The Best Cities To Be An Uber Driver

By: Clarissa Vanner
View from passenger in back seat of beautiful young blond woman driver, chauffeur driving a car with directions on her phone on a beautiful sunny day, Commute to work or to airport Getty Images / Nisian Hughes

Rideshare programs are popping up all over the world and are showing great success. Some people are becoming Uber drivers to earn a living while others are doing it to earn a bit of extra cash on the side. But the city you choose to drive in will immensely determine how much you make. Uber drivers can even earn $100 a day by choosing the right city and by driving during busy hours such as 4 am to 9 am, 3 pm to 8 pm, and 10 pm to 1 am. But before you sign up to become a driver be sure to check out our list of the best cities to be an Uber Driver.



Joel Rogers / Getty Images

Seattle has a lot of rain and dreary weather which means a lot of people will be seeking transportation. Between the bleak weather and plenty of young people willing to spend money on rideshares, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to transport passengers. 

Furthermore, Uber just dropped the rates significantly for Uber riders encouraging even more people to use the service. But don’t fret this is not a bad thing! Uber has issued a 24/7 earnings guarantee which states that drivers will make $28 per hour during peak hours, $22 per hour during regular hours, and $16 per hour during off-peak times. If you’ve ever thought about becoming an Uber driver in Seattle, the time is now!



Chicago downtown skyline at sunny day
Getty Images / Anjelika Gretskaia

The Windy City, where you often see people trying to control their outfits and tame their hair as they try to hail a taxi. Perhaps this is one of the great reasons to be an Uber Drive in Chicago. Uber rates are far cheaper than taxis in Chicago which has caused many people to ditch the taxis and call an Uber driver instead. 

Even though the rates are low this doesn’t mean you won’t make any money. According to a study, Chicago Uber drivers are making an average of over $16/hr. That’s about $4 more per hour than taxi drivers. Although as an Uber driver you are not allowed to pick people up from O’Hare airport. That said, passengers are finding ways around requesting Uber drivers to pick them up, thus earning drivers a bigger paycheck.



Long-range photo of Pikes Peak with Denver in the foreground
Brad McGinley Photography / Getty Images

It’s easy to be an Uber Driver in a city where people are friendly and laid back. It also helps that the Denver Airport now allows pickups by Uber drivers. This wasn’t always allowed in the city, however, new legislation has allowed for this ridesharing company to flourish here. 

It also happens to rain and snow in Denver which means more business for drivers as people really don’t like getting wet or walking through the snow. Further, car insurance is generally affordable, gas prices are among the lowest compared to other big American cities and to be frank, people here don’t enjoy using public transportation. Uber drivers are treated with respect from passengers and police and with good roads, good company, and a few rainy days, this is one city that is desirable to be an Uber Driver.



City view of Minneapolis by the 3rd Avenue Bridge
Getty Images / claire gentile

There is no shortage of passengers to pick up in Minneapolis. The city has long cold winters which are an advantage for Uber Drivers because passengers prefer a lift rather than public transportation or trekking through the snow on foot. Minneapolis also has a high percentage of people between the ages of 20-34, those most willing to use the service.

Uber drivers here are constantly working together with passengers to find pick up locations that are near the airport and won’t break any rules. Minneapolis had a slow start to jump on board with Uber but with the ridesharing demand growing every day, the city’s demand for drivers also continues to grow. A helpful tip, don’t miss your chance to work on St. Patrick’s Day where thousands of rides are requested, helping to lower the city’s DWI (driving while impaired) rates.


New York

New York City skyline
Getty Images / Nico De Pasquale Photography

To make the most money per hour as an Uber Driver, you’re going to want to work in New York. A recent study shows an Uber driver in New York averages over $30/hr. That’s a pretty good wage to drive someone around the city! Add in the fact that over half of the inhabitants of this city use public transit on a daily basis and the opportunities for passengers are unlimited. 

It’s also worth mentioning that people are always in a rush which means plenty of people are looking for ways to sink into a comfortable leather seat rather than fighting the crowds on the subway. New York Uber drivers may have to put up with traffic and a few fussy passengers but the drivers here love working in the city!



The midtown skyline and interstate highway system as it merges into downtown Atlanta in the late evening. Viewable are great light trails from the traffic on the highways, Georgia Tech University, and various midtown skyscrapers.
Getty Images / © 2015 Steve Kelley

Now is the time to become an Uber driver in Atlanta. Both Uber and Lyft drivers can pick up passengers at the curbside from the Atlanta Airport. Having the opportunity to pick up travelers from the airport will help you stay busy and earn more money. Keep in mind, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport does have a few rules you should know such as what type of vehicle you need to have and how long you can wait for your passenger. You can learn more about these current rules and regulations on Uber’s website.  

Atlanta also happens to have a large percentage of young and wealthy people. Combine that with very low gas prices and affordable housing costs, drivers face a prime ridesharing environment. Cities like Atlanta are new to the game and with the addition of airport pickups becoming legal, this will continue to be a hot spot for drivers for many years.


San Francisco

Getty Images / Alexander Spatari

The city where it all began is undeniably one of the absolute best cities to be an Uber driver.  It is no surprise San Francisco made this list because the city’s drivers earn one of the highest wages per hour plus you can operate in three different cities!

San Francisco was also one of the first cities to strike a deal with its airports to allow pickup and drop off by Uber drivers creating ample opportunities for you. As a bonus, drivers can also expect to spot celebrities who need a ride around town. Hot weather that pushes people to air-conditioned cars, a low yearly car insurance rate, as well as plenty of people with disposable income, makes this city Uber driver-friendly.


Washington, D.C

United States capitol on beautiful blue sky
Getty Images / ak_phuong

The best place to be an Uber driver is in Washington, D.C. Uber drivers have an excellent opportunity to earn a great wage due to the inclement weather, low driving cost, and thriving middle-class income. 

Uber drivers also have the opportunity to pick up passengers from Washington D.C.’s major airports. That said there are rules and regulations you need to know beforehand. Check out Uber’s website for the up-to-date rules for the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Washington Dulles International Airport. Although there has been some upset around fare drops in this city, the guaranteed earnings program that is put in place by Uber takes the pressure off the drivers.



Boston, Massachusetts - October 4, 2017: the Boston skyline from Fan Pier Park.
Getty Images / ©(2017)ChiaraSalvadori

Boston may be currently on the legal fence when it comes to rideshare programs but they won’t be banning the serving altogether anytime soon. Luckily for this city, Governor Charlie Baker is doing his best to legitimize the ridesharing service. 

Many residents in this city are reliant on public transportation which means there is no shortage of passengers. It helps that the young population here has no problem spending money on rideshares plus most of the students don’t have cars. Trips across the city are usually free of traffic and Uber drivers here spend a lot of time going from one end of the city to another, thus resulting in longer rides and larger fairs.



Aerial shot of Austin, TX skyline during a summer golden hour.
RYAN KYTE / Getty Images

Although Austin can often be found at the heart of the Uber debate, it still pays to be an Uber Driver in this city. Uber drivers tend to stay away from downtown as the Pedi-cab business is still very popular and shows no signing of slowing down. Most recently the city passed legislation that will allow Uber to have a home permanently in Austin. 

The city’s high population of young people that use ridesharing programs, the low gas prices, and the low insurance costs, all play a part in why this city is Uber driver-friendly. The city also hosts many music festivals and parties where people desperately need transportation and drivers are guaranteed to have plenty of work. Plus the people of Austin are known for their friendliness and you certainly won’t have to deal with the pickiness of passengers such as those in a more famous north-eastern city (but we won’t name any names).