Jacksonville is Florida’s largest city by both population and area, boasting a population of just over 890,000 people. It’s a major port city, college town, and job center- all factors that contribute to it being a major city in the Southern United States. They even have a large airport. As long as you’re willing to work around the traffic (and have good air-conditioning during the summer), Jacksonville is a great city to be an Uber driver in!
The best times to drive for Uber in Jacksonville, FL, are usually in the early morning between 7am and 10am, or during the evening rush hour between 4pm and 7pm. Jacksonville also has a growing late-night scene, making it a great place for late-night driving to and from Jacksonville’s many nightclubs and restaurants, especially on the weekends.
Although I currently drive for Uber in Vegas, I did spend a few months Ubering in Jacksonville when I was there visiting family two years ago. It’s a huge city and easily one of the most profitable cities I’ve ever driven in (based on the number of passengers I would drive on an everyday basis). I’ll share all of my “secrets” and divulge the best times to drive for Uber in Jacksonville in today’s post.
The Best Times To Drive For Uber In Jacksonville, FL
One of the reasons I made so much money Ubering in Jacksonville is the city’s sheer size. The population is quickly approaching close to a million people, and in terms of the map- Jacksonville is the biggest city in the entire United States. Although Jacksonville’s population is less than Los Angeles or New York, the city’s size is just over 840-square-miles!
This means that you’ll rarely have to worry about competition or an over-saturation of other Uber drivers. With so much territory in the city and a growing population, there’s more than enough space and passengers to go around for all of the city’s competing rideshare drivers.
While many drivers tend to focus on driving in a particular area (everybody has their own “secret spots” where competition is low and people tip better), some drivers prefer to move from one end of the city to the other so they can see something new. In addition to this, vehicle insurance in Jacksonville is also a little bit cheaper for Uber drivers than they are in Miami
Areas Of Town To Avoid Late-Night
Jacksonville is a developing business center and is full of lots of high-end, modern areas. However, it also does have its fair share of “unsavory areas.” So, before I get into the best times to drive in Jacksonville, I want to give some of the newer drivers a cautionary note for their own safety.
Thankfully, there aren’t too many reports of robberies, but I recommend avoiding areas such as East Jacksonville, Lackawanna, Springfield, and Mid-Westside late at night. These neighborhoods have 200-400% more instances of violent crime than the rest of Jacksonville.
The Best Times To Drive For Uber Based On Jacksonville’s Crowd
Cautionary notes aside, though, Jacksonville is a great city to make money in as an Uber driver. The longer you drive in the city, the more familiar you’ll get with routes, which areas are more profitable than others, how to avoid gridlock traffic, and what times you’re most comfortable driving at.
Jacksonville is one of the biggest cities I’ve ever driven in. Compared to Greenville, SC (which I wrote another Uber article about here), it’s a whole new world. The roads and highways definitely take a little while to get used to, and the best strategy to learn them and become a faster driver in the city is to spend your first few weeks driving around different areas and trying to memorize them.
Whichever city I end up Ubering in, I always create a list of several key groups that I try to target. By targeting key groups, you’ll be able to create a more profitable schedule and know which area of the city you want to be operating in to make the most of the group. Here’s what I’ve found as far as Jacksonville, FL goes.
Group #1: Weekday Workers (6am-9am, 4pm-8pm)
If you prefer a more reliable schedule, then you can’t go wrong catering to the working crowd during the weekdays. Monday through Friday, early mornings and evening rush hours were some of my most reliable shifts. Usually, I’d wake up around 5am, and be on the road by 6am.
Since it’s a larger city and commutes can take longer, most people wake up earlier and try to hail their Uber between 7 and 8am. While some commuters will be going from one end of the city to the other, I found that most work within 15 minutes of where I picked them up from. On a good day, I would drive from 6am to 10am (4 hours) and pick up around 10 passengers.
If I wanted to make extra (or overslept), then I would just hit the evening rush hour when people are either coming home from work or going to their night shifts.
Group #2: Nightlife (10pm-12am, 1:30am-3am)
Although Miami is known for its late-opening nightclubs (some don’t close till 6am), Jacksonville is a bit more reserved. Clubs in the city must close by 3am, so the peak hours for club-goers are between 10pm and 4am. You’ll usually get a nice rush from 10pm to midnight when everybody is pulling up at the club and another rush after 2am as people start to head home for the night.
Group #3: Jacksonville Airport (6am-12pm)
The Jacksonville Airport (JAX) is the second-busiest airport in Florida and processes around 260 incoming flights every day. If you do the math, it translates to thousands of people coming and going on a daily basis. It’s also busy at all hours of the day. While I did try to avoid airport runs during rush-hour traffic, I could always rely on some good tips if I started out my mornings at the airport.
Jacksonville is a huge city, and there are people everywhere. So, no matter what type of driving you feel comfortable with, you’ll be able to make good money driving. Although COVID has recently put a damper on the late-night scene, some of the clubs are starting to open back up, so there are bound to be some profitable late-night rushes coming in the near future!