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Minneapolis Super Bowl
Minneapolis Super Bowl
Minneapolis Super Bowl (Post 2) Inauspicious start: Get car wash. Wash quit working with half the car washed. Unlimited car wash sticker so went thru again. Didn’t recognize unlimited tag. Paid by credit card. Wash stopped in dry cycle. Went into station to get a refund. Long line. Long process to get refunded. By then, the water drops on the car (lots of them since dry cycle not completed) had frozen. (But it’s the Minneapolis Super Bowl!)
But, oh well, life happens. Nothing like these lyrics from Bob Dylan to put my problem into perspective: “When my life is over, it’ll be like a puff of smoke, How long must I suffer, Lord, how long must I be provoked?”
Got a ride from Maple Grove into the corner of Minneapolis near Brooklyn Center and Crystal. (Think that’s where it was). Number of short trips back into Maple Grove eventually. Took a couple of breaks. About to quit for the day but was $10 away from my goal. Got a ping to Malone’s in Maple Grove. Expected it to be a short run home for a person or group.
Two guys get into the car and I see the destination is Mad Jacks in Vadnais Heights (Remember from earlier post? (“You can check out any time you want but you can never leave!”) Before I could get destination set, got another ping, someone going home from work. Then set destination (Simon and Garfunkel “Homeward Bound). End of day, $15 over my goal for the weekend.
The ride to Mad Jacks is where one of my passengers was Nino Niederreiter of the MN Wild! I’ve never been sure if it really was him. The guy with him said it was, and he said he was, and he gave me autographs for 3 of my hockey playing granddaughters, but still…..
Week (work) days
You are probably wondering what some of these posts have to do with the Minneapolis Super Bowl. Well, about my experiences and it shows that so far, the Super Bowl hasn’t impacted ride share driving much except to make it harder to get around in downtown with all the preparations. Interruption: Here is a link to another Super Bowl stadium I visited in April.
Decided to start at 6 AM. Didn’t get online until 6:40, cut into some prime time. Got a ride from Maple Grove to the airport. Stopped to check the airport queue to see how long it was (58) and how much it went down in 10 minutes (to 47). I’m not going to wait it out. Last summer when I did an airport drop off, most of the time, I had a pickup within 10 minutes or so. (Bob Dylan: The Times, they are a’changin’.)
Still Monday AM
Did get a short ride to the newly remodeled Minneapolis Armory. (It was used for various purposes over the years so took major rehab work.) Member of the crew doing the promotion and set up for the events there this week, so another Minneapolis Super Bowl connected rider. Only the second one since Saturday when I brought some people downtown to see the events. My “Streak” bonus appeared on this one so it appeared longer than it was. Finished around 11 and headed home, not really worth going out, but again, an experiment.
Went back out Monday PM from 3:30 to 7 with a couple of breaks so only driving about 2.5 hours. Did 6 rides with 4 of them long rides. One from North Target office complex up north of 610, just east of 169 to Minnetonka. The next one from .5 miles away (still in Minnetonka) to her home in New Brighton. Total of 4 long rides with pickups close to the drop-offs of the previous one. Then another from the North Target complex to downtown. My only trip downtown and nothing related to the Minneapolis Super Bowl.
Probably shouldn’t even go out today but want to drive every day during this time. Maybe 2-3 hours and see what happens Went out around 4 PM. Got a few rides on both Uber and Lyft. There were 2 that were Minneapolis Super Bowl connected. One group to Nicollet Mall from St. Louis Park and the other from Nicollet Mall to Roseville. Really quiet otherwise. not much traffic downtown. I did see that one driver posted about picking up some Eagles fans. (Yes we do that in spite of what some people think!). With so many people in town, hotel rooms are scarce and expensive. I’m sure there will be people staying in the suburbs, maybe even outer suburbs. Heard of some fans staying in Eden Prairie which is 15 to 20 miles from US Bank stadium.
The Patriots are staying at JW Marriott adjacent to the Mall of America and the Eagles are staying at the Radisson Blu also at the Mall of America. (10-11 miles from US Bank Stadium)
Thinking about a plan for tomorrow (Wednesday). Supposed to be a lot of fans coming in starting then. Doesn’t seem to make sense to work the airport as we see a Queue number and there are usually from 60 to 120 cars ahead of us when we pull into waiting lot.
Well, it’s not “Dirty Work” (Steely Dan). And it hasn’t been a “Hard Day’s Night” (Beatles). It’s probably “All in a Day’s Work” (Styx)
But really we need to “See What Tomorrow Brings” (Peter Paul and Mary)
Looking for Dylan lyrics to try to fit into the situation:
“And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go”
Reminded me of the National Guard soldiers downtown working on security for the big game. Seemed to be doing more watching than anything. But I guess that’s what they do.
Today we should see if Uber and Lyft predictions are correct and which drivers will find the “sweet spot” to operate. Should be a large number of people arriving today but too many drivers work the airport. Thinking about alternative strategies.
I’m outa here. Five trips in a couple hours. Home to New Hope to Downtown to uptown to Eden Prairie. …and so it goes. “Just can’t wait to get on the road again” (Willie Nelson). (For those who are not from the Twin Cities, those four destinations equaled about 40 miles.)
Still at it. Ride from St. Louis Park to Maplewood. Over 20 miles. Now just enough snow to make it slippery in spots. Maplewood again. Hotel California. (See previous post if you don’t know what I mean.)
Out from 3:30 to just after midnight. Taking out time for breaks was “working” for about 7 hours. Had 5 rides that were related to the Minneapolis Super Bowl. Anyway related, working at the game, working as prep for any related event, attending any event remotely related. Total of 9 rides related since last Friday out of a total of 81 total rides. “See What Tomorrow Brings”!
Think I’ll go out about 3 or so today (Thursday) and keep at it as long as there is activity. Last night I had 5 rides out of a total of 16 that we related to the Minneapolis Super Bowl in some way. The next few days should pick up.
Have I explained “surges” to those of you who are not familiar with this kind of work? When the demand for drivers exceeds the supply, Uber applies a mulitplier to the cost (for the rider to pay) to bring more drivers. (Lyft has the same thing but calls it something else.) Some drivers make good money by being where the surges are. Drivers who “chase the surge” usually don’t get much, A driver needs to know where surges occur and when (like downtown on weekends) or just hit it lucky.
Uber and Lyft both told us to expect “insane” demand starting Wednesday. It certainly wasn’t that but it was steady. The NFL and a lot of sponsoring companies brought in their own limos or locked up local limos for the events around the Super Bowl Festival. And many drivers started new or drivers who had been inactive came back for this week.
A passenger pointed out a hotel where the owners were having their Minneapolis Super Bowl party. Big-name entertainment, of course. He said there might be business for me. Like I’m sure Jerry Jones or Roger Goodell is going to take an Uber! Of course, there may be workers from there so I can’t scoff at it.
Last night I was content with picking up in areas where there weren’t as many drivers. Picked up business and stayed busy all night. Just happy to get riders in this crazy business. Reminds me of Jackson Browne lyrics from “The Pretender”
“I’m gonna be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender”
Which kind of means to me is that I was “blissfully unaware” that there might be more lucrative work elsewhere. But maybe not as steady as I had. I did take a couple from St. Louis Park to a concert in Maplewood. For those not familiar with the Twin Cities, it’s from west of Minneapolis to north of St. Paul. Nearly 25 miles.
Wrap up post for mid-week
I entered into an agreement with a company called CARgo that provides a box with mostly free snacks. It’s all automated of course. The rider goes to a website, enters my code and I get a text message telling me what they ordered so I can give it to them at the end of the ride. They have worked out promotional opportunities with large companies to provide samples. One of the treats is mini Rice Krispy bars. For example, Kellog may say “We will provide you with 2 million of these and $250,000 to promote these because we need to sell more”. (My numbers are just pulled from the air, I have no idea of the actual numbers.)
Last night I had 3 U of M students who nearly cleaned me out of Red Bull. They ended up getting 11 cans as well as about a dozen other items. I get paid for everything even when giving away snacks. There are a couple of items that need to be purchased as well. Since last Friday, I’ve made $55 with this. Other’s have made more but I’m just learning how to promote. That’s on top of earnings from Uber and Lyft so it’s almost clear profit. (Hope I don’t get stuck with unsold merchandise and have to pay for it!) Here is a link about CARgo entering into agreement with Uber.
The Driveby Tourist