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The 10 Best Cities to Be an Uber Driver

With the touch of a button cabs could disappear forever. That is in big part because of the increasing popular ride-sharing programs that have popped up all over the world. But where exactly is the best city to become a ride sharing driver? A study was recently put out by a company called Zen99, a financial software company that helps ride-sharing drivers with their expenses and taxes. The study looked at numerous factors such as weather, gas prices, public transit systems and incomes to determine the best cities to be an Uber driver. Without further ado, here are the 10 best cities to be an Uber Driver:

10. Denver

In a city where people are friendly and laid back, it’s easy to be an Uber driver. It also helps that the Denver Airport now allows pickups by Uber drivers. It wasn’t always this way in the city, however new legislation has allowed for this ride sharing company to flourish here. It also happens to rain and snow in Denver which means more business for drivers as people really don’t like getting wet, or trudging through the snow. Car insurance is generally affordable, gas prices are among the lowest of many big American cities and to be frank, people here don’t enjoy using public transportation. Uber drivers are treated with respect from passengers and police and with good roads, good company and some rainy days; this is one city that is desirable to be an Uber Driver.

Denver Colorado

9. Chicago

The Windy City, where you often see women trying to control their skirts in the wind, or tame their hair as it whips around their head while they are trying to hail a taxi. Perhaps this is one of the reasons it pays to be an Uber Driver here. Rates are very cheap in Chicago and many people are ditching cabs and calling Uber drivers instead. Fortunately just because rates are low doesn’t mean that drivers aren’t making any money. According to a study early this year, Chicago Uber drivers are making an average of over $16/hr. That’s about $4 more per hour than taxi drivers. Although as an Uber driver you are not allowed to pick people up from O’Hare airport, passengers are finding ways around requesting Uber drivers to pick them up, thus earning drivers a bigger paycheck.

Chicago Illinois skyline

8. Austin

Although Austin can often be found at the heart of the Uber debate, it still pays to be an Uber Driver in this city. Uber drivers tend to stay away from downtown as the Pedi-cab business is still ever popular and shows no signing of slowing down. Most recently the city passed legislation that will allow Uber to have a home permanently in Austin. It’s high population of young people that use ride sharing programs, the low gas prices and the low insurance costs all play a part in why this city is Uber driver friendly.  Throw in a bunch of music festivals and parties where people desperately need transportation and drivers are guaranteed to have plenty of work. Plus the people of Austin are known for their friendliness and you certainly won’t have to deal with the pickiness of passengers such as those in a more famous north-eastern city (but we won’t name any names).

Austin Texas

7. New York

New York Uber drivers make the most money per hour, more than any other Uber city that has been studied. A recent study shows an Uber driver in NY averages over $30/hr, not a bad wage to drive someone around the city. Add in the fact that over half of the inhabitants of this city use public transit on a daily basis and the opportunities for passengers are unlimited. Plus it pays to mention that people are always in a rush, always needing to get somewhere and would rather sink into a comfortable leather seat than fight the crowds on the subway. NY Uber drivers may have to put up with traffic and finicky passengers but the drivers here love working in the city.

Aerial view of Manhattan skyline at sunset, New York City

6. Minneapolis

There is no shortage of passengers to pick up in Minneapolis. In fact on St. Patrick’s Day 2015 Uber said it logged over 5,000 rides in Minnesota, contributing to the lowest DWI rate on the holiday in six years. The long cold winters may contribute to the number of passengers that are using Uber on a continuous basis. Minneapolis also has a high percentage of people between the ages of 20-34, those most willing to use the service. Uber drivers here are constantly working together with passengers to find pick up locations such as those near the airport that don’t break any rules. Minneapolis has been slow to jump on board with everything Uber but is an untapped market that is making significant jumps in the past year to make ride sharing a very real part of its city and will need more and more drivers as this trend continues.

Minneapolis MN

5. Atlanta

Now is the time to become an Uber driver in Atlanta. City council is currently working with Uber and the airport to allow for legal airport pickups, meaning the Uber market is about to explode for drivers. This city also happens to have a large percentage of young and wealthy people. Couple that with the very low gas prices and affordable housing costs, and drivers face a prime ride-sharing environment. This city is also a slightly untapped market as Uber started in the West Coast and is quickly making its way across the world. Cities like Atlanta are new to the game and with the addition of airport pickups becoming legal, this will continue to be a hot spot for drivers in the coming months and years.

Atlanta Georgia

4. Seattle

When one thinks of this city they often think of the rain and dreary weather. The weather is in fact one big factor that contributes to why this city is excellent for Uber drivers. Add in plenty of young people with disposable incomes and there seems to be no shortage of passengers. As an added bonus Uber just dropped the rates significantly for Uber riders encouraging even more people to use the service. For the drivers that think this is a bad thing, think again. Uber has issued a 24/7 earnings guarantee which states that driver will make $28 per hour during peak, $22 per hour during regular, and $16 per hour during off peak. If you’ve ever thought about becoming an Uber driver in Seattle, the time is now.

Downtown Seattle as seen from the Kerry park in the evening

3. San Francisco

The city where it all began comes in at number three on this list of the best cities to be an Uber driver. It is no surprise San Francisco made this list with its drivers earning one of the highest wages per hour, its high demand and the fact that these Uber drivers can operate in three different cities. It just so happens that this city was the first to strike a deal with its airports to allow pickup and drop off by Uber drivers. Drivers can also expect to spot celebrities who need a ride around town. Hot weather that pushes people to air conditioned cars, a low yearly car insurance rate and plenty of people with disposable income makes this city Uber driver friendly.

San Francisco downtown

2. Boston

Although Uber drivers are taking a risk when stopping in the street to pick someone up as technically Boston police are calling this illegal; it still makes it worth it be an Uber driver here. Luckily for this city Governor Charlie Baker is doing his best to legitimize the ride sharing service. With lots of the inhabitants of this city reliant on public transit there seems to be no shortage of passengers. It helps that the young population here has no problem spending money and most of the students don’t have cars. Trips across the city are usually traffic free and Uber drivers here spend a lot of time going from one end of the city to another, thus resulting in longer rides and larger fairs.


1. Washington, D.C

The best place to be an Uber driver according to this study is in Washington, D.C. It seems that the best cities to be a driver are where this ride sharing program is just starting to take off in a big way. Uber drivers stand a decent chance at making some extra money due to the inclement weather, low driving cost and thriving middle class income. Washington also looks to be up next on the list for legalizing pickups at the airport; a move that certainly benefits both riders and drivers. Although there has been some upset around fare drops in this city, the guaranteed earnings program is put in place by Uber, thus taking the pressure off the drivers.

Washington DCcity