Why rideshare referrals are bad business

Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are quite popular these days, supplanting taxis, having to own a car, or just getting rides from friends and family. The extraordinary number of people contracting themselves out to these services is also a testament to how broken our economy is, but that's fodder for another article. All I'm here for today is to tell you why it's bad business to cash in on referrals from these companies. It's actually rather simple. 

If you refer someone to the service, you are only collecting a single payment. A finder's fee, if you will. The issue is the rules that establish the parameters that must be met in order to collect. Both Lyft and Uber have different requirements for their programs, so be sure to check them before getting started, but they can be onerous. For example, with Lyft, you can get $700 if you sign up a friend and they give 320 rides over sixty days. That's about forty rides a week. Based on my experience (with known limitations), that's not easy unless you drive full-time. 

Then there's the matter of how many people you sign up. Most people drive in the area they live, or at least somewhere nearby. Now, if every driver in Orange County were to sign up just one more person to drive, that would, quite literally, double the driving force instantly. The more drivers there are on the road at any given time, the less money you make. Of course, not all drivers will shoot for referral money, and some that do may sign up a few. In the end, no matter how referrals are brought onboard, it means more drivers on the road. 

Two weeks of driving can earn you roughly the same as your referral bounty and, unlike the bounty, it is a repeatable event. Ultimately, working regularly is much better than grab, grab, grabbing a one-time bonus.