When I am on ridesharing platforms, I am often excited to be given a very long distance route (will explain in a bit more detail below). It ensures that I am having no downtime and I am able to use highways/interstates. Since the hourly earnings are mostly dependent on the number of miles you are given, long distance rides are able to (you guessed it) provide the most miles per hour (how obvious!). Postmates and delivery services are quite the opposite. The number of deliveries given is the most important, not the distance of the delivery. Being able to stack deliveries in a short distance is the best, surefire way to inrease your earnings.
Let's dig into the details a bit more:
Uber (SF Peninsula, February 2016):
Clearly, though, long distances allow you to rack up the rates faster for ridesharing. Surge pricing INCREASES this difference. Receiving a 2x surge so that you are earning $1.70/mile will assuredly rack up a lot of money if you are on the highway. One of my most efficient drives was a 1.5x early morning trip to SFO that started my day off (lived a few blocks from the pickup). I was able to hop on the highway and drive 36.7 mi in 33 minutes. In 33 minutes, I received $42.32. Even deducting $0.18/mi for the 36.7 mi puts my hourly rate at $64.93.
Valentine's day flight
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Postmates on the other hand is more of a volume business. Their structure looks like:
As you can see, both the per-minute AND per-mile rates are lower than ridesharing. The base fee is higher, however, considering deliveries are for longer timeframes than most rides. At $0.12/minute, waiting in line can feel insufferable, since you are being paid at $7.20/hour for any additional minutes. This is why stacking is so important, it allows you to combine the per-minute rides AND to receive multiples of the $3.10 base fee.
Let's go to a few examples, again:
In short, different platforms incentivize different behaviors. Since the per-mileage payment is worse for Postmates, denser areas will be able to provide better payouts. This is due to the density of the requests and the ability to perform much quicker than long deliveries. Ridesharing, on the other hand, hates traffic. Driving slowly is the fastest way to kill your earnings since the per-minute pay is much worse than the per-mileage pay. Driving 15 mi/hour = $0.325/minute (($0.85 - $0.15) * 15 + 60 * $0.15) while driving 75 mi/hour = $1.025/minute (ignoring the base fees). Try to get those long-distance surges!
**I am including $0.23/mi on Postmates since they do not cover my Metromile per-mile insurance (while my ridesharing platforms do)
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