It was a Sunday afternoon and my schedule was pretty free. I just had to make a quick stop at the Accra mall and my Sunday afternoon schedule was open for the rest of the day.
A couple of days earlier, I had officially signed up to be an Uber driver. Now, in signing up to be an Uber driver, I’m not employed by Uber. I’m simply using my own private vehicle and leveraging Uber’s technology (it’s mobile app) to pick up and drop off passengers at their various locations. I get paid for those trips and Uber takes a percentage of those payments.
So, I was all signed up, had gone through a bit of orientation with the Uber Driver app (that’s the Uber app for for Uber Drivers), and was all set to take trips. A lovely Sunday afternoon seemed like the perfect time.
After I was done at the mall, I decided to “go online” as an Uber driver. I activated my Uber driver app and became visible to all Uber riders.
It wasn’t even a minute until I got a rider request. Someone not too far from the Ghana Standards Board building wanted to go to Osu. I picked up the request from the Uber app and navigated to the Uber rider. I picked a guy and his friend and dropped one of them not too far from Osu and dropped the other close to the Firefly lounge.
The rider opted to pay using cash (The Cash Option is available in Ghana as well as some other countries). I would have preferred a credit card payment instead of dealing with providing change. But I just have to get used to the fact that not everyone is into using a bank card to make purchases.
Thanks to Uber Surge* prices, I actually made double what I would have made if it was a normal Uber fare.
*Uber Surge prices get activated when there’s more demand for Uber drivers in an area where there are a lot of Uber riders requesting for rides. It’s simple economics. There is high demand with low supply. Therefore, increase prices. Makes sense.
After I had dropped off my first rider, I drove off and in about 30 seconds, I got another request.
That was quick!
I accepted the request. Picked up a guy and his mom and dropped them off near the Trade Fair area. Interestingly enough, just as I was dropping off my second passenger, I got a request from another rider.
The Uber Driver app has an interesting feature where a rider can request for a driver already on a trip just as he/she is reaching their final destination. It’s actually pretty cool because you can drop off your rider and immediately proceed to the next rider. No wait time.
I made two more trips and went off-line after that. In total, I had been online for 2 hours and dropped off four riders.
Overall, it was a very interesting experience. I had no idea it could be addicting. Seriously, it seems like there are lots of people constantly requesting for Uber drivers. Fair to say, the demand is pretty high in Accra. If you decided to be an Uber driver full time, you’re going to be taking a lot of trips (and making lots of money).
With the Uber Driver app, you can also get “Surge” areas on the map application. From what I’ve seen, the Airport area seems to surge almost every day.
One thing that I found interesting with the Uber riders was getting directions. Because some of our roads don’t have street names and are sometimes not paved, your Uber rider would contact you after requesting for a pick up to give you directions.
I expect that to happen more times as I take more riders.
I also expect to get more cash payments from riders. Hopefully, my riders will have credit card options when they request so I don’t have to deal with providing change for cash payments. But I think I’ll have to eventually get used to it.
So that was my first hands on experience as an Uber driver. I’ll probably be taking more drivers to get more experience.
Have any questions? Just leave them in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer them.
If you want to sign up to be an Uber Driver, just go to https://partners.uber.com/drive/. You can use my invite code JOSEPHK6930UE to sign up.