Notice: read the mathematics of Uber and Lyft first and Pro Tip #4.
Drivers need to be very aware of traffic conditions especially on highways. Uber and Lyft ‘per minute‘ rate is very low, spending an extra hour in traffic to (and from) the riders drop off location seriously eats into a drivers profits. The author has personally experienced the joy of a $25 fare that took 3 hours round trip due to bay area traffic; that is roughly $8.33 an hour; all the while the city was surging. Staying in the city would have made this driver a lot more money.
Point being, Uber 1.0x only pays $.22 per minute while your sitting in traffic equaling $13.20 an hour, and pays nothing on the way back.
Now scoring a 2.0x or above surge means $.044 a minute which is $26.40 an hour; that might be enough to overcome this situation.