What they are

On-Demand Transportation Platforms are one the hottest and most mature on-demand labor marketplaces and drivers have never had so many options to pick from. The basic concept is that a customer who has a smartphone application (app) uses the app and with one press of a button can request a ride. The app or more accurately the platform takes the customer's location and sends a message to the best positioned and available driver who had indicated their availability and location. The driver accepts the request just by using clicking a button and goes to pick up the customer. GPS makes requesting the ride and sending the driver to the customer location easy and automatic. The platform takes care of billing the customer and paying the driver automatically without the need for any cash to be exchanged. The platform provides the marketplace and keeps 20% of the fare as commission. The driver and customer both benefit from being able to transact directly thus cutting out the taxi company that may have high overheads, insurance, inefficiencies, poor customer service and poor technology. The biggest benefit is that anyone can become a taxi driver temporarily to make some extra money using their existing car and spare time and the customer benefits from a lower cost of ride and convenience.

Pros and Cons

The benefits for drivers are 'picking your own hours' and the easy and fast way to get ride/customers and make some extra money without committing to being a full-time driver.

The cons are the competition is getting stiff and rates fall as more and more drivers get into these platforms and you can't count on this for a long term or stable career. Additionally with self driving cars on the way, these jobs may soon be automated.

The drivers on this platform operate as independent contractors (1099) and thus don't get any benefits like healthcare, retirement, sick leave, etc.

Also the hourly rate these platforms pay you are gross billings, After you pay 20% to the marketplace, you also need to cover your own costs like car payments, wear and tear, insurance, maintenance, gas, etc. Most of these platforms discourage or disallow tips.

On-Demand Driver Platform What it offers on platform Who's the customer Who's the provider How Big Cities  1099/W2 Hourly Rates
http://get.uber.com/drive/ Rides Consumers Drivers with cars, SUVs, Limos $50B market value, 185K drivers in US Most cities in the world 1099 $10-25/hr Gross
http://www.lyft.com/drivers Rides Consumers Drivers with cars, SUVs   Most cities in the world 1099 $10-25/hr Gross
http://www.luxe.com Parking & Valet Consumers No car required   Major US cities 1099 $20/hr
http://www.side.cr/drivers/ Rides and Food Delivery Consumer and Restaurants Drivers with cars and SUVs   Major Cities in US 1099 upto $30/hr Gross
http://driver.grubhub.com/ Food Delivery Consumers and Restaurants Drivers with cars   Major US Cities 1099 ~$20/hr Gross
http://www.doordash.com/dasher/apply/ Food Delivery from restaurants Consumers Drivers with cars   Major US cities 1099 upto $25/hr Gross
http://www.instacart.com/shoppers Shopping and Food Delivery Consumers and Stores Drivers with cars   Major US Cities 1099 and some shoppers only W2 upto $30/hr Gross
http://postmates.com/apply All kinds of deliveries Consumers Bike, Drivers with cars, etc   Major US cities 1099 ~ $25/hr Gross
http://flex.amazon.com/ Deliver Amazon Prime packages Consumers Drivers with cars   Seattle, Major cities coming 1099 $18-25/hr Gross


Signup and Background Checks
Most of the platforms have a very easy sign on process and if you have a clean background check, can afford a car and basic insurance and can use a smartphone- you are good to start. The background checks may include criminal and driving record checks and are usually something like

Driving Record

  • No major violations (e.g. DUI, reckless driving, or driving with a suspended license)
  • Aged 18 or older with 2+ years driving experience. Some platforms require you to be 21
  • No more than 2 moving violations if aged 21 or older

Background Check

  • No violent crimes
  • No sexual offenses
  • No theft
  • No property damage
  • No felonies