Was The Longer Uber Ride Ever Worth It?
How far is too far for an Uber ride? If you’re in St. Louis, you might balk at a Chesterfield to St. Louis jaunt. That ride is roughly 22 miles. An estimate in the Uber app says the ride will cost between $33-$44. A story emerged over the weekend of a ride of nearly 400 miles from Virginia to Brooklyn, New York and cost nearly $300. Was the longest Uber ride ever a good deal for anyone involved?
The New York Post had the story of Uber driver Janis Rogers over the weekend. Janis claims to have picked up a passenger back in June in her home territory of Williamsburg, Virginia and driven her to see her boyfriend in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Janis says she picked up the passenger outside a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop in Williamsburg.
The only Ben & Jerry’s in Williamsburg is at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. See why I asked you about a hypothetical drive originating In Chesterfield?
The Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood is known as “Bed-Stuy” and has been referred to as the “new hipster ‘hood” in terms of its popularity around Brooklyn. In St. Louis terms, maybe it’s like The Grove?
ANyways, back to the longest Uber ever.
The trip officially clocked in a 397 miles, took 7 hours and 42 minutes, and cost the passenger $294.09.
Janis says she made the nearly 800-mile, 16-hour round trip without so much as stopping to use the restroom. Keep in mind this story is from the New York Post. Rupert Murdoch’s paper isn’t exactly in the Pulitzer Prize discussion on a yearly basis.
Let’s move beyond the fact that to make the round trip non-stop there’s either a problem with your body or you relieved yourself in a cup.
The New York Post says that taking a cab from Brooklyn back to Virginia would cost $1,182. That longest Uber ever seems like quite the bargain, right? Not exactly. The Post also says the Uber passenger could have traveled from Williamsburg to Brooklyn by plane for $188, by train for $95 or by bus for $45.
But at least this way the Uber passenger, we’ll call her Sally, put $300 in Janis’ pocket, right? That is a little ways from the truth.
An Uber driver on Reddit broke down the numbers. Of that $294.09, Uber likely took out $1.90 as a Booking Fee. Uber then typically takes 20% of the fare itself. That would bring Janis’s take down to $233.75. Still a decent payday for her, right?
Not exactly. Uber drivers are on their own for things like gas and car maintenance. The Uber driver Reddit thread speculated that Janis drives a Toyota Prius. We’ll go with that to figure out the gas. A Prius gets about 54 miles per gallon. That figures out to Janis using 7.4 gallons of gas on the 400-mile trip. Gas in June in Williamsburg was about $2.20 per gallon. That’s $16.28 in gas. But, Janis also had to drive back home to Williamsburg. That means it was actually an 800-mile trip for her. Double the gas and you get $32.56 in gas. Janis told the post that she estimated she spent about $32 in gas and tolls. There are multiple tolls on the route they likely took, so that cost was probably at least $40. The $233.75 payment to Janis is now down to $193.75. The trip took her 15.5 hours round trip.
How much did Uber driver Janis Rogers make per hour for driving 15.5 hours and 800 miles? $12.50 per hour. Since Uber drivers aren’t really employees of the company that $12.50 doesn’t factor in any costs of her driving the car, having insurance, or anything like that.
Did we forget to mention the tip that Janis received from the passenger, who slept most of the ride? Nope, Janis claims the passenger didn’t even tip her for the longest Uber ride ever.
Don’t worry, though. Janis doesn’t seem concerned about the numbers.
“This was not lucrative. “I did it because it was an adventure.”
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