Interactive: What Does It Take To Succeed As An Uber Driver?

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Jan 09, 2018
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Interactive, Budgeting, Career

 Update: We have created a new activity to accompany this game: Interactive: Can You Make It As An Uber Driver? 

We have over 40 engaging games like this in our Interactive Library!

In my never-ending search for engaging personal finance interactives (games), I stumbled upon this simulation of what it means to be an Uber driver and all the key decisions that they make everyday. I had a good feeling before I played the game since it was the most engaging story that the Financial Times ran all year (as measured by time on page).

What's cool about the game is that students are constantly making decisions (type of car to drive, whether to chase a surge, whether to pick up inebriated passengers) and then seeing the immediate consequences of their decisions. They also get players to consider life/work balance, how to manage their scarce resource: time, the importance of customer service and short vs. long-term thinking. All this in an engaging 10 minute game. Enjoy!

Thanks to Danielle for developing this set of questions that students can complete as they play the game:

  • What level of difficulty did you choose? Why? 
  • How might a credit score impact one's ability to live in San Francisco? 
  • What type of car did you select? Why?
    • What costs will vary based on the car you selected? 
  • There are lots of investments that you can make as an Uber driver, such as having water/mints, phone chargers for passengers, etc. 
    • What decisions did you make about investments? Why?
  • Many people who drive for Uber do not live in the busy city; rather, they chose to live right outside.
    • What do you think are the financial implications of living a distance from where you work?
  • How did you react to the "ride goal" that appeared while you played? How did that affect your motivation? 
  • The average person spends 26 minutes (one way) commuting to work. What do you think would be the challenges to driving so many hours for Uber?
  • Did you chase the surge when you had the opportunity? Why or why not? 
  • What was your final rating, as determined by the passengers? What do you think had the biggest impact on earning that rating?
  • What was the final outcome when you played the game the first time?
    • How is success measured with this game? Fares earned? 
  • What are 2-3 decisions that you might make differently the next time you play based on what you learned the first time? 
  • What surprised you about the experience of being an Uber driver?
    • Was it easier or harder than you expected? 
    • List the pros/cons of this job based you on your experience. 

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Like this game? Well, we have 40 others (with worksheets) in our Interactive Library. Be sure to check out our most popular game, PAYBACK, so your students can grapple with all those college money decisions. 

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!