Why Is Uber Surging And I’m Not Getting Any Requests?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re right in the middle of a surge area, but you aren’t getting any requests! Surges are really important for your bottom line, and by now you’ve probably learned that you shouldn’t be chasing the surge. But there are lots of times where you might find yourself sitting in a surge zone wondering why you’re not getting rides when you think you should be.

Check out my video to see the answer, then read the transcript below.

The basics of Uber surge pricing

The first thing you have to understand is that surge pricing is a function of high passenger demand and low driver supply. Let’s say there’s low driver supply and that causes a 2X surge. Passengers are out requesting rides, but there aren’t a lot of drivers, which triggers a surge and bumps the cost up from a 1X to something higher, like 2X.

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Now, let’s say that there’s also super high passenger demand and a low supply of drivers. That may bump it from a 2X to a 3X because of that additional high passenger demand. But what if it’s just normal passenger demand? In that case, since there’s low supply of drivers, it could still be surging.  You could be sitting in a surge area, but if there are no passengers requesting rides, you’re not going to get a ride request.

My theory on why you might not get requests in a surge zone

If you’re the only driver, you could basically see a surge because you’re the only driver and there’s basically no passengers making requests at that point. If you’re the only driver in that area and then that one passenger comes along and makes a request, then you will get that ride. But it could be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, especially if you’re in an area where there just aren’t any passengers making requests and there just aren’t any drivers.

Another thing that could be happening is that the passengers are waiting out the surge. If you’ve used the Passenger app, which is something I definitely recommend, there’s a notification feature now on the passenger side of the app that actually allows passengers to be notified when the surge drops. So if I’m a passenger and I log on to the Uber Passenger app and I see that it’s a 1.5x surge, I can select an app notification to hit me when surge pricing drops to regular levels. It’s a feature that passengers are starting to use as they get more savvy about Uber. They know that if surge peaks at 2 am, they can wait it out for awhile and get a cheaper ride.

What to do if your ride request calls you out of the surge area

Let’s say you’re in a 1.5x surge area and you get be called out of that area. When the request comes in you’ll be able to see whether it’s surge or regular, or UberX or UberPOOL. whatever it is. You can take that call, but it means that you might miss out on a surge request in the area that you’re in.

You don’t wanna chase the surge because by the time you get there it may be gone and other drivers may be flocking to that area. But if you’re already sitting in a surge area you might wanna take advantage of that. So I definitely think that you should consider letting a request go if it’s outside of the surge area.

A strategy to help you see if you should wait in the surge area

Now, how should you decide if it’s worth staying inside the surge area? As we’ve already discussed, you could be sitting in a surge area and not get that surge request. One thing I like to do is to go to the passenger side of the app and see how many other drivers are near me. If I’m sitting in an area where it’s surging but I’m not getting any request, I’ll go and look and see, “Hey, are there one or two other drivers? Are there 5 or 10 other drivers?” Because that helps me determine, “Hey, if there’s a bunch of other drivers around me and it’s surging and no one is getting any request, something is up.” You know what I mean? There might not be a lot of passenger requests coming in right now, especially if you’re in an area or place or time that doesn’t normally surge.

If you do get a call outside of that surge area it might make sense to take it because even if a call does come in while you’re in that surge area and there’s a few other drivers there, if they’re closer, they’re gonna get that request. But let’s say you’re the only one sitting there in this huge surge area and you get a request outside the surge area, that’s when it might make sense to ignore that request because you’ll have a better chance of getting a surge request if you wait inside the surge area.

It’s a bit of a complicated thing, but over time you’ll start to see patterns, and you’ll see when it does or doesn’t make sense to stay inside the surge or leave the surge. If you’ve experienced something like this, definitely feel free to reach out to me. Let me know what happened in the comments, what’s your experience been like, and definitely feel free to like, comment, subscribe to the channel. I look forward to hearing from you guys soon. Take care.

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