A dream to be a taxi driver in America
By M Jahangir Hayat
How did Uber partner driver Fahad first register himself with the service?
Fahad says his cousins suggested him to start driving for Uber – a service he had never heard before. On their insistence, he got himself registered with Uber in November 2016.
Following are the excerpts from an exclusive interview with the partner driver Fahad:
1. When and why did you start driving for Uber?
It was my dream to be a taxi driver in America and I constantly badgered my father to get arrange a car so I could work for a pick and drop service. After graduating from college, I bought a brand new Mehran. My cousins suggested me to start driving for Uber – a service I had never heard before. On their insistence, I got myself registered with Uber in November 2016.
2. Do you remember your first ride?
Absolutely. On 23 November 2016, I got my first ride from NFC Society. It was an interesting experience because the rider helped me around the app at the end of the ride. The total bill was of 250 rupees after which I had to rate my rider. I gave him five stars. Then another memorable experience was on White Friday, when several women booked rides to various shopping venues in Lahore.
3. Apart from the earnings, what are the other benefits or rewards for Uber partners that you find most compelling?
Once, I was travelling to Islamabad when I got a call from Uber Pakistan. A woman on the other end of line told me that I have been selected to go to Dubai to watch PSL match. At first, I thought it’s a joke. But lo and behold, it was not. I was happy beyond belief to get this opportunity to go to another country to watch a live match.
4. Being a top rated driver, there must be at least one feature of your work ethic which makes the riders rate you well. Do you know what that is?
For best rating, you must keep your car clean, know the routes and keep credit in your cell phone at all times to be able to contact the rider.
5. What advice would you give to new driver partners?
It is in the driver’s best interest to properly attend and benefit from the drivers’ training. It is then suggestible before taking your first ride, to spare some money from your pocket to fill up the vehicle with enough fuel and explore the routes of the city. This way the driver can get a hang of the directions to important places which will ultimately help find the rider’s chosen location without trouble.
6. Uber prioritizes the safety and convenience of its drivers as much as the riders. What other steps can it take to improve your experience of driving on the app?
One, every customer and driver should read the community guidelines for Uber. Those who use the service without being properly informed about its guidelines should not be using it. I’m aware of the safety toolkit and have used the emergency button feature to call the police when a rider was harassing me to go to Sheikhupura. The police arrived promptly and in the meantime, the rider eloped in a rickshaw.
7. Your services are especially valuable to those who use Uber to commute on a daily basis. What can riders do or avoid doing it easier for you to drive them?
Some riders cause unnecessary hassle by deliberately placing pin on a different location under the pretext of safety so their place of residence is not known to the Uber driver. I want to tell them that Uber is a safe app and by doing these things, they are only creating problems that can be avoided.
8.What is your favourite driver feature of the Uber app?
That would be ratings. Having a good rating makes me feel that my customers are satisfied.