’re going to get and the smoother the pickup and the drop-offs will be.

Here are my key takeaways

  • Make sure it’s a ride you want to accept when you accept it
  • Know what side of the street you’re going to make the pickup on
  • Make sure that the addresses match
  • If the passenger is not ready, the best option is to call them and communicate and let them know you’re there and you’re going to be driving around the block rather than waiting and stopping traffic.
  • If it’s a bus zone, a taxi zone, a bike zone, and you have the chance of getting a ticket, look and see, make sure it’s clear, but your best bet is to communicate either by calling them or pointing and meeting your passenger at a place that’s safe for the pickup.

This is Jay Cradeur with The Rideshare Guy saying thank you for watching and reading. You all go out and have a great day.


Phil Lancaster

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