Unlocking Profit: Leveraging Ridesharing for Increased Earnings in Remote Photography and Drone Sessions

Creative Circuit
12 min readMar 14, 2024
Maximizing Earnings during Long Distance Photo or Drone Sessions with Ridesharing

For someone who travels long distances for work like drone photography or other jobs, ridesharing can be a great way to earn extra income on those “empty” miles driving to appointments or job sites. Instead of that time being unpaid travel, you could be making money by giving rides through services like Uber or Lyft.

You may be concerned about getting sent in the wrong direction or having to wait too long for passengers. But both Uber and Lyft offer helpful features to address this. Uber has a Destination Filter that allows you to only receive ride requests heading toward your destination city or area. Similarly, Lyft has a Destination Mode that filters requests based on your route. Using these tools reduces the risk of getting redirected somewhere you didn’t plan to go.

These destination filters make rideshare driving an attractive option for those with long commutes or significant travel between work sites. You can pick up paid rides along the way rather than just racking up unpaid miles. And by controlling your destination, you don’t have to worry about being detoured from reaching your final job location on time.

A Busy City Surging on Uber

How much can I earn?

You might be wondering just how lucrative this rideshare strategy can be during your travel time. Potential earnings can vary quite a bit depending on factors like your specific market and proximity to busier areas. However, some drivers have reported earning between $40 to $100 in fares and tips by giving rides from outlying towns into major rideshare markets.

For example, starting your day by picking up a ride from outside Madison, Wisconsin that takes you directly into the city center or Dane County Regional Airport could net you over $40 right off the bat. Getting paid that $40+ fare for a trip you’d be making anyway to reach your work destination can be incredibly valuable use of travel time that would otherwise go unpaid.

Kicking off with a long-distance fare into an active rideshare zone like downtown Madison sets you up to potentially stay busy and continue earning once you arrive. You’ve already covered your commute costs and can spend the rest of your day taking rides in the busier metro area.

The key is taking advantage of those “dead” miles you’d normally be driving unpaid by utilizing the destination filter features. This allows you to get paid for at least part of your commute while still ensuring the rides align with getting you where you need to go for work.

If you end up getting a ride all the way to the airport, it’s worth checking if there are any bonuses or promotions available once you arrive. Airports often have lucrative ride incentives that could easily earn you an extra $7-$20 or more on top of the original fare itself.

When driving through the city or town, I’ve also found that sticking to more densely populated areas and routes can increase your chances of picking up additional riders along the way to your ultimate destination. More potential customers means more ride opportunities.

Uber has another advantage when a passenger is located 5 miles or further away from your current location. They compensate drivers for these longer pickup distances, which can really boost your overall earnings for that ride compared to a minimal pickup fee.

It’s worth noting that Uber also tends to allow you to keep the destination filter feature enabled for a longer period compared to Lyft’s version. With Lyft, you’re limited to approximately 30 minutes before it automatically logs you off the platform while waiting for rides matching your destination settings. However, if you simply accept all incoming requests on Lyft, you can stay online indefinitely.

Between airport promotions, strategic routing through busy areas, long pickup compensation from Uber, and Uber’s longer destination filter timeframe, there are various strategies to maximize revenue during those “dead” miles getting to your job sites. The tactics make efficient use of that unpaid travel time.

NOTE: It’s highly recommended that you enable the destination feature 1–2 hours before you need to leave. This will increase your chances of getting a ride request going your way and ensure that you won’t be late for your appointment.

UBER — Destination Filter Directions

Here are the steps to enable the destination feature on the Uber Driver app:

  1. Open the Uber Driver app on your supported Android or Apple device.
  2. Tap on the search button in the upper left-hand corner of the app.
  3. Enter the address, city or landmark of your destination.
  4. You will now see a recommended route to your destination and all of your ride requests will be filtered only to take you in this direction.

LYFT — Destination Mode Directions

Here are the steps to enable the destination mode on the Lyft Driver app:

  1. Open the Lyft Driver app on your supported Android or Apple device.
  2. Tap on the switch icon in the upper right-hand corner of the app.
  3. This will bring up the option to filter rides, which you are allowed a total of 6 per day.
  4. Tap on the ‘Next’ button.
  5. Enter the address, city or landmark of your destination.
  6. Tap on the ‘Set Filter’ button and you’re all set!

Sign Up To Drive for Uber

If you’re interested in becoming an Uber driver, one important thing to keep in mind is the significance of having a referral code. This code is necessary to be eligible for new driver bonuses and earnings guarantees, so it’s crucial to make sure you have one before signing up.

An Uber sign-up bonus is a financial incentive that the company offers to new drivers who sign up using a referral code provided by an existing driver. This bonus can provide a great income supplement as you start your rideshare driving career. However, the exact bonus amount can vary based on your location and Uber’s current need for more drivers in that area.

Having a referral code doesn’t just benefit new drivers though. The driver who refers you may also receive a bonus or commission, making it a win-win for both parties. They earn extra money while helping you access valuable new driver earnings opportunities.

Ultimately, having a referral code is essential for anyone looking to become an Uber driver and take full advantage of sign-up bonuses, guaranteed earnings, and other new driver incentives. Do your research to find a reliable referral code that maximizes your potential earnings right out of the gate.

If you’re ready to increase your income, become a rideshare driver in your city today! Sign up now using a referral code to claim new driver bonuses and earnings guarantees. (Terms and eligibility requirements apply.)

Sign Up To Drive for Lyft

If you’re a rideshare driver looking to maximize your earnings, signing up for both Uber and Lyft can be a smart move. Not only does this increase your chances of getting ride requests, but it also provides you with more flexibility and options when it comes to choosing which rides to accept.

By signing up for Lyft in addition to Uber, you can double your chances of getting a ride request headed your way. This is because both platforms have destination filters that allow you to only receive ride requests going toward your target area. Uber has the Destination feature and Lyft has Destination Mode. Using these tools ensures you only accept rides aligning with your direction of travel.

Having driver accounts on multiple platforms gives you options to compare rates, demand, and choose the most lucrative ride opportunities. You can go where the money is. Additionally, diversifying your income streams protects you if there are fluctuations or policy changes impacting one service.

While maintaining two driver accounts requires some extra effort, the potential earnings benefits can make it worthwhile. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with both platforms’ features and policies.

If you’re ready to join Lyft and increase your rideshare earnings, sign up today using the link below to claim new driver bonuses and earnings guarantees in your city! (Terms and eligibility requirements apply.)

Driving for multiple services allows you to be strategic about maximizing profits from ride requests. Take advantage of bonuses, destination filters, and the ability to chase higher-demand areas. Sign up for Lyft now to double your rideshare income opportunities!

Get Rewarded for Your Uber and Lyft Rides with Freebird App

  • Freebird is a free app that rewards you for taking Uber and Lyft rides.
  • Connect your accounts and earn cash back and points through Freebird while being charged as usual by Uber and Lyft.
  • Get paid to go out by linking your payment card and taking advantage of cash back deals at local bars and restaurants.
  • Safe ride options available through major brand partners.
  • Earn points on every Uber and Lyft ride you take, redeemable for cash.

To receive $10 in free credits, download the app at https://my.fbird.co/vQdFmAqBfX and enter my promo code n9046 before taking your first ride.

Simply write your promo code on these free business cards and include them with your orders to provide excellent service to your passengers and boost your earnings.

Download the Freebird app today on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Where do I enter the n9046 code in the Freebird App?

In the app, click Profile > Promo Codes, then enter the n9046 code and click Submit.

Final Thoughts

The Destination feature on Uber and the Destination Mode on Lyft can be incredibly useful for drivers who want to optimize their routes and earn more money. By setting your destination before accepting ride requests, you can filter out rides that aren’t heading in the same direction as your destination. This can help you avoid wasting time and gas on rides that take you in the opposite direction.

These features can be particularly helpful if you’re using your vehicle for other purposes, such as running errands or visiting friends. For example, if you’re on your way to visit a friend who lives in a different part of town, you can set your destination on the app and accept ride requests that are heading in that direction. This way, you can make some extra money on the way to your destination.

Similarly, if you’re a freelance drone pilot working with DroneBase or another similar platform, you can use the Destination feature to make the most of your time on the road. By setting your destination to your next job site, you can filter out ride requests that don’t align with your schedule or route. This can help you streamline your operations and make the most of your time and resources.

Overall, the possibilities are endless when it comes to using the Destination feature on Uber and the Destination Mode on Lyft. These tools can be a game-changer for drivers who want to optimize their routes, save time and money, and earn more money on the road. Whether you’re driving for rideshare platforms full-time or using your vehicle for other purposes, these features are worth exploring and experimenting with.

Update: August 20, 2019

Lyft has made big changes to how much they pay drivers in Madison, Wisconsin. Before, drivers were paid at the end of the trip, but now they get paid as soon as they accept the ride request. However, the amount drivers get paid per mile has been cut in half.

This new system has caused some disagreement among drivers. Some think it’s better because they the meter is started straight away. But others are worried they won’t make as much money because they’re getting paid less per mile.

Important Note: These changes affect drivers outside of Madison, Wisconsin as well. Lyft frequently updates their driver pay structure, so keep this in mind if considering becoming a Lyft driver anywhere.

Madison

Lyft:

  • Paid for total time & distance once ride accepted
  • $0.464/mile (half of Uber rate)
  • $0.208/minute
  • $0.48/pickup
  • $0.208/wait time
  • Minimum $3.40/ride

UberX:

  • Paid for time & distance after pickup
  • $0.928/mile
  • $0.16/minute
  • $1.00/pickup
  • $0.232/wait time
  • Minimum $3.40/ride

Wisconsin Dells

Lyft:

  • Paid after pickup
  • $0.928/mile
  • $0.12/minute
  • $0.80/pickup
  • $0.12/wait time
  • Minimum $3.88/ride

UberX:

  • Paid after pickup
  • $1.248/mile
  • $0.16/minute
  • $1.00/pickup
  • $0.232/wait time
  • Minimum $5.12/ride

Portage

Lyft:

  • Paid after pickup
  • $1.248/mile
  • $0.16/minute
  • $1.40/pickup
  • $0.16/wait time
  • Minimum $3.88/ride

UberX:

  • Paid after pickup
  • $1.248/mile
  • $0.16/minute
  • $1.60/pickup
  • $0.232/wait time
  • Minimum $5.12/ride

Milwaukee Area (Watertown, West Bend, etc.)

Lyft:

  • Paid for total time & distance once accepted
  • $0.504/mile
  • $0.224/minute
  • $0.48/pickup
  • $0.224/wait time
  • Minimum $3.60/ride

UberX:

  • Paid after pickup
  • $0.928/mile
  • $0.16/minute
  • $1.00/pickup
  • $0.208/wait time
  • Minimum $3.60/ride

Many rideshare companies offer incentives to drivers to help offset the costs associated with long pick-up distances. For example, some services pay drivers an additional “long pickup fee” if they have to travel beyond a certain time or distance threshold to reach a passenger’s pick-up location. This can help compensate drivers for the extra time and miles spent getting to the rider.

Rideshare pay rates can also vary between services within the same market. In some cities, one service may pay drivers a higher per-mile rate compared to competitors operating in that area. Higher per-mile earnings can allow drivers to earn more income, especially on longer trips.

For rideshare drivers, it’s beneficial to understand the full pay structure and incentives offered by services in their area. Factors like long pickup fees and per-mile rates can impact overall earnings potential. Drivers should review the compensation details provided by rideshare companies to identify potential opportunities to maximize their income.

Example Fares

Lyft Madison vs Uber Madison

Let’s look at a 10-minute ride covering 5 miles, assuming very little driving to pick up the passenger:

Lyft:

  • Base Fare: $0.40
  • Distance (5.0 mi x $0.464/mi): $2.32
  • Time (10 min x $0.208/min): $2.08
  • Your Earnings: $4.80

Uber:

  • Base Fare: $1
  • Distance (5.0 mi x $0.928/mi): $4.64
  • Time (10 min x $0.16/min): $1.6
  • Your Earnings: $7.24

The difference is $2.44 for this ride favoring Uber. But what if you had to drive 3 miles (10 minutes) to the passenger location first?

With a 10-minute, 3-mile pickup:

Lyft:

  • Base Fare: $0.40
  • Distance (8.0 mi x $0.464/mi): $3.712
  • Time (20 min x $0.208/min): $4.16
  • Your Earnings: $8.272

Uber:

  • Base Fare: $1
  • Distance (5.0 mi x $0.928/mi): $4.64
  • Time (10 min x $0.16/min): $1.6
  • Your Earnings: $7.24

Now Lyft pays slightly more, but it’s dependent on the pickup distance. The breakdown favors Uber for minimal pickups.

For a longer 90-minute, 50-mile ride with only a 5-minute, 1-mile pickup:

Lyft:

  • Base Fare: $0.40
  • Distance (51 mi x $0.464/mi): $23.664
  • Time (95 min x $0.208/min): $19.76
  • Your Earnings: $43.824

Uber:

  • Base Fare: $1
  • Distance (50 mi x $0.928/mi): $46.4
  • Time (90 min x $0.16/min): $14.4
  • Your Earnings: $61.80

For longer distance rides, Uber’s higher per-mile rate results in higher earnings compared to Lyft in this market.

Uber Long Pickup Fee Policy

Uber has a policy where drivers can earn a long pickup fee if they have to travel more than 8 minutes to pick up a passenger. This can provide a nice boost to a driver’s income, but the amount earned will depend on how far they have to travel to the pick-up location.

It’s important to note that this policy only applies to Uber and not Lyft.

Based on this, some drivers may prefer Uber over Lyft as they can earn more for long pickups. However, consider other factors like:

  • Amount of time spent reaching pickup
  • Money spent on gas

Ultimately, the Uber vs Lyft decision depends on individual circumstances.

Wisconsin Dells Market

In the Wisconsin Dells, Uber seems the better option due to higher pay per ride vs Lyft. However, Lyft may have more consistent ride activity in the area.

Drivers should weigh both factors carefully:

  1. Higher earnings per ride
  2. Steady stream of ride requests

Choose the platform that maximizes earnings based on your needs and situation.

** Rates may be inaccurate for new drivers.

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Creative Circuit

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