5 things I wish I knew before becoming a rideshare driver.

Being a rideshare driver means you have to be able to accept a lot of unknowns: where you will be driving to today, how many trips you will have, what kind of tips you will make, what kind of riders you will be picking up, and more. All of these are unknowns will deal with every day. But what if you were new to rideshare, what things would you have liked to have known before you started driving?

Here are five big things to know when you’re getting started that will help you during your day:

  1. Don’t drive around looking for rides – After you have driven for a couple of days, you will quickly learn the busier parts of your city or town. Find a place to park and wait for the app to go off. There’s no need to waste gas and to rack up miles on your car.
  2. Don’t bother waiting for rides at the airport – This is especially true right now because of Covid-19, as there aren’t a lot of rides from the airport. But even when people start traveling again, airport queues for rideshare can be between  30 – 90 minutes. You could have easily made good money during that same time by driving in hotter spots downtown. Too often, airport rideshare lots are just a place where drivers gather to complain about rideshare. They would have less to complain about if they were out working the busy parts of their town or city and making money instead of wasting time in a queue at the airport!!
  3. The secret to high ratings may not be what you think – Too often people who are thinking about becoming a rideshare driver believe that they will be good at it because they have a nice car and they know their way around their city or town. New drivers don’t understand that this is a customer service job. You will be dealing with all kinds of people and you need to be able to read their tone and body language to understand what they want.
  4. Getting your rider to their destination in record time isn’t a rider’s top priority – Yes, most riders want to get to where they are going quickly, but feeling safe in your car is more important than speed!
  5. A clean car doesn’t need air freshener – Riders love a clean car! If you keep your car clean, there is no need for air freshener. People are sensitive to smells like air freshener, anda rider who hates the smell or even gets a headache from it will likely not say a word to you about it. Instead, they will tell your rideshare company with a bad rating. Now, If a rider leaves a bad smell in your car after they leave, just roll your windows down and air out your car before your next trip.

*Previously posted on Aug 11th

Tomorrow: A new paint job versus a vinyl covering for your car?

3 must-sees on Disney+

Everyone it seems is looking for something to stream on their phone or TV. There are plenty of streaming services available as well as shows to choose from. However, Disney+ has 3 offerings that everyone is talking about right now!

Hamilton

On July 3rd, Disney+ released a filmed version of the Broadway award-winning musical Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary won 11 Tonys. This musical’s lyrics are so fast paced, one of the top songs “My Shot” comes in at an incredible 3.36 words per second. This show is a must see for anyone who loves, musicals, history or great storytelling.

Black is King – A film by Beyoncé

According to NPR, Beyoncé’s Black Is King is “a sumptuous search for divine identity.”. It was released on Friday, July 31st. NPR described it as, “A visual companion to the album The Gift — itself a companion to the release of the live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King — Black Is King is a retelling, of sorts, of the same story. This time though, it centers on ideas of Black belonging and regality. How has Blackness existed in the past? What does it mean in the present? How might it look in the future? In this extended metaphor, “king” is a synonym for the innate greatness that has been stolen from Black people the world over. With this project, Beyoncé seeks to restore that greatness to those of her lineage.” The imagery in this film is stunning!

Mulan – Released Sept. 4th.

According to CNET, Disney will release its live-action film Mulan online through its Disney Plus service on Sept. 4, but it won’t be included as part of a standard subscription. Mulan will cost $30 in the US in addition to Disney Plus‘ regular subscription fee, and it will be priced at roughly the same amount in international markets where it’ll be available online too, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of countries in Western Europe.” The buzz for this movie is everywhere.

*Previously posted on Aug 8th

Monday: What percentage of your income should rideshare drivers set aside for taxes?

What to look for when buying a mask?

As more and more cities, counties, and states are mandating their citizens wear masks while in public, we thought it was time to review what you should look for when purchasing a mask.

First of all, you should not be wearing an N-95 mask according to the CDC. These masks are still in critical supply and should be left to our healthcare professionals. However, there are still so many other choices making it difficult to figure out which one to purchase.  

USA Today has put together a list of 8 thing to look for when purchasing your mask:

  1. Choose the right fabric – Fabric has different sized spacing between individual yarns, meaning some fabrics will have larger or smaller “holes” depending on the construction and this will affect their effectiveness against the coronavirus.
  2. Tightly woven fabrics offer better protection – Dense and tightly woven fabrics will also offer the best chance of protection because these have the smallest “holes.” 
  3. Multiple layers increase effectiveness – Studies found that multiple layers of fabric increase the effectiveness of filtration of virus particles, but there’s a trade-off—it may be harder to breathe.
  4. Bandanas are not a good choice – A study from a group of engineers at Missouri S&T tested bandanas, pillowcases, and furnace filters for face coverings. Out of these items tested, bandanas performed the worst.
  5. Knit materials tend to stretch and don’t make for the best protection – Knits are made to stretch and when that happens the holes get bigger, which means it’s more likely that viruses can get through.
  6. Filters are effective but can pose a safety risk – While many masks for sale have an additional pocket for a filter, it could potentially do more harm than good. Certain types of household filters contain fiberglass which can be dangerous if inhaled.
  7. It should fit snugly to your face – Aside from fabric type, fit is a factor in the quality of a cloth mask. The mask should fit snugly on your face, covering your mouth and nose with no gaps.
  8. It is better to go with a mask than without – Some people may find wearing masks uncomfortable. If a double-layer tightly woven fabric mask is uncomfortable or makes it hard to breath, try a single-layer, lighter weight fabric or stretchier mask. These may offer less protection than a denser mask, but might be more comfortable to wear.

Knowing what to look for in a mask can make it easier to choose the mask that is right for you. 

*Previously posted on Aug 7th 

Tomorrow: 3 must-sees on Disney+

Uber Premium began on August 20th

On June 26th, Uber announced it would be discontinuing both Uber Black and Select from the service options within the app. On August 20th, Uber launched Uber Premium as the sole elevated option for riders. 

*Previously posted on Aug 6th 

Tomorrow: What to look for when buying a mask?:

How to care for your car’s leather interior

Having a car with a leather interior is a luxury. If you want the leather to hold up during all of the wear and tear it receives from rideshare, you have to take care of it.  

Because leather is a natural material, it is subject to fading and cracking from the sun. To avoid this, you need to routinely condition the leather to keep it looking like new. GoldenEagle has a list of 5 steps to follow:

  1. Vacuum – Vacuum your seats to remove any loose dust and dirt before conditioning
  2. Apply a leather cleaner – Spray your preferred leather cleaner onto your seats and use a soft-bristled brush to gently agitate any problem areas. The most common spots are the creases and places where skin or hair routinely comes into contact with the leather.
  3. Wipe dry – Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to wipe away any excess moisture. The seats will remain somewhat damp to the touch unless they have been coated. Allow up to 24 hours for the seats to dry depending on your climate
  4. Apply a leather conditioner – Apply your preferred leather conditioner generously and evenly. Avoid letting it pool up in a single area to make sure you have even coverage. A good leather conditioner will keep the leather moist which prevents cracking, while also providing UV protection to maintain the color. After application, allow 4-6 hours for the seats to absorb the conditioner.
  5. Wipe dry – Using a clean, dry microfiber towel wipe off any excess conditioner and then wipe until fully dry.

Spending a few minutes every 3-6 months is the best way to ensure your car’s leather holds onto its luxurious look 

*Previously posted on Aug 5th

Tomorrow: Uber Premium began on August 20th

The top 3 car care tips for the coming seasons

Keeping our cars in top shape is important year-round. However, when it comes to fall and winter there are some specific considerations to take into account.

The Automotive Training Center suggests the following:

  1. Replace your windshield wipes – Fall thunderstorms and snow storms are known for putting your wipers through their paces.. Switching out your wiper blades for a new set, especially if the same pair has already served you for several seasons.
  2. Change your oil more frequently – If you’ve got long road trips, or just tend to drive shorter trips more often in the summer, your oil change frequency needs to adjust accordingly. Follow your manual’s summertime maintenance schedule for your car which can be found inside its owner’s manual.
  3. Check your tires – As temperatures dip so does the pressure as a result of the cold temperatures, . This makes monitoring pressure levels paramount. Using your vehicle’s onboard monitoring system is great, but you also want to use a manual gauge to check the pressure at least once a month during hotter weather.

Following these tips will not only help to keep your car running without issue through these coming months

Tomorrow: How to care for your car’s leather interior

Are there some good deals on new cars during Covid-19?

If you are in a good place financially, right now may be the best time to purchase a new car. Car sales are down dramatically as a result of Covid-19. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales are down 34% in the second quarter vs last year. Automakers are offering all kinds of incentives to get you into their showrooms.  

Car and Driver has a full list of deals being offered but here are some of the top picks:

  • Chrysler – 84 months of interest-free payments on their brands which include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram.
  • General Motors – 84 months interest-free on most of their models and buyers can opt to defer the first 4 months of payments
  • Honda – buy or lease a new car and receive a $1000 credit, and you can defer the first 3 months of payment
  • Mazda – Deferral payments for up to three months and 0.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on select new vehicles. Returning owners can qualify for a $1500 credit toward any new-vehicle purchase or lease.

These are just a few of the deals out there but there are many more and new incentives seem to pop up almost daily. Be sure to check the website of your favorite auto manufacturers as well as your local dealers.

*previous posted on Aug 3rd

Tomorrow: The top 5 care tips for summe

A good kind of contagion – a smile

When we hear the word contagion our minds go straight to thoughts of danger for us and our families or a plot for a Hollywood movie. However, not every contagion is dangerous. Smiles are a great example of a contagion that is good for us. But what is the science behind why smiles are contagious and good for our health?

According to Pennsylvania University, when a person is smiling, they are viewed as “attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.”When a person sees another person smiling, his or her orbitofrontal cortex is activating, which processes sensory rewards. So when a person catches another person smiling, he or she feels rewarded, which is a good feeling which is what makes it contagious.

Some great health benefits come from something as simple as smiling. The Henry Ford Health System reports that smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced stress
  • Strengthened immune system

 

Furthermore, studies show that people who smile appear more likable, courteous, and competent. Smilers tend to be more productive at work and make more money.

I think we can all agree that the thought of making more money from smiling is enough to make us all smile!

*previously posted on Aug 1st

Monday: Are there some good deals on new cars during Covid-19

What are some of the best cars to buy for rideshare?

Driving for rideshare often means piling on the miles on our cars. At some point, we will need to replace our cars with a new one. Since buying a new car is a big and important purchase, you want to be sure it is the right one. So what car is best for rideshare?

 

USNews came out with a list of the best cars for us drivers. Many of the cars on the list were expected but there were a few surprising models. Here is the list with some of the highlights on why each car was chosen

 

  1. 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid – Excellent fuel economy and smooth and roomy ride
  2. 2020 Toyota Camry – features high-quality materials and comfortable roomy seating
  3. 2020 Honda Civic – lots of advanced safety features and seats 5 comfortably
  4. 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid – excellent fuel economy and loads of cabin room
  5. 2020 Honda Accord – gentle ride and excellent cabin space for the driver and riders
  6. 2020 Mazda6 – advanced safety features and a premium cabin
  7. 2020 Ford Fusion – solid performance and spacious interior
  8. 2020 Honda Insight – it’s a top safety pick and gets great fuel economy
  9. 2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid – excellent fuel economy in the city and lots of rear legroom
  10. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta – lots of trunk space and excellent fuel economy
  11. 2020 Subaru Legacy – a mid-size vehicle with ample rear legroom and good gas mileage
  12. 2020 Subaru Impreza – roomy interior and all-wheel drive

 

One of the cars that did not make the list was the Toyota Prius, which has long been a favorite for many rideshare drivers. I believe it was left off because of the lack of legroom in the back.

*previously posted on July 31st

Tomorrow: A good kind of contagion – a smile

Help with fogged up glasses while wearing a mask!

Having to wear a mask during Covid-19 is an inconvenience we are all bearing right now. However, if you wear glasses or sunglasses, it can be challenging. This problem starts when your glasses fog up. It can happen when you are running around on the street doing errands but it can be really dangerous while driving.

So what can be done to prevent this problem? The Cleveland Clinic came up with some simple yet smart answers:

  1. Mask sure your mask fits tightly across the bridge of your nose – this prevents moisture in your breath from reaching your glasses.
  2. Gently clean your glasses with soap and water – soap residue prevents moisture from clinging to your lens.
  3. Use your glasses to seal your mask – make sure your glasses sit on top of the mask on the bridge of your nose .
  4. Tape your mask down – use a piece of medical tape to tape down your mask across the bridge of your nose. Make sure to use a tape for sensitive skin for this tender area of your face.
  5. Buy an anti-fog solution – these solutions are available from both online and brick and mortar retailers.

Be safe out there and wear your mask!

 

*previously posted on July 30th