Go On a Vacation
February 25, 2024

Holiday Season Guide: Surge Pricing ' What it is, How it Works for Riders and Drivers, and How to Make the Most of it

When it comes to the holiday season, knowing where to begin your search for ridesharing opportunities can be tough ' both as a rider and a driver. However, there are plenty of simple ways you can optimize your work as a gig driver or rideshare user. We've summarized some of these options today to help ensure you have the knowledge you need to find amazing new opportunities.


Surge driving is a special promotion offered by rideshare apps that are designed to encourage drivers to complete more rides in exchange for a higher rate of pay. The surge driving model is available at times of high demand ' in other words when there are a lot of riders waiting for a driver. Surge driving may also be available for other options, such as home deliveries.


The surge driving model is incredibly effective for gig drivers looking to earn a higher rate of pay. Because the surge driving system occurs when there is an incredibly high call for drivers and not enough people on the road, drivers receive an increased rate of pay for each ride compared to normal ' thereby encouraging more people to drive during surge times to combat the shortfall of drivers.

Surge driving commonly occurs at similar times, owing to the often predictable nature of when the number of riders is likely to be high. However, it is worth considering that surge-driving promotions and bonuses can occur anywhere and at any time, depending on the level of demand. Surge zones may also vary in terms of their boundaries. So, this is important to keep in mind as a rideshare driver for apps such as Lyft and Uber.

During a surge pricing zone, the region covered by the bonus will usually appear in a different color on the map. For example, with Uber, surge pricing appears as being red or orange, depending on the level of demand. Typically, the darker the color of the region in question, the higher the pay bonus will be. This is worth keeping in mind as part of your own rideshare driving goals, as working a few blocks over could be the difference between receiving a bonus and not.

We should also stress that surge zones aren't available for a set time, and many drivers will begin working solely to take advantage of the opportunity. As such, time is of the essence when a surge zone appears, just in case, it doesn't last for long. After all, you wouldn't want to miss out on the surge bonus ' it's often one of the best bonuses available for Uber and Lyft drivers.

During a surge bonus, your pay could increase significantly to anywhere around twice as much or more. Plus, Uber's commission with surge and non-surge orders is the same, so you won't lose out just for the bonus income! This is on top of regular Uber price rises, too!


Surge pricing structures work a little differently for riders than for drivers. During times of high local demand, riders will typically pay a boosted rate to be picked up than normal, owing to the high level of demand for drivers at the time in that specific region. However, the increased rate encourages more drivers to come online, which means that you won't have to wait around for ages until a local driver becomes available. After all, during periods of high demand, it's not uncommon for individuals to find themselves waiting around for ten to twenty minutes if other drivers aren't around to help; the surge pricing model combats this.

The main goal of surge pricing is very simple: it ensures that Uber and Lyft riders can count on the platforms for rapid pick-up and drop-off services when needed.

Do I Have to Pay More During Surge Times?

Surge timings are more expensive than regular driving times since the app needs to tempt more workers to leave what they've been doing (for example, enjoying a day off) to work. As such, riders have to pay more for their lifts as standard with surge timings. However, this isn't necessarily set in stone; for example, if you don't want to pay more for your surge trip, you can wait for several minutes to see if the rate might come down.

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Don't Forget to Shop Around as a Rider

As a rider, it's always worth checking whether an alternative app might be able to provide nonsurge offers. For example, Lyft has around 2 million drivers, while Uber has a total of 3.5 million drivers. However, Lyft is only based in the US, while Uber operates internationally; in fact, the number of Uber drivers in the US is only around one million.

As such, with twice as many drivers working for Lyft in the US compared to Uber, it's entirely possible that a surge location may not always be present with both apps. However, regions such as New York City and California have a whopping share of the overall Uber drivers. So in these zones, Uber may be a better bet for ridesharing.

Of course, the same also applies to drivers, but in reverse. If you're a driver looking to make more from your ridesharing, be sure to check multiple apps to ensure you're not missing a local surge opportunity.


Whether you're a gig driver looking to earn more or a rider wanting to ensure you don't pay about the odds, it's definitely good to know some of the common causes of surge times. Indeed, surge times aren't always set in stone. And, a lot of the time, they happen by chance. However, some of the main things that will increase the chances of surge times occurring include the following points:

  1. Rush hour times: Let's face it ' the roads tend to be much busier with a lot more people heading to work or home. As such, it's perhaps unsurprising that rush hour times are much more likely to become surge times than regular times of the day.
  2. Poor weather: None of us really likes the idea of going out in bad weather. And, when it's especially cold and wet, people are much more likely to hail an Uber or a Lyft ride. Notably, this is especially common in scenarios when the weather seems to come out of nowhere. Indeed, if the weather is unexpectedly bad, people are less likely to have made plans to get home ' and so might call for a ride rather than walking in the bad weather!
  3. During special events: In many cases, special events and holiday times can be amazing earning opportunities for drivers. This is especially true since surge pricing may be much more common during the holidays in some cases since people may not want to drive themselves. This is especially common around the end of December when many people will likely hit the town drinking instead to welcome in the new year!

As such, if you are planning to hail an Uber or a Lyft ride during one of the three above times, you may want to think carefully about ways to avoid getting caught up with surge pricing. But if you're a delivery driver, surge pricing is great news ' be sure to keep an eye out to see if any exciting surge offers or opportunities arise in your neighborhood! And, if you're only just getting into the gig economy this holiday season, good news ' it's a great time to be here!


#1 Focus on Key Events

If there are any big events coming up, you might find that these could be the ideal opportunity to bolster your income through surge pay. Luckily, key events are very likely to pay well, making them excellent options to consider if you need a new way to make money.

#2 Multiapp with Several Platforms

If you want to enjoy new opportunities, multiapping is well worth a try! With multiapping, you have the option to work on several apps at once, which could allow you to bolster your earnings accordingly.

#3 Consider What People are Doing

There's no point hanging around waiting aimlessly for new rides to show up! As a result, we strongly recommend that you carefully consider what people are doing to ensure this can influence your decision accordingly. Remember:

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#4 Avoid Going on Vacation!

It's often tempting to want to go away on vacation during the holiday months for many of us. However, if you want to optimize your earning potential, it's important to avoid this and stay home ' since the holidays can offer countless amazing earning options. Fortunately, planning for vacations as a gig worker can help you choose the perfect time to avoid work ' making it easier to take advantage of surge-pay jobs, instead!


If you're a rideshare driver and need a way to optimize your rides, the Para gig driver app might be just what you need. As a professional gig driver app, Para (your gig HQ for the future) is available for both Lyft and Uber drivers. It offers numerous excellent features that could be highly valuable if you need a professional solution to steam line your deliveries.

The Para driver helper app is available for anyone wanting to earn more with gig work. It provides a simple and easy-to-use interface that makes delivery driving effortless, and the Para gig driver app is the ideal way to help. Some of the main features of the Para app that make it excellent for boosting your income as a gig driver include the following points:

  • Auto decline rides: Not all rides are as profitable as others, especially if there's a long distance between you and the pick-up destination. Luckily, the Para gig app can help users manage their offers more quickly thanks to the in-built accept and decline feature. This automatically manages ride offers based on your pre-determined metrics, ensuring you don't spend hours pointlessly swiping through unprofitable offers.
  • Total drive time and mileage: Knowing how far you'll have to go for your rideshare trip is an integral part of any decision. With this thought in mind, ensuring you know the total drive time and mileage before you accept an offer can help you find the most valuable rides.
  • Rating systems: Knowing a passenger's rating before you head out on a drive is crucial; after all, no one wants to offer a trip for a difficult rider! Being able to see how a passenger's rating looks from past rides is a great way to ensure you don't end up taking on difficult riders who might make your experience driving for them miserable. Plus, it's well worth considering that not all passengers will leave a tip, so a highly-rated rider may be more likely to offer a good tip if you deliver a great experience.
  • Dollar-per-mile estimates: In order to make your decisions easier, the Para app offers a simple dollar-per-mile estimate system that allows you to quickly and easily compare between jobs. In doing so, you can find the most lucrative offers to make a good hourly rate!

If you think the above points fit well with your gig work, be sure to sign up with the Para gig driver app today and begin finding exciting new opportunities. You might discover a new way to use gig apps accordingly!

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Whether you're a gig driver or a Rideshare user, ensuring you've got the right strategies in place to make the most of available drives during the holiday season is vitally important. However, if you've been feeling unsure about which option is right for you, there's a lot to consider ' and finding the best gig apps for your needs is one of the most important first steps.

Luckily, both Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular ridesharing apps for drivers and riders alike, so these could be excellent options to consider if you need a new tool to find a rider or driver. And, if you need another option to enhance your deliveries, Para could be the perfect tool to streamline your work.

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