Hey guys, today I want to share a video that explains how tolls work for Uber passengers and drivers. It’s a cool video because it will help out both sides of the equation, so hopefully by the end of the video you’ll understand how tolls work, and how to make sure you’re getting paid for the tolls you pay.
You can watch the video below, and I’ve also provided a transcript of the video if you prefer to read.
How tolls work for Uber passengers
The first thing you want to understand about tolls if you’re a passenger is that if you go onto a toll road, you’ll have to pay for it. It’ll be automatically charged onto your account. If I’m a passenger and I’m going from one area to the other through a toll bridge, you don’t need to worry about paying the driver because the toll will be charged to your account.
You shouldn’t have to pay the driver any type of money. It’s all on the driver to take care of it. And then on your account, it should automatically show up as a toll. So at the end of the ride, on your receipt if it was a $20 ride and it was a $4 toll, you’ll see a charge for $4, you’ll pay $24. It’s all automatic so it’s very easy for the passengers.
Now the other thing you want to keep in mind as a passenger is you could get charged a toll if you potentially take a driver to a place where they have to pay a toll on the way back. The best example I can think of is in San Francisco, where if you’re in the city and you go to Oakland on the Bay Bridge, there’s no toll to get across, but there is a toll on the way back for that driver. If you’re a passenger and you make the driver go all the way over to Oakland, you’ll get charged a $4 toll fee since that driver might have to come back into the city.
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How drivers can profit from tolls
The good thing here for drivers is that if drivers are able to get a ride back into the city, they could actually get another toll from that new passenger and make a few dollars. I know back in the day that Uber didn’t have nearly as sophisticated a system, so they would manually be adding these tolls and if you got a ride back in, they would only charge it one way. Now the situation today is that you could potentially get an extra toll. It’s a nice little added bonus for drivers.
If Uber ever starts to crack down on this or if for some reason you’re not getting that toll on the way back in, you can also always try to get a ride back, on Lyft for example. So with Uber you take some passenger out there and get the toll because they’re assuming that you’re going to have to make a return trip back to the city. Back to the San Francisco to Oakland example: Once you get to Oakland you turn off the Uber app, you turn on the Lyft app and then you can hopefully get a passenger riding back into the city and you’ll get that additional toll. It’s a little easy quick way to make four bucks, kind of like creating your own tip!
Everything is automatic, especially for drivers. The things you want to be careful about is if you’re using some type of mapping function like Google Maps or something like that, it sometimes will take you on a toll road unless you uncheck the option.
Ask your passengers if they want to take the toll route
I know that when I’m using Google Maps, I always have to be careful that I uncheck toll roads so I don’t accidentally take a passenger onto a toll road. There a couple of places here in LA and Orange County where it really isn’t necessary to take a toll road and it rarely saves you a ton of time, maybe a few minutes. But if passengers do want to take a toll road, that’s where it comes in handy. You look at the navigation and you can tell them, “Hey, if we take this toll road, it’ll save us 12 minutes or 20 minutes or 2 minutes.” And then you can let the passenger decide.
It really helps to be aware of where the toll roads are in your area. And in places like LA, it’s pretty easy but back east obviously there are a lot more tolls coming in and out of the city and in other cities. Just make sure you’re keeping in constant communication with your passenger and let them know that they’ll be charged a toll on their receipt. Make sure that you get approval from them.
Will Uber reimburse you for tolls you incur on your commute in and out of the city?
Now the last thing I’m going to address is, if you’ll be reimbursed for tolls you pay when you’re commuting in in and out of a city center basically on your own volition. A reader emailed me and said, “Hey, I live in Seattle, outside the city. There’s two ways to get into the city. One’s a toll road, one isn’t but the toll road will save me a bunch of time. Now if I take a toll road into the city will Uber reimburse me or will anyone reimburse me?”
You won’t get reimbursed for that if you don’t have a passenger in the car. If you’re outside, regardless of whether you have the toll option or not, you basically can only potentially get reimbursed if you have a passenger in the car. It’s really up to you whether you want to take that toll road and pay for it yourself or not.
You want to keep track of those toll roads because at the end of the year, you can deduct things like that, but Uber won’t know if you took those commuting tolls. Uber will give you data on how much they pay in tolls for you or how much they charge the passenger at the end of the year for your taxes but anything that you go out and do on your own when you don’t have a passenger in the car, you’re responsible for tracking. So Uber’s not going to know about those tolls.
Just make sure that you do a good job tracking your own tolls. The last bit of advice that I’ll give you is Uber’s system is generally pretty good for automatically reimbursing these tolls. So if you have a passenger and you go on a toll road, they’ll likely charge your passenger and you’ll pay that toll through your FasTrak or whatever system you’re using and hopefully Uber will reimburse you.
Uber can make mistakes, so check to see that your tolls are reimbursed
Now me, personally, I always like to cross check my FasTrak and Uber’s tolls. You can just do it quickly at the end of the week. If there’s always a toll road, you’re seeing that you’re always getting reimbursed for it, you can probably stop checking. But if you’re ever going on new toll roads and you just want to make sure, Uber’s pretty good about this stuff but let’s also be honest, right? They do make mistakes and a lot of mistakes and often they’re in their favor and not the driver’s favor.
Hopefully you guys enjoyed this video about tolls, and hopefully it will help you out whether you’re a passenger or a driver. If you have any questions, definitely feel free to leave a comment below, like the video, subscribe to the channel and I look forward to hearing from you guys soon. Take care.
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