Before Requesting An Uber – Things To Know And Do To Keep Safe

Let There Be Peace On Earth by Kristin ElmquistHow safe are we really? It's hard to know when you hear about an Uber driver gunning down six people in Kalamazoo, Michigan between rides. He had a 4.73 rating out of 5.0, and had zero traffic violations since 2006. Granted, he did have six speeding tickets before 2006, which should have raised eyebrows, especially if one's function is to move passengers in a vehicle.

I'd like to give some perspective from a driver's point of view regarding what could have made the Kalamazoo killer go postal and what you can do as a passenger to stay safer. There is nothing that can condone murder, but perhaps more human kindness and improving the way we interact with one another could help prevent a tragic event like this from happening again. I've got over 400 rides under my belt and experienced a lot of bullshit that tested my patience. The widening gap between the rich and poor is one of the most important problems we face today.


We can't control other people. We can only control what we do. Remember, your life is in your driver's hands. Here are six actions I recommend every passenger follow.

1) Never make a driver wait on you. If a driver is spending 5 – 20 minutes on average to come by and pick you up, the last thing you should do is make him wait even longer. You get the ETA as soon as you make the request on the app and get real-time updates on when the driver will appear. Making your driver wait is a sign of disrespect and the #1 thing that pisses off all drivers. There is a $5 cancellation fee a driver will earn if you aren't out within 2 minutes of arrival, but the fee sometimes doesn't trigger and often does not compensate the driver for his lost time and fare.

2) Do not treat the car as your private office for conference calls. It is extremely distracting and annoying for passengers to yammer away on their mobile phones while their driver is trying to tune out and focus on the road. If you must use your mobile device, send text messages or surf the internet instead. If unwanted, sound is the most annoying thing because it can't be blocked out. To be a safer driver, drivers need to hear the road. If you must talk on your phone, politely ask the driver first if it's OK. He will appreciate your courtesy.

3) Do not eat or drink in the car. Not only will you stink up the car, you'll also leave crumbs and your stained fingers will grease up the doors, windows, seats, and door handles. If you soil the car with your food, you might piss off the driver to take his anger out on the next customer. Further, a smelly, sticky car might cause the next passenger to rate the driver poorly. So many times I've found riders leave trash on the floor well or conveniently in the pocket of my seats. Not cool.

4) Be kind and ask the driver about his day. A lot of drivers are bored or lonely. It helps when a kind passenger greets them with a smile and asks how their shift has been so far. Drivers want to be treated like a friend, instead of a servant. The more you can show your appreciation for the driver through dialogue the better. If the driver doesn't want to talk, at least you've made an effort to be nice.

5) Do not ever complain as an Uberpool passenger. One of the worst things you can do is complain about how long it takes to get somewhere as an Uberpool passenger. If you wanted faster service, then you should have ordered UberX where you're the only passenger in the car. The driver is already under added stress because he has to juggle driving with new pings on his app giving him last minute directions to pick up another passenger or two. Any car accident or ticket will wipe out a driver's profits for days.

6) Do tip. Uber doesn't provide a tipping function in the app because it believes the extra step will cause passenger friction. Whenever there is friction, usage goes down. I know this very well from all the A/B testing experiments we did at the various startups I consulted for. Every single Uber driver will appreciate a tip, even if it's just a buck. Do not be embarrassed by the amount of your tip. Your driver will be touched because all he's faced is wage pressure from corporate the day he began. It's the gesture that counts!


Uber outsources its background checks to a company called Checkr, which is nationally accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. They go through an applicant's motor vehicle records and search for criminal records at the county, state, and federal levels.

What Uber doesn't do is take an applicant's fingerprints. This is the key background check difference between ridesharing companies and the taxi/limo industry.

The problem in Jason Dalton's case was that he didn't have a criminal history.  Thus, even if he had been fingerprinted, nothing would have come up. There was supposedly a negative complaint about Jason regarding his driving quality several hours before he started killing people, but with 3 million pickups a day, the complaint wasn't prioritized given the complaint wasn't about a physical altercation.



It's hard to tell what exactly set Jason Dalton off after 100 rides. But I will tell you that because of poor customer behavior, driving can very quickly become unpleasant. Uber has this asymmetric system which allows passengers to have 1 out of 5 ratings and still get rides, while if drivers fall below a 4.6 rating, they get put on probation. This dichotomy is the biggest slap in the face for drivers who always feel pressure to get 5 star ratings.

1.0 rating out of 5.0? Welcome aboard passenger!
1.0 rating out of 5.0? Welcome aboard passenger!

Imagine taking an exam where your wealthy classmates only had to score a 20% or better to get an A, while the much poorer you needs a 92% to get an A. To add insult to injury, the wealthy classmates are courted by the best universities while your request for equality just gets ignored. Rage on!

By cutting fares and also increasing the “safe rider fee,” Uber corporate has made driving much less profitable for drivers. For example, if the driver gets a minimum gross fare of $5 in San Francisco, the driver must pay a $1 safe rider fee (20%) plus 25% of his/her $5 fare to Uber in commission. That leaves the driver with less than $3 after fees and before paying for gas, wear and tear, and taxes.

At least corporate is sometimes offering guaranteed minimum hourly earnings during primetime hours. But this is often offset by the reality that because driving is a side hustle for many drivers, they dislike driving during rush hour and prefer or are only able to drive during off peak hours.

Uber drivers are getting squeezed on both ends. So please, next time you hail an Uber or a Lyft, go out of your way to be nice to your driver. Be at curbside waiting, ask him how his shift is going, and give him a small tip. There's nothing you can do about corporate squeezing every last penny it can from their drivers. But at least you can do your part to help a hard working person have a better day.

If you want to drive for Uber, you can sign up here. I recommend driving until you can collect the bonus and then only driving when prices are surging, or when you are going somewhere far and can pick up a ride along the way.


What's It Like Driving For Uber: Feelings Of Hope And Sadness – Realized very quickly there is a huge part of the population just struggling to get by. Good post for those thinking of giving driving a go.

Spoiled Or Clueless? Try Working A Minimum Wage Job As An Adult – For those who lack empathy towards the people who cook, clean, drive, and cater to your every need, this is a must read. This post should also help those who aren't willing to pay their dues.

Income Profiles Of Financially Free People – Profiling four people who side hustled to earn more money and create more freedom for themselves.

Why I'm No Longer Willing To Drive For Uber – Final lessons learned after seven months and 400+ rides.


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Here's my step-by-step guide on how to start your own site. The key is to just start and take control of your destiny!

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45 thoughts on “Before Requesting An Uber – Things To Know And Do To Keep Safe”

  1. Longtime reader/lurker, first time commenter. As a previous commenter mentioned Uber markets it’s services as not having to worry about tipping. So of course, most people, like myself assume that Uber’s drivers are somehow compensated. Same as for example as waiter/waitresses in no tipping countries/continents like Europe, Japan, China, etc. I use Uber a lot and have only tipped once when a driver took me to the airport on Christmas day. Do you think tipping is common knowledge amongst Uber users and expected by Uber drivers? I’m now starting to wonder if other shared services like Airbnb, couchsurfing, etc also expect tips?

    1. Riders are encouraged by Uber corporate note to tip as part of their seamless riding experience. Riders also have no idea that a 4 star rating = FAILING b/c Uber drivers are put on probation and/or cut off once their rating gets below 4.6.

      Uber is fantastic for the consumer, but getting less and less good for the driver due to the cuts. Lyft offers tipping and are doing fine.

      Riders don’t know much about what drivers go through. Hopefully my articles have helped shed some light.

      1. In that case I would just expect drivers to stop driving for Uber and start driving for Lyft or another service instead, or change jobs. Market should take care of it?

  2. This topic brings up thoughts and questions I’ve had since I was a kid. Back then I would watch “Cops vs villains” type of movies and I would ask myself what pushed these guys to take those paths in life. The cops looked just as bad ass as the criminals, yet they were on opposite sides of the law.
    Over time I’ve come to understand that men as they grow are taught/forced to seek status and value in society. From a biological perspective, women have inherent value, thus they are not challenged in life. Men on the other hand, to be respected and valued in society, they have to produce value. If they don’t, they rot at the bottom. This is a law that is absolute within human society, beyond moral or ethical values.

    When I grew up back in my home country, I’d see the news about mass murder happening in the States, and I didn’t get why would that happen. We have crime too, but most of it has some type of conflict as a trigger. While here you have a person, out of the blue, harming people that did nothing to him.
    If you notice, it is mostly men who commit these crimes. This is not to say that they are inherently violent, it is because society pushes them to the edge, forcing them to take extreme acts of violence. Sometimes that violence is towards themselves, male suicide rates are up to 10x higher than women. These rates are higher in young men, and men in their 40’s & 50’s.
    Both are very delicate phases in a man’s life. When they are young they have low status and value. They get told they have to “man up”. There is nothing wrong with asking them to “man up”. But this society on one hand expects them to be “men” on the other is not providing them with the tools and support to becoming such men.
    These boys hear all the time about gender equality, and how we’re all equal, yet they see how attractive girls of the same age are to everyone. A high school/college age boy asks himself, I’m going the same school, doing the same things, yet she’s adored, respected & loved by other people, while he’s ignored.
    Society today is ignoring the nature of each gender, thus ignoring primary needs for each one, primarily males.

    Men are the driving engine in every society. Raising weak or uncared men destabilizes the whole community. These men committing mass murder, are men who are marginalized by society, that don’t have a sense of belonging in their community. Male virtues and masculinity are not valued in this society. The culture is lacking positive male figures for young boys. There are no rites of passage that brings boys into adulthood. There is no honorary place for old men who have paid their dues. Sexism towards men, along with ageism in this ever changing society are taking a toll on all men, and these crimes are just a symptom of the deeper problem. I speak from experience, coming from culture that is diametrically opposite with the culture in the States.

    1. You make some good points. I’m not sure if enough is talked about regarding a man’s pressure to succeed. You hardly ever read any mainstream articles about the constant expectation from society about what men need to do to be deemed successful.

      I have tried to make light of the situation in more humorous posts such as:
      Stay At Home Men Of The World, UNITE!
      How To Convince Your Spouse To Work Longer So You Can Retire Earlier
      How To Get Girls If You Still Live At Home With Mom And Dad

      and more serious posts such as How To Get A Rich Man To Be Your Husband or Boyfriend.

      Not sure if my underlying meanings are getting through though. Some do get it, and see the humor. But a lot of people get offended as well.

      1. Don’t get me started on mainstream media. Every time I open a News web page, I see at least 1 article in the front page talking either about “women’s issues” or against traditional masculinity. Just check right now NYTimes’ front page, you’ll see this: “What Hollywood Is Like (if You’re Not a Straight White Man).” The few times men’s issues are covered by the mainstream media, they are done with skepticism and/or ridicule.

        I enjoy reading your take on dating/relationships from a financial/blogger perspective, and humor is a good way to deliver a message. I guess it’d be hard for you to cover this topic entirely, as it would alienate readers who come here to read about numbers, and it’s understandable for you to be a bit PC or “mainstream” on such topics, if you want to sell something.

        Personally I have no problem with men being expected to be strong and successful(actually support it), as long as they are given the support and recognition for such achievements. Because when things go south, people turn their head towards these men, waiting for them to lead. A society that doesn’t foster masculinity, does not have a bright future.
        Just look at what’s happening in Germany with the Syrian immigration and rapes. Men are refusing to come in and rescue women. Just like in the states they’ve been told over and over, how strong and independent women are and how they don’t need men. But at the first sign of danger, those women call for men’s help and sense of duty. You can’t have the cake and eat it too.

        1. Lets not kid ourselves, men ARE inherently more violent, its in our DNA and our nature. It can be controlled and has been, but lets not whitewash facts for the sake of political correctness.

          Worst of all when we act like these things arent actually true we dont address the underlying issues and problems may persist longer than is necessary.

          You see the same thing with all the memes of babies not being born racist or violent at all, which if you actually read any studies on the matter is not true. Humans are by their very nature in vs. out group and slightly xenophobic. We’ve come a long way but still have many tribal traits, look at politics, nearly everything really is an us vs them, this group vs that one, etc…Look at how the world is structured in a tribal and patriarchal manner, from companies to politics. We’ve just dressed up the rituals and pomp, but is a CEO really so different than the leader of the tribe and the board from the council?

          Sorry, tangent, but super interesting stuff and applies in everyday life. You have to be conscious of your biases and predispositions if you want to overcome them.

          1. More violent than women? It’s hard to come to that conclusion when you’re not making an Apples to Apples comparison. There’s studies that show that during puberty when girls are bigger than guys, they’re actually more abusive towards them. Women can be just as violent and destructive as man, the way they go about it is.Their means for power are covert means, while men’s way is overt.

            There is a general trend that is brainwashing the general public with the idea that masculinity is toxic. It makes men feel ashamed of their masculinity since childhood. If you’d spend time in a more traditional society, you’d see the difference. I have felt it on me over the years when I interact with females, or kids. Instinctively I worry about not being perceived as rapist or a pedophile. I’ve lived in the States for less than a decade.

            Again, we as a society are ignoring the nature of males and female, as a result we’re ignoring their primary needs. The mainstream culture will have people believe that man and women are the same, thus what they want is the same.

            Yes, there’s too much political correctness and practices to avoid any type of conflict between various groups. Not only humans are xenophobic, but they’re racist and euthanistic as well, that’s the nature of mating. A woman not wanting to date an Indian or African, is racist at its core, an acceptable level of racism, but still racism. You deciding not to mate with someone, you’re depriving them of the possibility of procreating(with you) on a micro level.

            It definitely is an us vs them, there’s no other way. It’s intra-species competition, it adds another tier of competition, to ensure our adaptability. Nothing wrong with that. Our instincts and core drives have evolved to get us here. Thinking that we’re over nature, and we don’t them, it’s foolish.
            Take this analogy for example, would an IT person get rid of back-up generators and storage just because his systems have near 0% down-time? NEVER!
            Ignoring human nature and the laws of nature, will get us all in trouble. Most civilizations have fallen because they’ve betrayed their roots.

            Going back to the questions FS asked, we are producing people like Jason Dalton, because we’re are betraying masculinity. The mating market is highly skewed towards females in this generation, and men are paying for it.

  3. Financial Slacker

    Over the years, I have become a huge fan of sharing services such as UBER. I have used them extensively in many different markets. And have always had great experiences both with the drivers and when I have had to deal with corporate for any reason.

    In a situation such as this, I know the first thing folks want to do is figure out motivation and place blame somewhere other than on the individual. But his working for UBER probably doesn’t have any correlation with his behavior. There has to be something deeper going on to set someone off in such a manner.

    Although I haven’t experienced firsthand, I would think driving for a living is stressful. Driving in general is stressful as the number of road rage incidents indicates.

    I appreciate your list of recommendations. Most are common sense. But I’ll admit, I haven’t been a tipper with my drivers because the site makes it sound like the drivers are receiving a tip as part of the service. I guess going forward, I’ll make sure to give a cash tip as well.

    Thanks for providing the perspective from someone who has directly experienced what it’s like to be an UBER driver.

    1. There is no embedded tip as part of the service for the driver.

      The best way to know the stress of the driver is to sign up and be one yourself for a while. This post will make much more sense to those who aren’t really feeling the driver’s POV.

      Even if the chance for getting murdered by your driver is 0.1%, I strongly believe it is simply human decency to follow this post’s advice as a passenger.

  4. ronnie james

    Is there a relation between him working at Uber and the shootings? For other mass shootings, do we mentioned repeatedly where the person worked?

  5. I drove for Lyft for a while – never Uber because people seemed less transparent on the system. Besides a few slightly rowdy drinks, I had zero issues with disrespectful passengers.

    The murder itself, while tragic, is nothing short of a coincidence and was certainly not agitated by bad customer behavior. I mean maybe in the case of a psychopath, I guess. I know the article wasn’t implying that, it’s just the two thoughts don’t really mesh together well in the same piece.

    Uber isn’t suddenly super dangerous since a few bad things have happened. They have like a 99.9% success rate in sure. You only hear about the bad stuff.

    Ultimately, if the pay and retail-esque environment isn’t worth it, don’t drive for Uber!

    I don’t think it’s realistic to not be on the phone as a passenger, that’s going a little far, but the other requests aren’t hard to manage and will definitely make the driver feel more comfortable. I honestly have no motivation to piss someone off that’s in complete control of my life.

    1. Your last sentence. Exactly.

      Not sure why folks are bent out of shape regarding asking the drive first whether s/he can make an extended phone. That ask is a sign of respect, and will almost always engender a positive response from the drive.

      Folks can do whatever the hell they want. But I tell you those who have high emotional intelligence get much farther ahead.

  6. Armen Tanzarian

    Your recommendation to “do tip” is really annoying to me.
    The really cool thing about Uber is that, unlike taxis, no cash trades hands. You just hop in, and hop out. The thing I hate about cabs is having to take out my wallet, fumble through cash, get change, do math, figure tip, etc., at the curb before exiting. At least initially, I thought Uber was going to obviate this nuisance. It’s not that I’m cheap – I’m perfectly happy to include a tip, but I really love the idea of a cashless exchange, and that’s what I thought Uber was. But you are telling me differently, and now I’m annoyed.

    1. Agree Armen. However, I never use Uber, only Lyft. Lyft allows cashless tipping which is what Uber should do and the way it should be. My experience with Uber drivers in the beginning was bad–also why I only use Lyft now.

      The sharing society is good, but I see this ride share going up in flames at some point just due to all the crap happening with drunks beating drivers and drivers now getting revenge. Its going to all blow up at some point unless robots are driving.

  7. Midwestern Landlord


    I am relatively new to the site so longtimers may already know the answer.

    Just curious to why you previously decided to do Uber driving when you have a very nice balance sheet and obviously did not need to. I am FI now as well and just would not consider doing it under any scenario. Just like I have no interest in ever working for someone else either.

    1. Check out the various posts I linked to at the end of the post for in depth reasons.

      Also, as I writer, I wanted to experience the driving first hand for an extended period of time so I could write based on experience rather than pontification. I’m always looking for stories to tell.

      The sharing economy is a boon for a lot of people looking to break free. Given my site is all about breaking free early, writing about the gig economy is a natural topic.

      As an SF resident, Uber is ubiquitous. Finally, I do gain some satisfaction knowing that I can point to this low wage hustle when someone says I am out of touch with reality.

      Check out the posts!

  8. Worth giving it a try since it is so much cheaper compared to taxis due to the aggressively rate cuts and efficiencies.

    It’s good you brought up being teased as a child. I think many of us experienced the same thing. And if left unaddressed, we see peer pressure and bully lead to very bad things, including suicide.

  9. Any attempt to correlate rude passengers to the driver going on a murderous rampage is ludicrous. If that was truly the impetus in this case then he was a ticking time bomb that would have been triggered by any number of other experiences or encounters. Sam, I agree completely with everything you said about how riders should act, and for the record, I always give a 5$ tip even though my kids and their friends think its totally unnecessary (I reward good service always and especially when people are clearly hustling (side or otherwise)). BUT!!!, Sam I think you are doing a gross disservice to even loosely tie mass murder to rude passengers… or is this position just to elicit responses again (if yes, then your are truly skilled, master).

      1. part of the no tip problem is I believe UBER advertises no tip required or expected as part of their marketing. As young folks are the biggest customers, at least initially, they tend to be very literal and are just following the guidelines without giving it much thought. They don’t “see” the better way until they get older. Ironically, my kids tip really well at bars, restaurants etc. where tipping is the norm so it has nothing to do with being cheap. Blame UBER for fostering that perception that becomes reality for most.

  10. Such good points. When it comes to driving safety really comes first for everyone on the road both drivers and passengers. People who have limited driving experience, especially in metro areas, don’t realize how incredibly stressful it can be to drive and having passengers can be very distracting. Your tips for riders make complete sense.

    I think you’re exactly right too that we need more human kindness and respect for each other. We don’t know what triggered that driver to take so many lives but I agree that we can try to take something away from this tragedy and come together to be more caring and polite in how we interact with strangers and people we know to hopefully help prevent such tragedies in the future.

  11. FS,

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for awhile now. In general, I value your thoughts and perspective.

    Although this article seems a little off base to me. That is, it seems to imply that the above customer behaviors validate murder.

    One could argue that in any job customers piss people off. while you’ll never be able to control other people’s habits/behaviors, you can control how you respond to situations.

    If I misread, I apologize. But want to clarify.

    1. Mike, you have an interesting takeway about condoning murder due to poor rider behavior. Let me be clear that bad customer behavior does not condone murder.

      This article provides perspective from the driver’s POV. Look at some of the previous mass murders. There seems to always be some element of other people mistreating the killer, perceived or otherwise. Nobody would listen to them.

      If passengers worry about safety, they can follow my five tips to help reduce their danger.

      This post is also a larger discussion on basic human decency towards others who are working hard to make a living servicing you.

      Just think back to your minimum wage customer service jobs. Ever have a bad incident? What do you do now and what type of minimum wage service jobs have you held before? Thx

    2. People often have a binary view of the world. In this case the guy is either 100% guilty or not. And if you imply anything less that 100% guilt, than you’re actually “victim blaming” the riders.
      I see a general trend with people taking an “absolute victim-hood” type of attitude. Meaning that if someone does you a harm, is 100% their fault and you’re 100% victim here. While from a legal perspective it might be true, the act of harm often times is taken out of context, and the whole process that leads to that act is ignored.
      The only thing that the law can do is prevent a person from repeating his harmful actions, not cancel the harm done. That’s where morals, ethics and our overall attitude comes into place to fill the gap. But people see Law as the only obligation that they have towards society, ethics, morals and just good manners are thrown out of the window.

      1. Very well said. This post just isn’t about Uber driving and Uber passenger safety. This post is mostly about having the EQ to treat other people respectfully so that we can all be happier and thrive.

        Until Jason Dalton tells us what he was thinking, nobody will really know. And he’s probably been through a lot of things in his life already before driving for Uber.

        There have been so many tragedies due to the mistreatment of others. Why are we so cruel to make fun of a person’s looks, race, orientation, background, etc? What is going on here? I hope for more empathy and kindness in general.

        1. Steve Adams

          Yep. There’s no reason not to be decent to any one you ‘hire’. Whether an Uber driver or a McDolalds cook. Just because they are serving you doesn’t mean they should be treated as some subpar person. A little extra respect makes the world so much better.

  12. Curious if, as an Uber driver, you have added a rider to your car insurance. I just received a notice from my car insurance that they will not cover me if I am involved in an accident or incident while being paid to transport people as part of a ride service. Then there is a little note to talk to my agent for that type of coverage.

    1. That’s fair enough for the insurance company to notify you of that – assuming you have standard personal insurance, it is explicitly stated to not cover damages from any commercial activity. All rideshare drivers SHOULD have a rider on their personal insurance…but the rideshare companies do a lousy job of hiding this truth from the drivers as it would mean additional costs and less interest in signing up to be drivers. Yes, the rideshares may have umbrella policies but the drivers are not specifically listed as covered parties in them – and standard driver insurance outright forbids commercial activity. This leaves a void and can lead to messy situations in case of some form of claim incident…and quite frankly is part of the price arbitrage rideshares are betting on to beat the traditional taxi system. I understand that having full time commercial coverage may not make sense for part time drivers, but this is a void that needs to be filled (and cracked down on).

      1. A few things: He was an Uber driver just part time. It would make more sense to check out the murder rate for insurance adjusters. Arizona requires insurance that covers passengers, the driver and all vehicles involved. Since there’s a large amount of postal workers killing people, should I be afraid of my mailman?

    1. The Alchemist

      Perhaps… but is it so far-fetched to expect people to delay initiating calls, out of courtesy to your driver? Or to try to keep them short, and reasonably quiet?

      Simple thoughtfulness of another being’s comfort and ease goes such a long way… and is so sorely lacking in the modern era. Mobile phones have seriously impeded humanity’s ability to be considerate of others.

      Your words speak volumes— the indignation you express at the very IDEA that someone be prevented from plugging in to their communication network for perhaps 15 minutes. Oh, the horror!

      1. “Your words speak volumes— the indignation you express at the very IDEA that someone be prevented from plugging in to their communication network for perhaps 15 minutes. Oh, the horror!”

        Well the way I see it, you are paying for a service.. transportation. IMO You should be able to operate your mobile business without offending your paid service. The intent is about not calling when you are with a paid driver, not keeping it professional

        1. Completely agree. First and foremost as a customer, I am paying for a service – I need to get from Point A to Point B. I may not want to chat with the driver, instead I may want to make a phone call. That should be my prerogative.

      2. Thats absolutely ridiculous. If you dont like it in your car, dont drive. You want to be a part of public transportation you’ll be treated as such. If im paying for a service thats looking to replace a taxi or similar vectors, I’ll do what I want. People arent paying to keep you company or help you out, its a service. Thats how the market wants it, if the price is too low then people shouldnt accept it and we can go back to taxis and such.

        Do you ask to take a call in a regular cab, , ferry, the bus or subway? Though you may identify with Uber because you drove for them, its not any different. You many dress it up with an app, but its the same commoditized thing. If drivers started acting entitled like that en masse theyd not get any fares.

        No matter what our opinions are, the market ultimately sets not only its price but its customs. Its crappy at times, but thats the kind of system we have. Everyone was loving uber at first, now not so much once they have more control. Im personally not a fan, as its really not surprising to beat out your competitors if you simply dont have to follow the same rules.

    2. What’s crazy is passengers expecting to do whatever they want in YOUR car, paying a much lower rate than a taxi, without being courteous or respectful.

      It doesn’t hurt to be polite and ask whether you can take a call. Why wouldn’t you make the effort to ask, especially if you’re one of the loud mobile phone talkers?

      1. Thats absolutely ridiculous. If you dont like it in your car, dont drive. You want to be a part of public transportation you’ll be treated as such. If im paying for a service thats looking to replace a taxi or similar vectors, I’ll do what I want. People arent paying to keep you company or help you out, its a service. Thats how the market wants it, if the price is too low then people shouldnt accept it and we can go back to taxis and such.

        Do you ask to take a call in a regular cab, , ferry, the bus or subway? Though you may identify with Uber because you drove for them, its not any different. You many dress it up with an app, but its the same commoditized thing. If drivers started acting entitled like that en masse theyd not get any fares.

        No matter what our opinions are, the market ultimately sets not only its price but its customs. Its crappy at times, but thats the kind of system we have. Everyone was loving uber at first, now not so much once they have more control. Im personally not a fan, as its really not surprising to beat out your competitors if you simply dont have to follow the same rules.

        1. Exactly. Free markets reign supreme.

          Everything is rational in the end, which is why I’m pretty bullish for the most part. B/c people end up selfishly doing what’s best for them. I have no problem telling a passenger to get out of my car if they do something to irk me.

          What’s your story? Have you driven before or worked any minimum wage service jobs as an adult? I enjoy reading other people’s perspectives, especially those who have a more “tough love” type attitude. What’s your financial situation?

          1. Grew up very poor, even homeless for a short stretch. Worked at an apartment complex where I lived in HS, at the grocery store during college (supporting my family as well) but now am a doctor. I do well now but due to absolute lack of knowledge about financial things (or knowing anyone else who did) got very into debt as I was self financed the whole way, and am working my way to being FI.

            There are things we all hate about our professions, I dislike the way people treat me as a commodity and dont care about the near decade I spent getting 4 days off a month, missing out on everything and that I actually care about them and doing the best job possible and are for the most part pretty disrespectful and dismissive in general.

            It is fairly unrealistic that these types of things will change greatly, or further that they are even in our control. If we really cant stand it we have to go even further onto our own in some way. Not saying it doesnt incredibly suck, just every job has something that comes with the territory. You can try to change things, but if that isnt possible you have to reassess.

  13. With several friends in Kalamazoo, my first thought was to make sure that they were all safe. Thankfully, they were.

    I think this is great information and advice, though I haven’t seen anything to correlate the fact that he was an Uber driver as a reason that he went on the killing spree. Yes, he was driving at the time, and we’ve been seeing a lot of information about riders that reported erratic behavior, but nobody has reported that he was aggressive towards them or had any sort of altercation with them.

    I think where I’m going is that it seems just as or more likely that he would have snapped regardless of whether he was an Uber driver or not. I think whatever triggers that type of mental breakdown is something that is far more underlying than having their fares cut or having rude passengers.

    At least I hope so. I pray we don’t see “going Uber” as the “going postal” equivalent phrase of this decade.

    Also, for what it’s worth, here in the Detroit area we don’t have the Uberpool option, and I’m assuming that a smaller area like K-zoo also wouldn’t, being that it’s an even smaller area. Is that something that’s maybe just in limited highly urban areas?

    1. I hope you are right, and there was no causation or correlation. However, I do know from first hand experience that I’ve wanted to seriously vent against inconsiderate passengers. And if you’ve ever experienced road rage, dealing with traffic, big brother, and unruly passengers can get you in this scary mental state.

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