With student loan debt, mortgages, car payments, credit card debt, insurance payments, other expenses and a savings account to feed, a full-time job doesn’t always provide the sufficient funds. And generic retail part-time jobs simply don’t pay enough.
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1997, want — and need — a higher payout for time spent at an additional job. That’s why many are turning to ride share companies like Uber and Lyft.
Samantha Jameson, 31, of Ocala, works an average of 45 hours a week at Aaron’s furniture store as an accounts manager. Her paycheck is put toward utilities, groceries and bills, but she’s also working at chipping away at her student loan debt.
Jameson worked part-time for U-Haul for a while, but said the scheduling wasn’t accommodating – she often works 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Aaron’s. Driving for Uber, she can drive whenever she’s available.
“You do it on your own time,” she said.
If Jameson needs more money a certain week, she just increases her driving hours. She once earned $650 in two weeks to spend on a family vacation.
Ride share companies have soared in popularity, for both customers and drivers, over the past couple years. Users can easily request a ride on the app by typing in their desired address. The closest on-duty driver is notified.
All Jameson has to do to start working is turn on her availability in the Uber app. She’ll get a notification when a ride is requested near her.
Uber launched in Ocala in December 2014. Lyft launched just last month. Both companies take 20 to 25 percent commission and the drivers keep the rest. Lyft also allows riders to tip drivers.
The market in Ocala is still small, but local drivers say they can venture to Gainesville or Orlando and earn more than enough to cover the gas money needed to get there and back.
Viny Pazos, 34, of Dunnellon, said the drives to and from the larger cities are well worth it.
“I can make from $180 to $275 with those 45 bucks (in gas) in one day,” he said. He tends to drive weekend nights in both cities and sometimes during the day if he has time.
Both services have a minimum fare that varies between cities. The total ride fare is the base fare plus a certain amount per minute and a certain amount per mile.
For example, if a rider traveled 15 miles in 30 minutes and the ride share company charged $1.80 per mile and 20 cents per minute, their total payment would be $33 plus the base fare.
A ride across Ocala – from Publix at 5400 SW College Road to Ross at 4901 E. Silver Springs Blvd. – would cost an estimated $29 to $38, according to Uber’s website. The same ride with Lyft would cost an estimated $25 to $35, according to the company’s website.
Pazos - who uses the money he earns to pay for a mortgage, two cars, and private medical insurance - has a full-time job as a delivery driver for a pizza restaurant chain. He also has a 10-month-old son. He wants to be able to spend time with his family, something a conventional part-time job might not provide.
“I need to be able to have full control of my schedule,” he said. “With Uber, I can.”
Flexibility also draws college students to the ride share companies.
“It’s perfect for students that have classes during normal business hours,” said Hunter Cates, 22, of Ocala. Cates has a full-time job selling cars now…[read the full article at www.dailycommercial.com]