The Lyft Logs
So, some of you might know that I not only create art, but also drive for Lyft in my spare time. It is not just a job driving people around as you might think. It is more of a great way to help out the local community. I live in a community that has close to 30,000 students that come and go every fall and spring and while many of them have cars, some do not. Some get tired of the local Taxi’s and find the local bus service doesn’t meet their needs either. So that is why there is a good market here for Lyft and Uber to fill those gaps and put some money in my pocket as well.
the driving begins…
I started driving for Lyft in December when it was slow as the mass of students had gone home for the Holidays. I thought it was a good time to get up to speed on how it works. So, those first two weeks driving most of my riders were heading to the airport or the bus station. I had a few shoppers, mall workers, university staff, some students who stuck around, and the local restaurant and bar peeps who I have picked up more than once.
the snowiest city in the US is your next destination…
My second day of driving I pick up a rider at a hotel and find myself driving her up to the Syracuse airport!!! Shocker to me at the time but I got used to it the second time it happened. Since Lyft drivers do not get to see the riders destination, you don’t know until you hit the accept button, and by then it could be too late. Surprise! If by chance you didn’t want that 2 hour drive to Syracuse and back, well, too bad. Actually that drive isn’t that bad except for pot holes in the road the size of small ponies and the constant threat of snow even in summer up there. Other than that, it is a good way to snag a half of a Benjamin. Same for a trip in the opposite direction, Binghamton.
I’m now a “townie”…
One fun thing is that I get to pick up the same local restaurant and bar peeps over and over again. Each time I get to know them a little better and one day I got called a “townie” so that was a very exciting and rewarding day for me. I proudly smile every time I think of being a “townie” now.
party like it’s 1999…
Then there was New Years Eve. Wow. Talk about fun and craziness. I was only out until about 3am and thankfully there were no incidents. I did see quite a few people pulled over getting tickets when they should have been getting a Lyft instead. One of the nights highlights was at Bar Argos when a few drunken ladies in fur coats tried to hold the Honda hostage by laying on the hood asking if they can steal the ride, but I already had people in the car at the time. Another was when the Mayor of Ithaca pinged me for a ride and it turned out to be for a friend of his instead. All is good. Many people got home safe that night.
on our way to Ohio?
Then last weekend this happens. I decide at noon on a Saturday to head for for a few hours of driving, then come in for a break and head back out later that night. The newly returned students were back for their first week and the surge was up to 110% for rides from 11pm to 4am. But no. That isn’t really what transpired for me.
So, I am not even out of the driveway when I get a Lyft request and I click the button to accept the request from Jim. Then as I am driving to pick him up, he calls to tell me it is a long drive and if that was okay. Okay, I said, thinking, oh, another Syracuse airport or Binghamton trip. He thanked me over and over again for taking him to his destination. I pick him up from the campus at Cornell and we are off and headed to Cleveland Ohio. Yeppers. Cleveland Ohio.
Twelve hours later I am driving back though Ithaca seeing students everywhere but I am too tired to go online to drive. I got home at about 1:30 Sunday morning, a little worse for wear, quite exhausted but felt as if I had helped someone who needed to get from Ithaca to Cleveland quickly. I think I might have helped him with his homework as well.
Don’t expect to stay in one place when driving for Lyft or Uber, just keep focused on helping others who happen to need it at the time. If you are just going to do it for the money , then you are missing the point. If you do anything just for money, you are missing the most important part of life. Period. You will be surprised at how rewarding it can be to help someone, even if it is just giving them a Lyft.
labor day weekend outing
Wow…..I took a little break from Lyft as I focused on making improvements to my house to prepare it for sale and no surprise. Nothing really changes. About 90% of the riders are chatty and friendly to their destinations and even ask how I am doing, do I have plans, anything in Ithaca that is exciting to see or do….I do my best to go with the flow.
Yesterday I happened to Lyft four different Stephanies. How bizarre was that????? What fun. Most of my fares were grad students tooling about town, getting toasted at the park, heading to the bus station, to or from the airport and I tell you, i barely had 2 seconds of time between drop off and requests, so I was hopping. But, my hands began to ache, my stomach was growling and I was getting fatigued after about 6 hours in the car so I called it quits for the night and went home to feed the Frenchie.
The gift of helping others get around doesn’t change and for that I am thankful. It got me out of the house of many projects and into the fray of things. PS…..I am still a “townie” and I like it that way.
~~the Wood Owl