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Rideshare

Your source of information for driving with rideshare companies like Uber & Lyft in Canada.

What is Rideshare?

How does driving for Uber work?

Taxi vs Uber. Isn’t driving passengers around the same thing? Uber drivers have far less requirements than taxis to start driving and simply use their own vehicle. Jump in your car, turn on the app and wait for a “ping” which is an electronic trip request. Grab the passenger, follow the GPS directions, drop them off and get paid. It is that simple! You can also work as little or as often as you want, with no schedule requirements.

Rideshare Rates and Requirements

Rates, requirements, and contact info!

Each city have different Uber driver & vehicle requirements. There are also new companies on the market like Lyft, TappCar & InstaRyde. The pay for each company is different and rates for vehicles types also affects how much money you will make as a rideshare driver. We show you how to get started with Uber and the others with our new rideshare driver guides that are designed just for your city. 

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?

Find out how to calculate your "Take Home" pay.

At the end of 2017 there were 6 rideshare companies operating in various Canadian markets and they are competing to attract new drivers. You might wonder how exactly you get paid as a rideshare driver? We give you all the information you need to know about the pay structure, how taxes work, expenses you can claim and much more!

Looking for more?

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Airport Pick-Ups

Most major airports in Canada have special requirements for rideshare drivers picking up at the airport. Find everything you need to know right here on our Airport Pick-Ups page.

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Company Directory

While our rideshare roster is not quite as populated as our neighbours to the south, Canada is home to many unique companies to work with!

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Driver Resources

You want to be successful on the road and there are tools and tricks to help you do that. Mileage trackers, a good GPS, and a good understanding of your rideshare services can help your business grow!

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Common Terms

There are a lot of new terms you will encounter when entering the rideshare world. We wanted to make it as easy as possible, so we’ve put together a glossary of common terms used in the rideshare industry.

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UberX, XL, SELECT, and Others

Full accepted car list for UberSELECT with examples of acceptable vehicles for UberX and UberXL.

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Lyft Premier, Lux, and Lux SUV

Complete vehicle lists for Lyfts luxury services Premier, Lux, and Lux SUV

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InstaRyde Platinum and Platinum XL

Find out if your vehicle qualifies for InstaRyde's answer to Lyft and Uber's higher end service types.

Rideshare is an arrangement between an individual with a car and an person needing a ride, typically ordered through a third party application or online software, like Uber, in exchange for money. 

Most rideshare companies allow a driver to log on and off the app whenever they want and accept to drive passengers. In the past, rideshare referred to persons carpooling or travelling in the same direction whereby the passenger would essentially cover part of the costs of the trip for the driver. 

In 2018, companies like Uber & Lyft facilitate the rideshare transaction for a commission by providing the dispatching or arranging service through an app. Rideshare drivers now make a profit and some are even doing it full-time. 

Head over to our What is Rideshare? article for an in-depth look at the service!

Uber is a great way to earn extra money or even do full-time mainly because there is no schedule. You do not have to sign up for shifts, can take one trip which could last 10 minutes or work for 10 hours if you want. You are not an employee, you are an independent contract (aka business) so you can be your own boss. This comes with more responsibility in terms of taxes, operating costs, etc. but the freedom and flexibility is probably the best incentive to drive with rideshare companies like Uber. 

Rideshare drivers in Canada earn on average $20/hour depending on their city, vehicle type, and time they are driving. When you have a higher end car, mini-van or SUV, you can earn higher rates of pay. When there is high demand for rides and not enough drivers on the road, the price for a trip increases and so does your pay. This is where the real money is made with drivers earning $60/hour for example. This type of dynamic pricing is known as surge pricing with Uber and PrimeTime with Lyft.

You can also use your own car which makes it a lot more appealing than becoming a taxi driver which usually requires expensive leases, dispatcher commissions, licenses and permits from the city and commercial insurance. 

You can also deliver food with if you don’t want to transport passengers with their UberEATS service. 

If you want to work as a rideshare driver, you need to sign up with one of the transportation network companies like Uber & Lyft, though there are more now operating in Canada. Once you meet the requirements to drive with that company, you will be to access their driver app and go online to be available for pickups. You are not an employee so you can log on and off to accept trip requests whenever you want! 

When you are online, you will receive a Ping which is a trip request. You can accept the request (or deny it) in the app and then you will be directed to the rider’s location for a pickup. Once you arrive, the passenger will enter your car and you will start the trip in the app. The app will then direct you to their destination and you drop them off. Once you complete the trip, you can then be available for more pickup requests or if you are tired, want to go home, do some grocery shopping, etc. just log off. It’s that simple! 

You are paid a flat fee for picking up and dropping off the passenger plus a per kilometre rate for the trip. You can accepts tips too! If you drive a fancy car, or if it is really busy, you get paid even more. 

To find out more about how you get paid as a rideshare driver click here!

Most airports have specific rules for rideshare drivers like Uber to pick up passengers at their airport. Remember, you are not a taxi driver so you usually can’t use the taxi stands or pick/up drop off zones.

Companies like Uber & Lyft typically use a First In First Out queue, where you enter a designated zone to wait for a trip request. Instead of getting a request based on your proximity, it is based on the queue position you are in when you entered the waiting zone. Once you get a request, you will then be prompted to drive to the requested terminal or specific rideshare zone pickup location. Dropping off passengers at an airport is usually no problem. 

Some airports don’t allow rideshare drivers to pick up passengers, like Toronto’s Pearson International Airport unless they have a livery (taxi/limo) license. Edmonton International Airport has an exclusive partnership with Alberta based rideshare company TappCar and Uber is not permitted to do pickups at the airport. 

Head to our airport pick-ups page to learn the specific requirements in your city?

Uber is the biggest rideshare company in Canada operating many cities in Ontario, Alberta & Quebec. It is also the only rideshare company that has a food delivery service that drivers can opt into as well. UberEATS recently just expanded to Vancouver and there is a push to get the rideshare service up and running there despite the opposition from the taxi industry and some politicians. 

Uber vs Lyft. The biggest North American rideshare rivalry! Lyft launched in late 2017 for the first time outside the US by commencing operations in Toronto, Canada. Lyft entered the US market to become the biggest competitor for Uber. The companies are essentially the same in most markets in terms of pay and both offer dynamic pricing known as Surge for Uber and Prime Time for Lyft.

Other rideshare companies are InstaRyde, Facedrive, TappCar and soon to launch in Toronto, Taxify.

Whenever you arrive at the pickup location, you should always ask the passenger to give you their name and compare them to their profile picture. Don’t ask “Are you Sarah?”, ask them “What is your name?” You may also want to confirm the destination as well. This is particularly important when you are picking up in a busy area around closing time at a bar for example, where drunk people will just get in your car and assume you are “their” Uber. 

If you do pickup a wrong passenger and haven’t started the trip, of course you politely ask them to get out. If you have started the trip, you can cancel by swiping “end trip” at the bottom of the screen. Then, you can explain to the rider they got in the wrong Uber and they have to get out. As the trip was not linked to their account, you can assure them they will not get charged. You can also tell them to call another Uber and given how close you are, you may get the ping for the trip request.

You usually WILL NOT get paid for the trip if you pickup the wrong passenger and have to cancel, or even if you complete the trip. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right passenger. 

If you get a notification from Uber after you completed the trip that the fare was adjusted for the reason that you didn’t pick up the correct rider, and you believe that to be false, then you have to go through the app to dispute it. Tell them the steps you took to verify the rider, the pickup and drop off location, name of the passenger, date, time and tell them to check the GPS of the riders phone to confirm. Usually, with enough persuasion (and if you are actually right) you can get your fare back.

You can be deactivated (or suspended) for a variety of reasons as an Uber driver and the deactivation can be either temporary or permanent. For example, if you have a high cancellation rate (accepting trips, then cancelling them repeatedly), or a rider makes a complaint about you, then you can be taken offline. Uber will often suspend you right away until they investigate, which is usually just them waiting for your response and contacting the customer.

You must contact customer support to clarify the reason if no reason was provided and you may even have to go a Greenlight Hub to talk to someone in person. Most of these decisions are made in the back office and can’t be changed by individual staff at the local office. They may be able to show you what you need to do to get back online, or put you in touch with the proper people. 

Many drivers now have cameras facing inside their vehicle for not only safety concerns but to prevent and defend themselves against false allegations.

Customers heading to an airport may have a lot of luggage that they want you to take, or they may even just be bringing groceries home. If you want a good rating and possible even a good tip, then you should try to accommodate them and even assist loading it in and out. It will also help ensure you car isn’t damaged by the passenger in the process. 

You are not required to assist customers with their luggage and you can cancel a ride you can’t fit it all in your vehicle or if it may be unsafe to do so.

HINT: Wait 5 minutes so you get the $5 cancellation fee!

The customer may dispute it but drivers have had success in doing this when they show up in their sedan and a rider has 10 suitcases but didn’t request an larger vehicle. 

Remember, your car is your tool for work and you want to keep it good condition. Also, the more the customer has a good experience, the more likely you are to get a good rating which is important to qualify for UberSELECT and to stay online. Don’t forget a happy customer tends to tip!

You can reach each of the companies through their channels below

Uber Driver Support: 1-800-593-7069 
Lyft Driver Support: 1-855-865-9553
TappCar Driver Support: 1-587-745-0378
RideCo Driver Support Email: drivers@rideco.com
InstaRyde Driver Support: 416-907-8488
Facedrive Twitter: @facedriveinc
Taxify Driver Support: 1 (647) 273-0438‬‬

For office locations check out our Rates and Requirements Guides!

The insurance requirements for Uber and the other rideshare companies are pretty similar. You will need to have your own personal car insurance, which you should already have if you own or lease your own car. Most insurance companies also require you to disclose you are using your vehicle for business related purposes and some have rideshare coverage (endorsements) depending on your province and insurer. 

Companies like Uber & Lyft have their own commercial insurance policies that cover you for the most part when transporting passengers and different coverage when you are online and on your way to pickup a passenger. It is usually not required that you obtain your own commercial insurance policy which is good news because that can be quite expense.

The bad news is that if Uber or Lyft’s insurer denies the claim, then you are next! This means the rideshare company can come after you and your insurer for the damages. This is why it is so important you discuss your policy with your insurer or agent before you start driving for a rideshare company.

For additional information on insurance, visit our Rideshare Rates and Requirements page, select your city and rideshare company and learn more!

Yes, all rideshare drivers pay taxes! 

As a rideshare driver you are an independent contractor, which means you and your car are a business! This means that you will need to pay the government your own taxes, instead of the company taking them off your pay which is what happens when you are an employee. 

It is important to keep track of your mileage. As you are using your personal vehicle, you need to keep track of the number of kilometres you drove for business and personal use. You also need to keep track of your receipts for expenses, like gas, vehicle repairs, which you can claim to lower the amount of taxes you will owe.regardless of how much money you make. 

Depending on your province, you will need an HST, GST and/or QST number and business number. All rideshare drivers now require this in Canada as of July 1, 2017.

For more information, see our How Much Do Rideshare Drivers Make article

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