An app called Surge provides Uber drivers the ability to monitor their current location or fixed locations for surges. They can receive notifications when surges start, change and end. With this information, they can decide when to go online and accept rides. They can also put pins in a map to be notified of surges in those areas. Receiving a surge notification, they sometimes turn off all ride-share apps until they arrive in the area, so they are not called to a non-surge trip on the way.
SherpaShare uses location tracking to chart the mileage driven, and at the end of each trip, the driver indicates its purpose as work or leisure. Drivers can deduct 58 cents per mile driven from their taxes as a business expense, so it’s important to keep track, and the app can create I.R.S.-compliant reports for tax purposes. TripLog and Everlance are other similar apps that some drivers have come to rely on.
Ride-share drivers use a number of other categories of apps more than the typical mobile user does, according to Lexi Sydow, senior market insights manager at App Annie mobile insights and analytics. These include banking, parking, gas loyalty and car maintenance apps. They are also more likely to use job seeking apps like ZipRecruiter.
The drivers aren’t alone in juggling Uber and Lyft. Passengers will often call up each app to see if one ride is substantially cheaper. Both Google Maps and Apple Maps display some ride-share options, depending on location.
The app Migo shows passengers local ride-share options as well as bikes, scooters, taxis, public transit and car shares. When Lyft and Uber ceased working with it, the company recently shifted its focus to smaller and international ride-share companies like RideAustin in Texas and GETT in Israel and Britain.
International markets have a much richer set of mobility options, said Jeff Warren, founder of Migo. It’s hard, though, for travelers to do the research to find the best local ride-share companies and then download each app and enter payment information, he said.
Migo aims to solve that problem by integrating access to those services into its app, including the ability to book and pay for the ride. In Paris for example, Migo will have about a dozen choices for travelers.
The number of new entrants in this field is expected to keep rising, because there is a great need, Mr. Campbell said. “Riders are looking for options,” he said, “and drivers are looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition.”