I will admit, I love trying new things, even jobs, so when I heard that Uber was coming to Missoula I knew I wanted to try driving at least a few times. This past Saturday while my wife was at a bachelorette party I had my opportunity and I learned a lot! The variety of people I encountered was all over the spectrum. I gave rides to people who are very well known in our community, people from out of town looking to relax, and even a few college girls headed out to Testy Fest.

If you aren't familiar with Uber, it's a new app that allows you to arrange rides around town just using your phone, and one of my favorite features is that it doesn't involve any cash. All money changing hands happens electronically, unless your passenger feels you were exceptional and gives you a cash tip as well. It is a great way to get around especially as the bars shut down and people are too impaired to drive.

Photo courtesy of Billy Jenkins

I started driving on Saturday in the late afternoon and things started out a little slow. Things definitely picked up as the night went along, although I did hear that there are close to 100 Uber drivers already registered in Missoula so everyone who needed a ride could get one. After I worked for a total of 8 hours and 15 minutes I earned a total of $176.46 which equals just over $21 per hour. But I did fill up my gas tank for $35 before getting started and I also bought a data package for my car for riders to be able to get online for another $10. Oftentimes drivers' money making ability depends on how busy the night is and how many passengers are requesting rides, so Saturday at 1:30am is going to make more money than 5pm on a Saturday afternoon. I hope that makes sense.

Photo courtesy of Billy Jenkins

The reason I bought the data package beyond needing it for Uber was because I want to make my passengers feel as comfortable as possible. If they want to check Facebook in my car they can, and in return I am hoping that will get me a 5 Star rating. After each ride both the passenger and the driver get to rate each other. I love this rating system so if people are rude or inconsiderate and get rated low, you can decline picking up that passenger or decline using that driver.

Here are some tips for all Uber passengers in Missoula:

  • Be at the location you are requesting a pick up
  • Answer your phone if your driver calls you
  • Make sure the driver knows your exact drop off location
  • Check the car when you leave for all of your personal items
  • Don't leave a mess in the car
  • Rate your driver after the ride is complete

Here are some tips for all Uber drivers in Missoula:

  • Always try to make your passengers comfortable, they are paying you
  • Have extra bottles of water, mints or gum, and a puke bag in your car
  • Rate your passenger after the ride is complete
  • Don't chase surge prices, just stay busy
  • Don't drive more than 10 miles to pick up a passenger

For everyone using Uber, have fun and enjoy it. It was a good way for me to make a few dollars this weekend. I have a great full time job I am happy with so I will not be driving all that often but if I am bored on a weekend want to make some cash and want to meet interesting people this is always going to be available for me.


    Beautiful Big Sky View of Lolo!