Predicting Prime Time and Surge

Predicting Prime Time and Surge

It’s a known secret kept between experienced lyft and uber drivers but I’m going to reveal it to you. The Uber app has been updated but the same technique is somewhat useable. Please read the Lyft guide first and then you’ll understand the Uber method pretty easily.

Predicting Lyft Prime Time

By using the passenger app you can drop a pin to see where other drivers are located. Simple right, but how donyou use this to your advantage?

By using a strategy that I call fishing, you can move the pin around and find areas of high demand. Look for areas where there are no other drivers and that preferably shows a 10 minute plus wait time. Drive there with your driver app turned off, this will effectively keep the demand high. You want to wait until it’s prime time to go into driver mode.

Prime time actually happens before it shows you the pink tiles on the driver side of the app. You can test it by using the passenger app. First set your pickup location with your pin and then choose Set Pickup. Now you need to choose Add Destination. Click Choose On Map and you can easily drop the pin somewhere random and select Set Destination.

Once you do this then it will show you the current rate. If it is Prime Time then it will show you the percentage before the price. Once you select a destination it will save it while you still have the app on and you can easily resume fishing by moving your pin around, selecting set pickup and then seeing if it’s prime time of not. This helps you stay one step ahead of all the other drivers out there.

As soon as you see it showing Prime Time pricing in your area then you can turn on driver mode and hope to snag a good ride.

Uber Surge Predicting

First off, as of a couple weeks ago Uber has updated their passenger app and you can no longer drop a pin on a location. So while you can still use this technique with the Uber app it’s a little more complicated.

Fishing with the Uber app is a little more complicated and will require you to do a little more work than fishing with lyft. Simce the update you need to manually enter an address into the app. You’ll need to do your research ahead of time and find some good addresses to use. I’ll talk more about how to do that research in the tips section below.


Do your research… Learn your area and find trends. Trends will have a location and time associated with them. Take note of these trending times and areas and use this knowledge to help you be where the demand is before anyone else. You’ll be able to find good areas to fish at will increase your chances of getting a prime time ride.

Logging Off… Demand is higher when there are less drivers on the road. You may want to be the one to get whatever ride you can get but by leaving your app off of driver mode you can build a demand and technically make it surge. Unfortunately there aren’t many informed drivers out there and they stay logged on. This is why finding those high demand areas with a long wait time is key because you are controlling the demand in that area.

Two phones… Most of the best drivers out there have 2 or more phones that they use to make this whole process easier. By having a phone dedicated to passenger apps you won’t have to swith between driver mode and passenger mode and can have your other phone ready to go online as soon as you see that prime time or surge pricing.

If you have any other ideas or thoughts to add then let us know in the comments section.

Join Uber Eats Today

Make extra side money delivering food instead of people with Uber Eats. Almost any car can qualify.
Sign up to drive today
Sign Up Now