Is anyone using Uber or Lyft for shuttles?

I love to solo in my canoe. I can do a shuttle using my pickup and bicycle. But Summer is hot for the bike, and sometimes the hills are steep and there are long out of route mileages with unsafe traffic. So, has anyone used Uber, Lyft or even a cab for a shuttle? How did it go?

just paddle upstream out and with the current back.
It’s good for you.

Uber and Lyft don’t exist where I live. There is a cab company in the nearest town, but it’s nowhere near any rivers.

When I do paddle a river, it’s out and back.

I’ll need to do this next month. I have friends coming to town and the river they want to paddle is too long and the current too fast to paddle up and back in the time we have. Plan is to pick up a rental tandem in addition to my two kayaks and launch at the head of the river, paddle down and then call an Uber to bring me back to the car. Not my ideal setup but given the constraints I am working with it’s my best option.

1 Like

No haven’t used uber or lyft or taxi…those are city services. I kayak in the country.

I have hired an outfitter to shuttle my truck too the take outs.

OK - better explanation on why.

If you have a tandem plus two kayaks of your own it’ll take more than one car to transport that, yes? If that is the case then just drop one car at the takeout. If you have to use Uber or Lyft, start by using the tools on each of their sites to confirm if they have coverage from the takeout back to your car. And of course cell phone coverage as well.

Problem is that we don’t have two cars - I only have one and these friends are flying in for vacation (I’m actually dropping them off at the airport on the way back from paddling!)

I can technically put three kayaks on my racks, but am not comfortable driving 1 hr 20 min on the highway with the rack loaded over its designed limit, and my car is getting old and has some rust issues on the roof. I’m OK taking my two plastic singles (55 lb each) but don’t want to add a 70 lb tandem to the mix. I’ll pick it up and drive 5 miles down the road to the head of the river, but not 60 miles down the highway. It’s a tricky scenario that would have been a non issue if the state park didn’t stop letting rentals paddle all the way down the river!

You are not going to get an Uber or Lyft driver to carry a kayak.
You need to rejigger this plan. A lot.

We have used Uber as a shuttle before, it worked fine. We had one vehicle, 2 kayaks. Paddling upstream was not an option. It just meant one person took the uber back to the vehicle which we left at the put in. The other waited with the boats. By the time I got back to the boats at the takeout my wife had all the gear packed up and our picnic dinner all set up. Make sure you check driver availability in the area you are paddling and schedule a ride in advance if you can.

We have also locked our bikes up at our take out location and used them to ride back to the car if there was a decent bike route. Good Luck.

I’m not asking them to. My friends can wait with the kayaks while the Uber brings me back to the car.

1 Like

If you normally shuttle with bike, using Uber/Lyft/taxi to shuttle should work just fine (if you have them). All the same issues of leaving your boat behind in a safe place while you are shuttling have to be dealt with, but it is the same whether you shuttle by bike or car. probably be nice if you make sure you have dry clothes to wear in the ride share.

We have lots of Uber and Lyft around here. I can’t recall hearing about people going in planning to shuttle by ride share, but do hear when someone sets a shuttle for a long one-way trip (or even some out and backs) and find they need to cut it short, so use a ride share to undo the shuttle.

Your last post suggested the tandem would have to be carried. You said you could not carry more than 2 boats with your car. Unless you did not mention that you planned to make two runs for the kayaks before dropping friends at the airport?? Or that you have arranged an alternate pickup for the rented tandem?

I am trying to help here but you aren’t making it easy.

Let me try again. It is not possible to rent a kayak and paddle the whole length of this river. It is not possible for various reasons to paddle up and back (time constraints, lack of paddling ability, younger children). I only have one car. I can rent a tandem at the bottom of the river and drive all three kayaks up to the head of the river where we can paddle down, but then I need a way to get back to the car. Hence Uber. (I don’t want to drive on the highway with three kayaks on the roof - I could rent a tandem locally and bring it, but that still leaves me with the problem of getting back to the car anyway)

Does that make more sense? This is not at all how I usually do paddling trips but special circumstances of friends visiting with a short time window dictate unusual plans.

Ok, got it. Once you are done with the paddle, the tandem has been returned to its home. So yeah, check the coverage information for each of those services on their web site. And add appropriate time in case the rental place is in a hard to find location. I have a weird address and even in the city and regularly watch them turn the wrong way at the second intersection south of my place.

I have checked and Uber is available in the area (although rather expensive). I’ll make a reservation when it’s close enough (less than a month). Fortunately the little marina where we can pick up the tandem is quite easy to find - literally right on the road.

My son drives for Uber and Lyft in a large city.

Sounds like you have the plans worked out and I have talked to him about what it is like being an Uber driver and it sounds like a rather interesting time to say the least. He is very successful doing it and he works with people and tries to make their trip as good as he can. He said he is allowed to refuse 5% and he from time to time doesn’t pick someone up that is clearly drunk or on drugs. He has a new car that he has to keep looking perfect and with advanced notice will work with people needing special things. If you get a good ride don’t be afraid to tip. The wear on a car and fuel and waiting around and Uber taking their sizable cut all subtract from profits.

I used to plow driveways and some guy had a 150’ driveway with 18” of wet snow in it and he flagged me down and I said ya I can clear it for 40 bucks. Keep in mind it was going to take him 4 hours to shovel it out or more. He said told me what a racket I have 40 bucks for 10 minutes work setting in a nice warm truck. I told him feel free to go buy a truck for 40 grand and then put a 10 grand plow on it and get 10 MPG and he can do the same thing.

My kid told me one tip on riding in Ubers. He said don’t slam the door when you get out. He said in his car you slam the door you get a low rating and that means he never sees you again as Uber wont send you to him again, and others see a low rating and might not take the ride also. I had to laugh and he said it is his pet peeve. Kind of like a sign of disrespect.