Josh heard a tale of a rideshare driver that lives on Treasure island, works a set schedule, and has accumulated over 20,000 rides. Josh found this inspiring and intriguing, and wondered how to balance such an achievement. From this we both learned the importance of a set schedule.
We are creatures of habit, and sleep is one of our most important and consistent habits. With that being said, our bodies are all different and require different amounts of consistent sleep for best performance. Once you find your number, respect it, and try to live a consistent healthy lifestyle, this will be one of your greatest tools for success, sleeping consistently, and working a consistent schedule.
Josh for example sleeps at 9-10pm, and wakes up at 4-5am. He needs 7 hours of sleep.
Sean for example sleeps around 11pm, and wakes up at 6:30-7:30am. He needs 7.5 hours of sleep.
Find your own rhythm and respect your sacred sleep-patterns that are so important for a healthy lifestyle. With that being said, there are a ton of shifts that you can work to make consistent top dollar in the San Francisco Area. Take a good look at all the provided information below of when is busiest in SF, and plan your schedule to best suit your personal situation.
- The Bay Area is busy, only getting busier, every morning from San Jose to Mill Valley tons of people rely on usto get to the SFO, SJC, or OAK airport as early as 4am. If you are a morning person, and well rested from the weekend, we highly recommend this shift. You will notice high surge pricing, as it is early, and the majority of other drivers from the weekend are still resting, and high demand trying to make 6am departure flight times domestically. Every business walk of life will be on their way to work domestically for a day or week long trip. This is one of our favorite times to work, safe, empty roads, high demand, and high surge’s are a great way to start off your work week.
Tuesday - Thursday 4am - 7am
- Again, airport runs are happening, you can use a trick by setting a filter towards the airport of your choice.Within a few minutes in a dense, wealthy residential zone, you will get business. If you are in the south bay, try locating yourself near tech-central area; Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain, Los Altos, and Palo Alto are always requesting SFO runs.
- TGIF, you will hear this a lot in the Bay Area, we work hard, and play hard, and are ready to get out of town forthe weekend. Be ready for more airport runs, fill up on gas, and have coffee in arms reach. Plus you get to start the day off with the sun rising, awesome! Again these 4am - 7am shifts won’t only be airport goers, people getting home from a friends house, professionals working on EST hours in Finance are always seen starting at 6am, your personal trainers, and coffee masters need to get to business bright and early as well.
Monday - Friday, 7am-11am
- Morning rush hour all over the Bay Area, but let’s stay focused in SF. The two consistent busiest shifts in SFare the AM and PM commuter hours, be alert, attentive, safe, and efficient to capitalize on these time frames. We always feel like we are suiting up for a big fight or championship soccer match when it starts surging like crazy and the city awakes. It is a beautiful exciting controlled chaos as the city awakes and gets down to business.
Guest start times
- A few notes on when people are heading to work, and for what reason: 6am for EST finances operations, and 8-10am is the typically start time for the M-F 9am-5pm employees. A second very substantial wave comes at 10:30am from the Western parts of SF (Haight, Richmond, and Sunset) in which employees are gearing up for busy lunch shifts and other service sectors. We have noticed that on the hour, every hour, there is high surge pricing as follows:
5:40am for 6:00am start times
6:40am for 7:00am start times
7:40am for 8:00am start times
8:40am for 9:00am start times (the busiest)
9:40am for 10am start times
10:40am for 11am start times.
Marina, North Beach, Western Addition
- The residences from the Northern part of SF love rideshare to avoid high daily parking rates and the luxury ofconvenience rideshare provides. Being near the Marina can be very lucrative for surging rides, you will sometimes luck out with a high surge airport ride to SFO, OAK if you’re feeling really lucky. Lyft lines are awesome in the Marina with 2-3 conveniently located seasoned commuters that are respectful, typically on time, and pleasant to ride with. North Beach and the Fisherman's Wharf area is filled with business associates and tourists looking to start the day. In these areas, remember also that hotels are turning over rooms around 10-11am, and you will get a lot of airport runs during commuter hours, which could mean great surge pricing.
Mission, Noe Valley, Castro, Haight, Pacific Heights
- These central locations are filled with a younger demographic, and typically tech related professionals thathave tons of business to take care of in the AM. Surge rates are always high and the make money hours are from 7am-10am. Again, you will luck out with Airport runs on surge pricing, and from time to time get a commuter heading to Google’s Mountain View Campus, East Palo Alto’s Facebook, or Stanford for a lunch meeting or workday. Keep an eye on both applications, and incentive periods as well to best strategize your morning commute earnings.
Richmond, Sunset, Twin Peaks
- These areas have more affordable housing, and attract a different demographic in SF. You will notice highsurges all morning here, and with a 7 mile drive from West to East, you could hit the jackpot. Lines and Pools happen often here to share the high rideshare cost, which is great for the environment and an awesome convenience for your guests. You will notice consistent high demand from 6am-11am, remember that with the lower cost in rent attracts blue collar workers with great SF local vibes, enjoy conversation with other hard workers like yourself.
Again you never know where a ride will lead you, but the rule of thumb is towards the money, Financial District. We always say before accepting a ride in the Bay Area, have at least 50 miles of gas in your tank, a few snacks, water, and no need to use the bathroom. remember, a 8:30am ride from the Marina to San Jose can take up to 2 hours, be prepared!
Monday - Friday 11am-3pm
- We find this to be one of the slowest times to drive in SF, GYM TIME! We utilize classpass all over the bay ifwe need convenience or want a certain group workout setting, otherwise we take 2-4 hours off at our beautiful gym Planet Granite. Since hotel check out times are during these hours, you will find good business for airport runs, and people moving from one housing situation or hotel room to the next. Lunch meetings and people running errands as well will be happening during this time, so be quick and efficient on your routes so people are on time to their deadlines. We find a lot of passengers will be wanting rides to the South Bay early to avoid the rush hour traffic, so expect rides from SF to the Peninsula or the South Bay during this timeframe. Quick doctor's appointments, a few errands, every one should be up and lively by now.
Monday - Friday 3pm - 9pm
- If round one was 7am -10am, this is round two. Be ready for heavy demand throughout downtown andgridlock traffic. Waze is going to become your best friend here, utilize both navigation applications, and take guests recommendations as they do their commute everyday and know the ways of the road and a side street that could save tons of time. Learning to call your guests to walk a block will sometimes save everyone in a Line or Pool 15 minutes. Good vibes check, good upbeat music check, wits and cool demeanor check; your ready to get down to business. 3pm- 9pm this is one of the most lucrative times to drive in the Bay Area. Simultaneous requests in FIDI lead to surge pricing. People are ready to get home, to blow off some steam at the gym, or enjoy one a million SF cocktails at Artisan Restaurants and lounges.
- Of course, after their early evening outings during the workweek they will need rides home, which can as faras Oakland, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto, or Mountain View. Be ready to pick people up from the happening night scenes off Chestnut street, Polk street, Union street, Fisherman's wharf, people still pumping out work in the Financial District, Little Italy off Colombia, Mission District, Richmond, Noe Valley, tons of great nightlife happenings in SF, even SOMA is starting to make the cut.
Monday - Friday 9pm - 11pm
- After friends laugh over drinks, a bite to eat, or an evening workout, they will be heading home all over the cityand Bay Area. Be ready for some longer fares, SFO runs are common for people traveling redeyes internationally or redeyes to JFK depart around 10pm to 11pm. Monday through Thursday the roads tend to really clear up around now making driving around SF easier. The crowded city streets begin to wind down and take things indoors, to houses or bars. A cool side note about restaurants is that most operate on 3 turns. A turn is a seating, the first seating begins at 5:30pm, the second seating begins at 7-7:30pm, and the third seating begins at 9-9:00pm. This means, restaurants have patrons leaving consistently around 7pm,9pm, and 11pm. If you are near popular dining destination areas (pretty much everywhere in SF), be ready to get these guests home safe with happy bellies. Finally to add, a lot of sporting events end during this time, high demand takes over the Bay Area from sports enthusiasts especially during football and basketball season.
Thursday - Saturday 11pm - 3am
- Although these hours are great for surge pricing, their isn't much of a demand until around 1am, when dancersbar-goers are ready to head home. Personally, we don’t enjoy driving during these hours, there are drunk people on the road driving, drunk guests stumbling around the streets, and cops are on there toes ready to hand out tickets and search for DUI’s. As well dealing with drunk passengers can be a challenge on its own. Please refer to the ‘Driver Safety from Passengers’ of the ‘Safety Section’ on what to do if you ever feel threatened, uncomfortable, or in danger.
- Sometimes we will adjust our sleep schedule to experience a night on the town, and it can be great funsinging with people and laughing about their nights or our weeks. San Francisco is full of intellects, and they know well that if they act inappropriately in a rideshare situation, they will lose this amazing privilege from the company. Do not hesitate to report a guest or give them a 1 star if they were disrespectful or impolite to you or your guests.
- In regards to people throwing up in your car, we always use our good judgement to know whether someonehas had too much to drink. There are a few tell-tale signs to look for: stumbling, coming out of a bar at last call, up-all night and getting a ride home after drugs and alcohol in some warehouse near the dogpatch, and the easiest one is they are usually accompanied with a friend that is ready to hold their hair back. We let their friend know, that if they throw up in the car, they will be charged $250 for a cleaning fee. Since everything is expensive in SF, they take this seriously. Josh has had two people throw up on rides, but all of them have asked to pull over, exit, and then throw up. This leaves your car clean and happy, their stomachs empty, and the drunk won’t wake up to a hangover and a $250 cleaning fee. Use your judgement, tell them it's expensive, Josh has had zero problems in 7,000 rides.
Friday - Sunday and 3am-6am
- Get some sleep, nothing happens here.
Saturday 6am - 11pm
- Work hard, play hard. Rides happen all the time at 6am on Saturday mornings, people trying to get toawesome workout sessions, enjoy the sunrise hikes, wait in line for croissants, Saturday’s are the beginning of the weekend for most hardworking 9-5’ers and they don’t miss a second of enjoying our great cities amenities. A steady flow of rides will come in the hours of 6am-10am, once the majority of the city is up and moving, mimosa’s and brunch is a must. Sports events, Dolores Park, Mission District strolls, Castro good vibes, Golden Gate Park, people are moving all and we suggest you do too! This is a great day to drive, no crazy commute hours, roads aren’t too congested compared to the M-F, except of course during major events, which will gridlock everything within a few miles, and SF is only 7 by 7 miles. From 10am until 11pm, the city is lively and fun, tourists are in town, locals are having a blast, it is a great time to be a driver and strike up some good conversations or just enjoy the lively streets of SF. If you haven’t had enough driving, stay out late and enjoy the party scene until 3am, we will be sleeping!
Sunday 6am - 6pm
- Again, people will seize the day, rental car pickups, day trips, local hikes, events, music festivals, socialgatherings, name it SF has it. Another stress free great time to drive around our cities locals and tourists. Brunch is a SF locals religion, mimosa’s are the holy water and the bread is Tartine’s bread pudding, B Patisserie's Almond croissant, or Sweet Maples Deep-fried french toast. Football Season is great business pay attention to game start times, half-time, and the end to capitalize on surges near the bar scenes and popular residential areas that have parties. Day drinking is popular, but people tend to start winding down around dinner time. The steady demand will lead right into a TON of SFO airport runs at night. Be ready to make drop-offs, and this is the BEST time to get SFO pickups as all the other drivers are tired and a ton of guests are coming home or in town for a works worth of week. Have fun on Sunday, make sure to try some local establishments to give quality recommendations and realize why SF is known for it’s good times on the weekends!
- This last shift leads right into Monday morning’s heavy demand for SFO runs from 4am to 7am, so be ready toget at it again by getting some quality rest on Sunday night. As you can see, there are around 30 hours in the week that aren’t high demand for SF, leaving 138 hours per week for you to capitalize on, set a schedule based off these hours, and reap the benefits of being a high demand SF professional rideshare driver.