GET A $$$ BOOST!
Ride sharing has emerged as one way to gain a boost. If you have a car that is a model year 2011 or later you can become a Lyft driver (required for certain cities, like Boston). As of March 2016 the sign-up bonus in Boston is $750 if you complete the quota of rides, usually within 30 days according to a schedule you set. But you must sign-up with a referral code to get the bonus. I hope you'll consider using mine: https://lyft.com/drivers/brandon499086 Click to apply! I will earn the same amount as you if terms are met. See the table currently at https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/articles/214678827 or search help.lyft.com for driver referral rewards and other criteria by city.
Once you pass the application/approval process to drive, you have a revenue stream that can be tapped any time. At the time of this writing you don't even have to keep a minimum number of drive-time hours to keep your account.
The approval process is thorough. The quality of the vehicle and your driving skills are evaluated by a Lyft mentor selected from their driver pool, and an intensive criminal background check is done which may take a couple of weeks, but there will be a response.
You also gain the benefit of insight and experience from that mentor.
Certain features are activated in the app when you become a driver. Swipe the driver mode button right at the top of the screen and you're now an independent contractor; a map of several nearby communities are highlighted where demand is high. The darker the highlight, the greater the demand.
If you're in driver mode a minimum of 6 hours over the course of a 5 day week you should clear somewhere around high two/low three figures(in my experience in a moderately large urban center); adjusted for minimal expenses (i.e. gas) and current deductions (Lyft collects 25% as of April 2016). Your earnings can multiply by driving during peak demand times, such as local events or holidays/entertainment specials (i.e. Super Bowl).
Lyft regularly offers guaranteed hourly earnings. It's also advisable to be aware of how to maintain a high rating when driving for Lyft. Besides the wealth of info online, some suggest using Lyft as a rider to get an "up close/personal" view of how highly rated drivers conduct themselves.
Now, every opportunity carries some risk. Most can be managed just as in any income producing activity. (Drivers get plenty of practice managing risk!) I'll only cover some of what I think are the more weightier concerns.
One hesitation you may have at this point in your deliberations is what kind of person will get into your car. A dash-cam is the cure for what might ail you (as far as hazards inside and in front of your car, anyway)!
I've never experienced negative episodes, but the reasons for having a (preferably dual-lens) dashcam go beyond protection from assault.
There are various ways one might be unjustly accused of improper behavior or harassed, for example.
You might also have auto insurance on your mind. This is not the barrier you might think.
While in driver mode Lyft provides $1 million dollars for liability and collision coverage (search lyft.com/safety and/or help.lyft.com for specifics). Presently it is in effect in all states except New York. Rideshare coverage is also evolving in the insurance industry but you'll need to check availability in your state. There are at least two providers I'm aware of that have developed policies, and others are anticipated. Your favorite search engine will no doubt reveal what is needed to aid decision.
The last one I'll cover today also depends on where you live. In some cities you must display a Lyft emblem in the right lower corner of your windshield, but Lyft encourages all drivers to display it to avoid any possibility of a citation.
There's a large amount of content on the web that gives very good detail about Lyft. I recommend following their guidelines once you sign-up, tips from your mentor and perusing their site as well as a number of others concerning ridesharing.
WHY STOP THERE? (Heh heh!)
There are more ways to earn, such as by passenger and driver referrals.
Combine this with Lyft perks, which among other things offer discounts for various car maintenance services, and serious reward potential comes into focus.
The news has shown how dynamic this industry is, so that's just one more reason to make the most of driving for Lyft today. You can use my referral code https://lyft.com/drivers/brandon499086 to get that boost!