One of the most loved attributes of rideshare driving is that you can do it on your own terms - when and where you want and for however long a period you desire. Despite being able to do it whenever, I don’t know any drivers who are doing it for love, so knowing when the most profitable times are is an important factor in deciding when you get on the road.
Weekday and Weekend Early Mornings
Whilst I don’t drive weekday morning myself, this is one of the most profitable times of the week to drive. The demand is high, and because so many drivers are doing rideshare driving as a second job, the number of drivers on the road is significantly lower than evenings and weekends. Even though I have almost never driven in the mornings personally, I can’t help but to open the Uber app on my phone to keep an eye on it while I drive into work. There’s normally some heavy surges at 5:30 - 6:00am from business travelers heading to the airport, and then reasonably steady surges heading through to around 9am. Drivers I’ve spoken to are often averaging around $50/hr in this period, which is certainly attractive if you have the ability to be on the road in this period. Wednesday mornings always tend to appear the slowest.
Friday and Saturday Nights
Friday and Saturday nights are the staples for most drivers looking to increase their earnings. Although these nights are the busiest of the week, there’s a definite pattern around when, specifically, there will be high demand. Both nights see high demand from 5:30pm to 8:00pm although it starts to taper at around 7:30. Saturdays are far busier in this period, and I’ve learned to position myself in premium suburbs just before this demand starts to ramp up with the hope of getting people heading into the city for dinners or events. It usually works, and it’s worth waiting to get online until the demand starts to grow. At around 8pm, both nights, you can expect a couple quiet hours. Most people have made their way to their destination by this time, usually a dinner, and will be sitting tight for a while. Somewhere between 10 and 11pm, as people start to head home, you’ll start seeing a bit more movement from people. It’s best to position yourself somewhere near a city centre since the outer suburbs generally will not see sustained surge, only presenting short periods of increased demand after 10pm. The city or other suburbs with a high concentration of eateries are where I prefer to head to. Demand will generally remain high until 4 to 5am or so, with surge pricing coming and going as requests are fulfilled sufficiently. I normally head back into the city after most trips, knowing that getting rides far out of the CBD in those hours are far and few between.
Sunday has been my favourite and most profitable day to drive since having started two years ago. It never seems to disappoint. From early in the morning right through the day, there is high demand. You get all the people making their way home from having been out, retrieving cars, going to breakfast, brunch, lunch, late lunch, dinner, you name it! My suspicion is that apart from increased demand, many drivers set this day aside for personal time which further reduces the supply and drives higher earnings. If you’ve got the time to drive on this day, I’d suggest doing so as you won’t be disappointed.