In this video, we look back at data from previous New Year’s Eves and forecast what to expect for NYE 2016.
0:44 Looking Back At Data From New Year’s Eve 2014
1:47 $228 Fare in 26 Minutes!
2:52 NYE 2015 Data
4:00 $211 Fare!
5:40 Sidecar, Lyft Rides & Totals
6:35 My Expectations, Strategy & Plan for New Year’s Eve 2016
9:27 Know The Hot Spots & Plan Accordingly
10:05 Take Into Account The New Honeycomb Surge System, If It’s Active In Your Market
11:02 Thanks For Watching & Happy New Year 2016!
Hey, it’s Ez with Rideshare Genius. Now, New Year’s Eve 2016 is coming up quickly and I wanted to talk about how we as rideshare drivers can make the most possible money on New Year’s Eve. So the first thing I thought to do is look at previous New Year’s Eves and I have data on when I drove on New Year’s Eve 2014 and also New Year’s Eve 2015 one year ago, so I have two years of data to look at. Now, obviously in the world of rideshare, things change very quickly but I thought a good starting place to evaluate strategies and my decision of whether or not I want to drive on New Year’s Eve would be to look at that historical data, so let’s go ahead and take a look.
So let’s first go back and take a look at New Year’s Eve 2014. So if we go back and look at December 31, 2013, I had been driving for Uber for a couple months by then. I had already learned some tricks of the trade and I was excited to drive on New Year’s Eve. I knew it was going to be a big night and you can see I did pretty well. My gross fares were $739, my total earnings were $591.20. I calculated that I worked about 8½ hours, which I’ll show you in a second and my earnings per hour came out to $69.55. Obviously I have to subtract my expenses from there, but that’s a video for different time we’ll talk about expenses, but any time you’re doing $69.55 per hour before expenses, unless you’re driving a Lamborghini, you’re going to be doing pretty well.
Obviously you can see I highlighted this one fare. It was a really nice fare, $228. So let’s go ahead and take a look at that fare. I believe this is on a 6.75 surge. I can’t find a record of the actual surge, I’m not sure if there’s a way to find it because they didn’t indicate it at the time on Uber’s pay statements, but if we take a look at the map and the line on the map isn’t correct. I was paid for the correct fare. I think it’s just some kind of glitch in the system that has me kind of flying from point a to point B, but you can see that it was only — it was less than 26 minutes, less than 22 miles and it paid out over $182, so pretty, pretty nice fare.
And again, overall, you can see I started — there’s my first trip at about 7:30 and my last trip at 3:42 AM, it was just eight minutes long so I figured I worked from about 7:30 to 4 AM, so 8½ hours and that came out to $69.55 per hour minus expenses, so a pretty good night. I was glad that I drove that night.
Now, fast forward to New Year’s Eve 2015. And here are all my Uber trips from New Year’s Eve 2015. And again, I’m driving in Los Angeles. It’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest Uber X markets in the world, I believe, and it was so slow last year on December 31, 2014. It was so, so slow. You can see that I took a couple minimum fares right there. The thing about minimum fares is that I really try to avoid them, any fare without surge pricing. It depends on the market, obviously, but for my market, Los Angeles, I never felt good after completing a trip which was not on surge pricing. I just felt like I had wasted my time, maybe I had missed out on something else. And you can see these three dollar fares. I think it was just so slow that I said, “You know what? I’m just going to turn on the app even though it’s not surging and I’ll do some rides.” And obviously it didn’t treat me very well.
You can see my night was really made on this one fare. It was like a $210 fare, you can see the payout is $168. I only did five Uber rides all night and I want to show you that fare. What happened was it was just dead all night from what I remember and midnight was coming up and I knew I needed to make moves, to be honest. So I was in Santa Monica at the time, kind of by the ocean and what I decided was that I was going to head out to Malibu because I figured there would be a lot of people at private parties out there needing to take long trips and it was really my best chance at getting a decent fare because up until then I hadn’t.
So I got out into Malibu right before midnight, was able to drive out there very quickly. I got a 3.5 surge and the people ended up wanting to get driven all around Malibu going to like a Jack in the Box, fast food for a while, dropping one — a couple people off, or one guy, I don’t remember. And then we ended up in Westwood California, Westwood Village, I would say, by UCLA where I ended up dropping them off. But you can see it was a long trip of an hour and 41 minutes, so there was a lot of waiting and it was about 35 miles in total but it was at 3.5 surge so even waiting, you know, I was probably getting about 70 cents a minute minus Uber’s cut, obviously. So not terrible, but that fare really made my night. Without it, it would’ve been a terrible night.
So I did five Uber rides, total payout of $187.68, that’s the five rides you see here. You can disregard that 272.10 because that takes into account some fares I did the next day later in the afternoon on January 1, the following day. Then I also did two rides on Sidecar. Sorry, “Carmen G.”, I guess you deserved a one star for some reason. But my total earnings from sidecar for those two rides were $18.35 and then I also did two rides on December 31 with Lyft in my earnings from Lyft were $11.21, jackpot! But overall, I went back and calculated that I worked from roughly 7:30 PM to 3:30 AM, so it was seven hours. My total earnings were $217.24 and divide that by seven, it comes to $31.03 and then I would have to remove my expenses, obviously. So compared to 2014, I made less than half as much per hour in 2015, so not good.
So as far as my plan for New Year’s Eve 2016, looking at the data and looking at how much of a drop-off there was from 2014 to 2015 here in my market in Los Angeles, I don’t think that it would be particularly lucrative to drive here on New Year’s Eve, so I’m not really planning on doing it. Obviously I’ll be monitoring the city, monitoring the surge, the primetime pricing and see what’s going on and make my decision, but one thing I’m considering doing is actually going a little away from Los Angeles to a market that might not be prepared for such a big night.
I noticed that back on Halloween here in the Los Angeles market, the surge pricing peaked around 5.0 and it was an area that was really busy and really difficult to get through because there were so many people. So even though 5.0 sounds awesome, when you’re stuck in traffic just trying to get to your passenger, you’re ultimately not going to be able to make that much money. I earned something like $200 on Halloween this year, I didn’t do well at all. But what I noticed through some social media postings was that the markets a little outside of the city like to the east in Inland Empire and also around Ventura/Oxnard area which is just a little bit northwest of Los Angeles, like 40 miles, I noticed that surge actually hit 9+ levels there and I think New Year’s Eve will really be best for drivers in smaller markets that are still growing where they don’t have enough drivers yet and they just aren’t prepared for a huge, huge night like this and they’ve already adopted a lot of riders.
So I think that’s where you’re going to see the biggest earnings, the most unpredictability, the biggest surge, and things like that but obviously we can’t all control the market we’re in, where we’re going to be driving, things like that. You know, you’re not going to drive hundreds of miles to go somewhere else, so what I would recommend doing is look at your city, look at data from last year if you have it, try to talk to other drivers that you know and ask them how is Halloween, how was New Year’s Eve last year so you get a kind of feel of what’s going on in your city, and also look at your current cities conditions. You know, have the weekends been really, really slow? Like here Los Angeles, I know it’s been really, really slow for a lot of drivers. People are trying to earn some money before the new year going into the new year and based on how slow it’s been, I can’t predict that things will actually be very different on New Year’s Eve just because that’s the state of the market right now. Now, obviously there will be high demand, it’ll peak at times, but I wouldn’t count on doing like $750 in fares like I did two years ago. I wouldn’t count on that at all. So go into it with reasonable expectations. You know, it’s not going to be much better than whatever is currently going on in your market.
And another strategy you can use for New Year’s Eve is know the hotspots, know where the parties are, especially ones that are a little bit out of the way where people will need a longer ride back to a residential area or back to a city area, kind of like how I did with that Malibu ride. I knew that most passengers aren’t going to be going local in Malibu, they’re going to be going further away, so that’s why I headed out there last year: I thought it was my opportunity to get a nice fare and it was. So, you know, there’s probably certain restaurants and resorts and things like that that have huge New Year’s Eve parties every year, so know the ones in your area and know how to take advantage and make the most of it.
Another thing to think about going into New Year’s Eve 2016 is, at least for Uber, is the current state of surge pricing. Now, a lot of markets have changed how the surge pricing works and it’s more localized kind of like Lyft where there’ll be a center of the area and it could be just a few square blocks. You know, in the past surge worked differently in that it was bound in the map by certain borders and anything within those borders would get the surge pricing and get one right, but now the highest rate is going to be in the center and it’s going to — the surge pricing is going to go down from there as you move away from that center and it’s not going to be as big of an area. So keep that in mind, you know, how surge pricing will change things if you do have the surge pricing update in your market yet. We do have it here Los Angeles, so it’ll be our first year with the new surge pricing so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes, but definitely keep that in mind when planning for New Year’s Eve.
So I hope this video helps and gives you guys some things to think about when you’re planning your strategy because it’s always good to have a strategy when you’re driving. It’ll help you earn the most possible money, so get a hold of all the data you can.
Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, be safe, and here’s looking forward to 2016. I’ll see you guys soon. If you like the video, please give it a thumbs up, please subscribe. And if you have any questions, please get in touch with me. I’d be happy to help in any way I can. Happy new year.