There are three sides to every story. Your side, their side, and the truth. Uber and Lyft driver share their side on the most outrageous rides of their job. Content has been edited for clarity
He Knew He Had To Do Something
“I am an Uber Black driver. A few months back, I picked up a man and woman in their forties from a restaurant. They were clearly not having a good time, still arguing about something.
Towards the end of the ride, he punched her in the face as hard as he could. When we pulled up at the destination, he pulled out a knife and started to threaten her and me. I told him to take it outside and I drove away.
I couldn’t help but feel bad for that woman, so I drove to the county Sheriff’s department and told them what happened. Luckily, the Uber Black cars have a camera inside so it recorded the events. When the sheriff looked at the video he asked for the address, and they arrested the guy. I also reported the incident to Uber, they called me, and I took a recorded statement by phone.”
They Seemed Quiet And Polite
“I drive full time, mostly Uber, but plenty of Lyft and side deals. Generally, the passengers are okay, I’m huge, and I have their credit card on file. The real horrors are the same shenanigans anyone driving bar closing hours would see. I average 200 miles a night, typically from seven pm to four a.m. I haven’t seen anyone die yet, but I do see someone almost die at least once a night. Drivers under the influence, no lights on the freeway, near misses, wasted college kids running into the street, police chases that don’t make the news, and fender benders galore. I’m much more afraid of the strangers on the road than the strangers sitting behind me.
Two weeks ago, I drove two young girls home around three a.m. on a Friday night. Quiet and polite passengers, but when they got out, I found they had been stabbing at my back seat. The dash cam review showed it. They also were making ‘weapon hand’ gestures at me during the trip. They paid for a new seat, full retail price. Attacking someone driving a car you’re in seems suicidal, but girls under the influence are crazy. I watch the rearview closer now.”
“Never Doing That Again”
“I decided to try my luck with Hollywood one night after the clubs closed. When I pulled up to the pickup location, a stream of people started poking their heads into my car to ask if this car was theirs.
I finally found the girl and she opened my passenger door, telling me to wait because she needed to find the rest of her friends. I was blocking traffic while she was calling for her friends loudly. She dragged one girl into my back seat and return to the still-open front door and told me more were coming. At that time, the police pulled up behind me and used their speaker to tell me to keep moving. I told the girl to get in so I could go around the corner, she refused and kept yelling for her friends.
The cops got out of their car and demanded I move the car or face arrest/ticketing. I told them the girl wouldn’t let go of the door or get in. They started yelling at her and me now to get in or let go of the door. She told them no and that she needed her friends. The cop moved her and closed the door.
I pulled away with her friend who was under the influence and had no idea where to take her. I circled the block a few times and couldn’t find her again. I spent a good amount of time trying to wake this girl up and to get an address.
She finally gave me a rough idea of where she lived. I drove her there and found the rest of her crew standing outside of her place. I didn’t bother asking what happened, I just dump her off to her friends and went home.
Never doing that again.”
“I have had one incident that scared me to the point where I almost kicked them out of my car.
I accepted a trip and headed over to this house where four cholos (Hispanic thugs) hopped in my car. These dudes were wasted and all four had adult beverages in their hands as well as some adult beverage boxes. This was red flag number one for me. The guy in the passenger seat was a big fellow with a rude attitude, very demanding and impolite.
The whole ride was him smacking my chest and following with, ‘Ay fool, why you look so nervous,’ or, ‘Ay fool, just hurry the heck up already.’
And his cousin was telling him to shut up and stop being a prick. The other two dudes just going full ham on Chicano rap. At that point, the dude in the passenger and his cousin were getting violent because the cousin kept defending me from him being a complete prick most of the ride.
Finally, we got to the city they wanted to party in but came to find out that the hotel room they booked was booked for the wrong day. So now they were trying to figure out who was going to give them a room on Valentine’s weekend at two in the morning. All while the passenger was trying to find out where to get some ‘white powder’. At that point, I was irritated and was wanting to just leave them there and go home. But the cousin tipped me forty bucks for putting up with everyone, so I took them to the nearest nightspot and called it good and went on my way.”
“My first and last night driving for Uber.
My first night driving was this last new year in Los Angeles. I dropped off a passenger at a corner by a ton of bars downtown. As I drove off, I randomly look to my left and saw this kid sitting down on the curb, zoning in and out of coherent consciousness while trying to request a ride, surrounded by multiple bouncers outside of this club.
I thought to myself, ‘That kid is going to puke.’
Nevertheless, my naive nature allowed me to quickly shrug off the thought of the likelihood of reality I would soon face (foreshadowing). I continued to drive for a few blocks when I received my next request. Noticing the abnormally close proximity between my last fair and my next, I became a bit anxious. Low and behold, that wasted kid was my next fair. I almost canceled the trip, but greed beat logic and common sense, and fairs were surging.
As we began the trip only a few locks up and around the street, he began to dry heave and I pulled over. Thankfully that was only the case.
We arrived at the destination where he proceeded to tell me, ‘This isn’t Bel-Air.’
I told him I was dropping him off at the address he imputed. He then offered me 200 bucks cash if I took him home. Only a few minutes into our trip traveling 75 miles per hour on the ten from DT to BA, the kid rolled the window down and stuck his head out of the window and puked all over the entire passenger side of the car and a little on the inside of the door (not that bad). The kid lived all the way in the deep end of Bel-Air, closer to the Vally than Sunset Boulevard. He opened his wallet to pay me. If you guessed that this kid didn’t have the money, then you are correct. He slurred to me that his mom would pay me and to hold on. I grabbed his phone to make sure he came back.
Before he made it out of the car, his mom came out and started shouting his name, which just so happened to be my name too. Instinctively I answered, ‘Yes!?’
Still not sure why. She told him to get inside and then asked me to tell her everything that happened, as if that wasn’t her first rodeo. I told her what our deal was and that he got sick everywhere. She sighed, rolled her eyes, and nodded her head as if this was nothing new. She went inside and came back out, handing me 300 bucks and apologizing profusely to me for her son’s actions.
I was quickly able to clean everything off thanks to a windshield brush at the gas station. I hit the road again, made a few more stops, then decided to accept one more, thinking I would stay local. I got to this house in Beverly Hills and picked up this couple at eight point nine surge. Until I started the trip, I had no idea their destination was in Santa Ana, about 50 miles away. Their bill was 639 bucks. All in all, I made 870 bucks after Uber’s cut from eight p.m. to four a.m.
Uber keeps lowering their fairs and giving promos that aren’t worth it, even if only driving a few hours a week. That’s how I popped my cherry.”
No More Exploring For Him
“I once picked up a guy from a pretty shady part of town. I knew I shouldn’t have done it but I did because it was slow.
I took the guy a good 15 minutes away and he asked me to pull up to this apartment complex in another shady neighborhood. He asked me to wait for him to come out. Once again, I obliged against my better judgment. The guy took forever, and I was about to end the trip and leave, because the denizens of this particular project were giving me dirty looks (I’m white).
He came out a few moments later with a Dora the Explorer backpack, reeking of pot. My first thought was, ‘Oh, I messed up.’
I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure there were illegal substances in that bag, and not the nice kind. He asked me to drive back to where I picked him up. I went home after that. The thought of inadvertently contributing to the local hard illegal substance trafficking just soured my night.”
“Take My Money And Leave”
“I just started driving for Uber this past week. It was Saturday night at about two a.m. right before I was about to call it a night. I got a ride request from one of the college bars less than a mile away, so I decided to take it. I got there and picked up three girls clearly under the influence, while the fourth stood outside telling me she was the one who ordered the Uber, and she needed me to take her friends back to her place. The less trashed of the three got into the front seat with me while the other two dragged themselves in the back. They all started asking me if they could throw up in my car and, naturally, I told them no. I also explained that if they threw up in my car, that it was their friend who was paying for this ride that would be charged the 200 dollar clean-up fee.
That made them mad, because HOW DARE I tell them where they could and could not puke. I got to the address (the girl who ordered the ride also asked me to make sure they got inside her house safely), and they got out and started stumbling around this neighborhood, going from house to house trying to find the girl’s house. I walked over to the house with the address plastered on the front door, telling them that this was the address their friend gave me, but they started yelling at me that they knew their friend’s house, and that wasn’t it, and to ‘take my money and leave.’
The backseat girls asked me again if they could throw up in my car, and I gave a final ‘no’. So instead they hurled on my car before I took off down the street. One fell over into the street and just laid there laughing. I said, ‘The heck with this,’ and I left them there.”
His First Time?
“I’ve been driving for over a year and a half now, close to 7000 rides between Uber and Lyft. I have taken celebrities, pro athletes, politicians, you name it.
One night, I picked up a young guy, a local college student I presumed from his sweatshirt. He was a very clean-cut, nice-looking guy. He seemed very normal until he got in my car, he sat in the front seat and still had not entered an address yet. I asked him where he was going. This guy was wide- awake and looked me directly in the eyes, but couldn’t talk. He tried to tell me where he wanted to go, but he was so tense that when he tried to say anything, the words couldn’t come out of his mouth.
I am a pretty calm guy, very calm as a matter of fact, so I just asked him again if he had a place in mind. He gave the same response, except this time he started getting very agitated because he couldn’t speak, so he just started screaming very loudly in frustration, ‘Aah!’
Now I was a little worried, just driving around and waiting for this guy to say something. I figured that he was probably on some kind of uppers and it was his first time. So, I asked him again his address and if he was okay, and again with the same response with an even louder scream. So now I was getting very worried, not only for him but also for my own safety.
So out of the blue, I pulled over and said to him, ‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. I am going to roll up my windows, and you are going to scream as loud as you can. Get it all out of your system. Sounds good?’
He nodded so I rolled up my windows and he screamed. Really, really loud. I was pretty sure everyone around the street heard him. The good news was that it worked. The guy seemed to calm down and could now speak to me. Around that time, his girlfriend called him and I could hear that she was worried for him, but he blew her off and turned his focus towards me.
I wasn’t too sure, but it seemed like he started to trust me more, so he started asking me if I could take him to an ATM. He was still shaken up and I tried to get it out of him, but all he wanted was to go to the ATM. So I convinced him to go to a certain one that was close. On our way there, he started asking questions to me about what I was doing the rest of the night, and if I could stay with him and follow him around. I politely declined because I was Ubering and making money, so I couldn’t.
We finally got to the ATM, and I waited as he fumbled around while trying to work the machine. He got out a huge wad of money, probably a couple grand at least. Then he came back into the car and started asking me questions again about following him around. I kept denying him and asked him where he would like to go I also suggested that he should probably go home or to the person that called him.
After he got the cash, he finally told me that he wanted to go to the casino, and he wanted me to follow him in there because he ‘doesn’t want to lose this money.’
He was very persistent, so I had to keep refusing more and more forcefully until finally, he started offering me money, 50 bucks an hour to follow him in the casino, because he couldn’t lose the money. Tempting, but I kept refusing, thinking they were going to kick him out anyway. I finally convinced him that I wasn’t going to follow him, but he had one last request. Just wait for me here for ten minutes and he would be right back. I waited 15 minutes, closed him out with one star (one of the only ones I have ever given) so I would not get him again, and I high-tailed it out of there.”
That Was An Unexpected Ending
“I drive in Dallas usually on Friday and Saturday nights. It was about one in the morning when I got pinged for a pickup on McKinney Avenue in the downtown area. I was going to just shut down and go home, but the surge was three-fold, so I figured maybe I’d get lucky with a long trip to Plano or someplace.
I fought through the traffic (which is always terrible) and pulled up to the bar. I put my flashers on, but no one came over. Then I texted the rider and looked to see someone pulling out their phone. I saw earlier a 20 something-year-old blonde girl pull out her phone. She was absolutely wasted.
I got out and called her name. She looked at me and promptly fell down. A guy helped her up, and he was feeling her up while he was at it. I walked over, told him to take a hike, and helped her to my car. I put her in the back seat, and it was clear that she was beyond wasted. She was also wearing a little jumper and falling out of it. I put the seat belt on her and asked her for the address. She was practically incoherent but gave me her address. At that point, I was wondering if she had been slipped something.
I drove her to the address, which was uptown (about five minutes away) and stopped. She was passed out in the back seat and reeked so badly of distilled brew that it was nauseating. I helped her out and she fell into the street. I picked her up and walked her to the door of her apartment building. She was struggling to get her keys out of her bag, and she kind of leaned back into me with her butt on my thigh to keep her balance. She couldn’t make her key work, so she buzzed her roommate.
We were waiting for her roommate to come down and open the door, and it was then that the leg of my jeans began to feel wet. Yep, she peed all over my leg down into my sock and shoe. I helped her roommate get her to the elevator, said goodbye, and I headed back out to my car.
When I got to the car, I yelled, ‘no’ and took off my shoes, socks, and pants. I balled them up into a plastic bag I had in the car and put them in the back. I drove home in my boxers.”
“I was driving a man home, who was obviously under the influence, at one-thirty in the morning. He was about 28 years old, and I am 60 years old. He went on and on about his male attributes and how he loved older women, and how ‘hot’ I was. I kept telling him we were not having this conversation, and it was simply my job to get him home safely.
That ride took 18 minutes, and I was on the freeway almost close to kicking him out. But then I thought he might get killed. At some point, he insisted I ‘turn that thing off’ and come party with him, all the while I insisted it was just my job to get him home. It got progressively more graphic, and when the ride ended, he reached over the seat and grabbed my shoulder, to which I forcefully said, ‘Get out!’ and aimed my pepper spray toward his face. He would not let the car door go, so I drove away as he hung on. That got him to let go. I reported him to the help center and as a result, he will never ride in an Uber again. My heart was pounding, but I did keep my cool. It left me shaken indeed.”
He Was Freaking Out
“My first trip of the night was at like 7:45 p.m. I picked up this heavyset guy (probably weighing over 250 pounds) wearing a motorcycle vest. He wanted to go to LAX. So I did the usual thing and turned on the GPS to set the course. Now I know how to get to LAX, but I just wanted to be sure I was taking the quickest route. Right after I started driving towards the freeway onramp, this guy started yelling and cursing, believing I was taking him the wrong way intentionally to try and overcharge. I said multiple times I was trying to take the quickest route based on what the GPS told me, but he still wouldn’t listen.
Due to his language and tone, I then asked him multiple times to leave my car, and he still wouldn’t cooperate. I tried to call the police, and he was yelling over the phone that I was trying to kidnap him and drove ‘five miles out of the way’, which was completely false. The whole time, he had an aggressive and belligerent demeanor, and I was concerned for my safety. He had probably like 100 pounds on me. I eventually took him back to his pickup point, which was how I got him to leave my car. As he got out, he threatened to complain and insulted me again, that time using derogatory words.
I will admit, I did at one point call him a ‘piece of trash’ during the ride and flipped him the bird after he left my car, but honestly that was so deserved. Not the best course of action, but definitely deserved.
I was trying to drive this guy 30 miles through all that traffic, and he was freaking out over what onramp I was using. Anyway, I didn’t file a police report because they wouldn’t do anything in that scenario. I did report him to Uber, and they told me they would take ‘appropriate action’ against the passenger, which would probably be nothing.”