As one of Ohio’s largest cities, Cleveland has much to offer those who want to make money as a rideshare driver. Whether you work with Lyft or Uber or drive full-time or part-time, you have the potential to make some serious cash in the Cleveland area if you know how to drive efficiently.
Below is a quick guide for where and when to drive Uber and Lyft in Cleveland. In addition to telling you what you need to know about Cleveland’s busiest areas, we’ll also provide some driving tips and shortcuts to help you better navigate the city during your rideshare shifts.
When and Where to Drive Lyft & Uber in Cleveland
If you want to maximize your earnings, try to drive during peak hours. Like most major cities, Cleveland’s best times to drive are during the morning and evening commute hours and on the weekends during the hours when people are heading out to enjoy the nightlife. Here are some tips for when to drive Lyft and Uber in Cleveland:
- Monday through Friday, from 7–10 a.m. and 5–7 p.m.: Take advantage of morning and evening commuter requests as people travel to and from downtown Cleveland.
- Weekdays, 6 p.m.–4 a.m.: Though there isn’t as much demand during weekday evenings, you can find more ride requests downtown near Progressive Field, University Heights, and West Lakewood.
- Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. –3 a.m.: This is the weekend rush, when you can take advantage of nightlife traffic in Downtown, Lakeview, University Heights, Cleveland Heights, West Lakewood, and West Park.
- Sundays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.: During this time, there is high demand in the Lakeview, Cleveland Heights, and Ohio City areas.
Also, be sure to check out Lyft’s 2018 Cleveland Lyftie Awards. Places like Punch Bowl Social and Town Hall made the list last year. The Lyftie locations tend to be super busy with Lyft riders.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport: What You Need to Know
You don’t have to be an Uber or Lyft driver for very long before you receive a ride request to or from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). If you want your pick-ups and drop-offs to go smoothly, follow the rules of the airport and navigate to the correct areas when dropping off passengers and waiting for ride requests.
When you are on the airport property, keep the Lyft or Uber driver app up until you have exited the airport. Both Uber and Lyft operate on a first-in, first-out basis at the airport. This means that the first driver in the rideshare waiting area of the airport will be the first to receive airport pick-up requests. If you turn the app off, you will lose your place in the queue.
When dropping off passengers at CLE, you can take them to the appropriate departure gate. If you would then like the opportunity to receive a trip request afterward, you’ll need to keep your app up and proceed to the rideshare waiting area, which is located at 20001 Brookpark Road.
Once you are in the rideshare waiting area of the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, you will be able to receive ride requests. After you receive a trip request, you can then navigate to the airport terminal. The pickup location will be on your left. (Just follow the signs for “Rideshare Services.”)
Cleveland Uber & Lyft Driving Tips and Shortcuts
If you want to maximize your earnings (and your ratings) while driving Uber and Lyft in Cleveland, it’s important you know how to navigate the city and get around any high traffic areas. Here are just a few helpful shortcuts for avoiding traffic throughout the city:
- When traveling near University Circle in the afternoon, avoid hitting heavy traffic by taking Chester Avenue heading west, turning left onto East 55th Street, turning right onto Prospect Avenue, and getting on I-90W to I-77S. From there, you can stay on I-77S or take I-490W to avoid Innerbelt traffic.
- If you hit morning traffic on I-77N, exit I-77 at Fleet Avenue, turn left onto Fleet, right onto Independence Road and left onto Broadway. This will take you all the way to East 14th and East 9th Streets.
- To avoid the MetroHealth curve and Innerbelt traffic on I-71N, take 480E to 176N to 490W to Broadway.
- To avoid MetroHealth curve and Innerbelt traffic on I-71S, take I-77S to I-490W to SR 176S to I-480W to I-71S.
- If you’re on the West Side heading south or east of downtown, take I-90E to 176S to I-480E, staying on 480 to head east or exiting on I77S to head south.
- When taking passengers from downtown to the western suburbs, you can avoid traffic by staying in the left lane of I-90E, which then becomes I-490E. Exit at Broadway Avenue, turning left. This will get you to East 14th and East 9th Streets.
Now that you know when and where to drive Lyft and Uber in Cleveland, it’s time to start making the most of your rideshare driving shifts. Use the driving tips and shortcuts above when you need them to avoid traffic and provide a smoother pick-up and drop-off experience.
For new drivers, Lyft offers a sign up bonus earnings guarantee. Check out our Lyft sign up bonus page for more information.