I have to admit, I’m a big fan of the app. Working in Detroit, a city where cabs are sparse and hanging around on a street corner waiting for random pickup is not really recommended, Uber has been incredibly convenient. I do know of and understand the criticisms of the company. Complaints from Taxi Cab Authority members are expected and not completely without merit.
As was to be expected, Uber’s arrival in the “ride sharing” market of Las Vegas was not without issues. Legal hurdles kept the popular app from operating for some time. Uber drivers are still not allowed to pickup passengers from the airport. Pick up and drop offs remain somewhat confusing for new drivers and passengers on the Strip. But, after a few month’s time, it seems as some of the snags have been sorted out. At least, that’s what my favorite Uber Vegas driver tells me. For an inside scoop, I reached out to friend of the site, Jacob. Here, he gives us a rundown of what it’s like being a driver in Vegas:
So you’ve been an Uber driver for a short time now. How’s the experience been? Would you say the effort is worth the extra cash?
The experience thus far has been A LOT more positive than negative. It is a little strange at first because it is a new and unique way to make money, but it is a very straightforward process.
The effort is definitely worth the extra money you can make. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s super easy money because you do have to put the hours in. Sometimes you have a good streak where you get numerous rides in a row and other times you may drive an hour or more with no rides. I’ve seen a fairly strong correlation between the amount of hours I drive and the income I make.
How have locals responded?
Locals love it! I’ve picked up numerous locals from the strip that are either getting off work or finishing a night of partying. They love having Uber because it’s so much more efficient than taking a taxi. The driver arrives much quicker than a taxi and the cost is about half of what a taxi is.
Is it easy to pick up guests at a hotel/casino?
It is easier now than it was when Uber very first began operations. A lot of drivers were confused about where to drop off and pick up guests at casino properties. Many casinos also have more than one entry point, which complicated the process even more. Now Uber has coordinated designated drop off and pick up points at every major hotel and casino property to cut back on the confusion. The staff and doormen at the properties are aware of this now and do a good job of directing guests where they need to go to get picked up by Uber. It was messy in the beginning, but a lot of that has been smoothed out since Uber began it’s operation here in Las Vegas.
Any odd customers?
Not too many, actually. I’ve picked up plenty of people who have been out partying and drinking, but they’re usually in a very good mood. I have picked up a few couples who I could tell just had an argument. The tension you can feel between them makes it obvious.
I did pick up one guy the night before Halloween who was a bit unusual. He was dressed in some sort of camouflage swamp outfit with green face paint. He initially wanted a ride when I was standing outside of a convenient store taking a break. He walked away and came back 5 minutes later and asked for a ride. He asked me numerous times if I was a cop or had a police background. Any time I asked him a conversation while chatting in the car he always deferred to answer. He also pulled his phone out and insisted on playing techno music the entire ride. He spent about 10 minutes of the ride telling me about how I should tint all of the windows on my car and the different types of tint I should use for next summer. He spent another 10 minutes telling me about some stereo equipment I need to buy at Wal-Mart and have installed in my car. He told me all of this while talking over the techno music he was playing on his phone while sitting up front next to me is his swamp costume….He was kind of a character.
Any tips for new drivers?
If you’re scared about starting to drive for Uber just jump in and start. The registration process is pretty simple. It is something that you could do to make a full-time income, but understand that that means working full-time hours or more. You can make a good income doing Uber, but you will have to put in the hours in order to make the money. It can be great part-time money also, but there is a bit of learning curve when you start off, especially here in Vegas, which is why I’m writing an e-book about driving in Las Vegas.
Read also: Uber Visa Card Review: Do the Perks Add Up?
Uber also gives you some perks for driving for them. After you complete a certain number of trips you can get discounts on tires at different shops, discounts on your phone bill. Uber also does giveaways and locals events to show appreciation for their drivers, and has a referral program when you are able to help get new drivers to sign up. You also receive weekly e-mails with tips and updates from Uber about local events, any policy changes, and other important information-they do make a good effort to keep in communication and assist you as a driver.
-Jacob Orth of “JacobslifeinVegas”
Big thanks to Jacob for taking the time to answer these questions. This is not a direct advertisement for Uber and I have not been compensated by the company for this article. There are certainly merits to traditional cabs and Uber alike. If you’re interested in driving for Uber in Las Vegas, be sure to reach out to Jacob for tips. You can also use his referral link to get a few extra bucks when you sign up.
Have you used Uber in Vegas? What are your thoughts?