Notice: read the mathematics of Uber and Lyft first.
Maximize profits by only driving trips that make financial sense. Drivers are not working for a $6B charity, if Uber or Lyft is going to make money then so should you. Many drivers sell themselves short without realizing it, they just accept that all trips regardless; doing so can create conditions where you can make less than minimum wage.
First off, drivers are independent contractors, under California law and IRS state independent contractors have both behavioral and financial control. As an independent contractor, it has to be contractors decisions on whether they make a profit or loss, hence it’s the contractors right on which job(s) to accept.
What makes a good ‘work area‘? It is one where a driver can primary knows the area. Knowing the streets one drivers makes a better experience for passengers. Although we have no proof or evidence of such, we expect that knowing the area means less dependence on GPS directions allows for more of a drivers attention to the road and surroundings thus a safer trip.
A good ‘work area‘ also means being in an area where a driver can maximize their unpaid time and maximize their paid time. This implies being in an area that one can get back to back trips that are close to each other; urban area’s will be superior to suburban areas. Urban areas also tend to pay more.
An astute driver should be asking at this point “How to only accept profitable fares that are above minimum wage within my work area when we are faced with the limitations of the Uber app?” The answer is you outright cannot but there are workarounds.
No longer possible. Take note of the riders rating, the surge pricing, and whether it is pool or uberX. Accept the trip. Look at the waybill for the destination, if none is listed then IMMEDIATELY call the rider and ask them their destination. Inform the rider if you are willing or not to do the trip; explain the Uber cancellation policy if it’s done within two minutes by the rider their is no fee, if they do it after that or the driver cancels it’s a $5 fee.
New way (7/11/2016). Accept the ride and send the following (or similar) text message thru the uber app “Hello, I only do destinations in the greater san jose, milpitas, mountain view area. No SFO, SF, Los Gatos, Fremont ares, period. Please cancel within 2 minutes of requesting, or call after that and i can cancel it for free. Thanks.”