Here’s a quick video for you on how to request a specific Uber driver or passenger.
I get this question from time to time, and for me, someone who’s been involved in this for a long time, the answer is pretty obvious, but I’m sure that there are a lot of you out there who might not know about how to do it or maybe you haven’t encountered this situation yet. Now when you do encounter this you will be prepared, and it is pretty simple.
This most often happens when you get someone in the car and they want to get you as a driver again. Of course you can’t take street-hails off the side of the street, but you can always do a ride off the app.
Building a network of passengers can be lucrative…for some
Let’s say you see someone and they want to do a ride, and you want to do it on the app. Now, really on UberX this isn’t as lucrative as it once was. I’ve done some articles in the past and kind of talked about building up a network of passengers who live nearby who go far places, and honestly, this isn’t as lucrative as it used to be because of the rates being lower on UberX. If you’re on Uber SELECT, then it definitely could still be an option because I know that there are some drivers out there who have built up pretty extensive passenger networks.
I talked, in Episode 24 of the podcast, with Bradley Zane, about building up that passenger network and really all the cool ways he was doing it on Uber SELECT. But the first thing you guys have to realize, and if you’re on Lyft, this may not work nearly as well because Lyft’s algorithm actually uses a combination of distance and time waiting. If you’re a driver on Lyft, you actually have priority over other drivers if you’ve been waiting longer.
Our Top Tips for Drivers:
How to request a specific driver, or get a specific passenger
Let’s say you’re a passenger and you want to get a specific driver, or you’re a driver and you want to make sure that this passenger can get you. As long as you’re in any normal area and the passenger is sitting right next to you and you’re online, they can request you and boom. They’ll get you since you’re the closest driver.
Now, there are a couple situations where this won’t work, and that’s at airports. Well, airports where Uber isn’t banned. If you’re allowed to do Uber pickups at airports, they actually use a queuing system. So it’s kind of similar to that Lyft algorithm but it takes into account basically ‘take a number.’ So the first Uber driver in gets the first request, and then the second driver gets the next request and so forth.
So, that actually won’t work at an airport. I know what kind of spurred this question or this video was that someone emailed me and they happened to be on airport property, and they said that they couldn’t figure out why. I explained to them why this was happening, how the algorithm worked on airport grounds, and that if they would’ve just driven a half-mile off of airport grounds then it would’ve worked.
The only other time it may not work on Uber if you try to get someone that’s right next to you is when it’s a really big or busy event. So think about a football game getting out, a music festival getting out. When there are a ton of passengers making requests at the same time, that tends to screw up the Uber algorithm. So you guys got to really be careful that you don’t cancel any fares because you can’t find them.
This trick may not work for Lyft
Let’s say you get a passenger who wants to re-request you and you’re on Lyft, and they’re sitting right next to you. They could request the closest driver and they may not get you because Lyft’s algorithm takes into account how close, but also how long other drivers have been waiting. So if they get someone else, that means another driver is within a reasonable amount of distance but has been waiting longer. So you can always just cancel that and try it again, and then if that doesn’t work, cancel it and try it again because that resets it every time.
It’s happened to me a couple times. I never had to cancel and have them re-request more than two or three times. But this has happened to me a lot on Uber. So I definitely have some experience, and it’ll work on Uber.
Be careful: Prearranging rides may get you deactivated
The one thing you do have to watch out for is that Uber does crack down on this from time to time. So, you have to be a little bit careful about if you’re always giving rides to the same people. Now, I’m not guaranteeing that Uber is going to bust you for this, and when I say “bust” they generally put the account on hold. They’re more worried about fraud than anything. Uber has a big fraud department, so they’re worried that there could be a potential fraud.
I’ve had a few drivers email me where that exact situation was happening and they were getting people, their wife for example, to come right next to them and request a ride, and then that would put a fraud alert up on Uber’s dashboard or computer algorithm, whatever they use because the same person was requesting a ride over and over and over from this guy, and that was the only ride that they were giving. That’s something that you guys want to keep in mind. Now, if you guys get any type of warnings from Uber about any of this type of activity, consider yourself lucky that they didn’t immediately put your account under hold or under fraud, or whatever it is that they do, and kind of make sure that you don’t do it going forward.
Hopefully this answered your guys’ question. If you have anything else, definitely feel free to Like, comment, or subscribe to the video. I look forward to hearing from you guys!
Ready to Maximize Your Ridesharing Profits?
Maximum Ridesharing Profits is The Rideshare Guy's online video course. Enroll to learn how rideshare veterans earn more, spend less, and treat rideshare driving like a real business.