Uber Cab Confessions GQ Article

I’ve always imagined it must be fascinating to be a driver, be it a limo, taxi, or Uber driver.

For anyone that has wondered what it’s like, there’s a really interesting GQ article (who knew that wasn’t an oxymoron?!) written by a guy that become an uberX driver for a week. There are some interesting insights/commentary in there.

He talks about the process of becoming an uberX driver:

My cabbie-for-a-week experiment wasn’t pre-sanctioned by Uber. I signed up online like every other prospective driver, a relatively painless process involving a background check and an online tutorial. (Hint: Offering bottled water to customers is a good way to improve your customer reviews.) Uber won’t accept older, crappier wheels, or rust, so I had to upload photos of my car and proof of insurance to the company’s website; a week later, I picked up my Uber phone—an iPhone loaded with Uber’s driver app—at a hotel near LAX, and by the time I walked out, I was making money.

And the fee split:

Depending on the city, Uber gets approximately 20 percent; the driver pockets the rest.

And the minimum “rating” needed to stay employed:

Passengers rate drivers anonymously on a scale from 1 to 5; I needed to maintain a 4.7 rating to stay employed

And how it’s kind of addictive:

My Uber phone was equipped with a “heat map,” which shows drivers where the company’s most active customers are currently located. Staring at the heat map is like being connected to the Matrix; you can see where shit is going down. Late on a Tuesday night? Culver City and south. On weekends, Venice. I dropped a guy off in an alleyway one night (speakeasy? gambling ring? organ trafficking?) and thought, There are mysteries in this city. The job becomes akin to binge-watching a TV series late at night on Netflix: Okay, just one more. This can backfire.

And how it’s apparently even sexual:

But the thrill—and it is thrilling—is the semi-sanctioned voyeurism. The conversations you’re pulled into. The worlds you’re privy to. The unknown pockets of the city you’re suddenly navigating. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t something sexual about the whole thing, too.

Check out the entire article.

(Tip of the hat to Gary)

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