Aww, hail no: Rideshare drivers offer up their wildest stories


Illustrations by Cristina ByvikIt’s difficult to think about what life was like before the invention of rideshare apps. How did people get home from bars? How did one get to the hotel from the airport during a vacation? It seems like so long ago that those were the worst of first world concerns.

According to the most recent ride share data from 2015, there were 8 million worldwide users of the rideshare app Uber and 631,000 for Lyft (imagine what the numbers are today). Adding up the total distance of just Uber trips taken through 2015, the journey would equal more than a roundtrip to Saturn. That’s out of this world!

With more than 1.5 billion miles under rideshare drivers’ tires, there are bound to be some interesting stories to come from the backseats of their cars. PACIFIC recently sought out local rideshare drivers and asked them to share their most memorable stories. Here’s what they had to say.

Steve Y. (aka Boysan Faletusi)

56, Chula Vista

Drives: Jeep Commander (2013-2016) and Kia Sedona (2016 to present)

Drives for: Lyft, 4 years

Besides the money, why do you drive for ride-sharing companies?

Save lives (from drunk drivers and lower DUIs) and protect women from stalkers.

What time of day do you prefer to drive?

Dusk to just before dawn, (because there are) more passengers, fun crowds, wild experiences and more money.

Describe your most memorable ride.

I have given nearly 8,000 rides, (but) I’ll share my first night, July 2013.

It was midnight, during Comic-Con, and I received a Lyft Plus request in Pacific Beach. When I rolled up, six young men jumped into my Jeep. They all looked like they were in their early 20s; they appeared to have been “pre-gaming,” too.

I welcomed them on board, “Aloha! Welcome aboard the Luau Lyft. What are you boys celebrating?”

A few of them shouted out, “It’s our buddy’s 21st birthday and we’re gonna get him drunk in the Gaslamp!” I dashed out to the back of my ride, grabbed six leis - all different colors - returning with a shout of, “Happy birthday, everybody gets lei’d!”

We drop onto Sixth Avenue and catch a red light at F Street, right in front of (American Comedy Club). I look out at the crosswalk and see three young ladies walking in front of us. Two of them are paired up; the third one looked so faded she was walking a little crooked. (The drunk one) approached my vehicle, noticing the huge pink ‘stache on my front grill (a signature of Lyft vehicles at the time). She looks at the ‘stache; she looks up at me and the boy in the front seat. She looks back down to the ‘stache and grabs it.

She begins to roll the ‘stache between both hands, while licking her lips and staring us down with a naughty smile on her face. Then, she drops the ‘stache, pumps her fist in the air and screams, “I want a mustache ride!”

Now, she begins to crawl on my hood - kinda like the scene in the old ‘80s Duran Duran video, Hungry Like a Wolf. The boys begin to chant, “Jump in the Jeep! Jump in the Jeep! Jump in the Jeep!” Her two lady friends look back and run over to peel her off of my hood. They exit to the sidewalk, the lights turn green; the fella in the front and I have a look of deer in headlights.

He asks me softly, “Does this happen every night?” I answer like a teenager, “I dunno. This is my first night. But, if this is what it’s like, I’m driving every night!”

What’s the funniest or craziest thing that has ever happened to you on a ride?

Guy unzipping his pants for his girlfriend.

Here’s their conversation:

Guy: Do ya feel it?

Girl, chewing and popping her gum: Yes.

Guy: Whaddaya think?

Girl, sounding almost disinterested: It’s alright.

Elyse C.

28, downtown San Diego

Ride(s): Electric shuttle

Drives for: FRED (Free Ride Everywhere Downtown), 2.5 years

Besides the money, why do you drive for ride-sharing companies?

I love supporting a service that provides free and eco-friendly transportation to downtown San Diego. It’s also an awesome way to meet new and interesting people, and experience the city in a completely vibrant and exciting way.

What kinds of people make the best passengers?

Chatty and outgoing passengers are the best. It’s way more fun for a driver to have a conversation with their rider, especially because you never know where it will lead, than to sit in awkward silence. The silence can be deafening...

Describe your most memorable ride.

One of my most memorable rides was almost being kissed by a stranger while waiting at the light on Fifth and Market (streets). He popped his head into my window and started going in for the smooch, and I had to swat him away. Not a fan of unsolicited drive-by drunk kisses!

Ever driven a celebrity around?

Yes, I’ve been in the car with The Fat Jewish! A couple cans of White Girl Rosé may or may not have been shared between us - post work of course.

Brian B.

31, La Mesa

Ride: FRED

Drives for: Right now, I work for FRED, but in the past I did drive for Uber and Lyft. I have been with FRED for a little longer than one year and I drove for Uber and Lyft for two years.

Besides the money, why do you drive for ride-sharing companies?

I enjoy meeting and talking to new people. Every day is different. Every ride is different. It isn’t monotonous. I also enjoy the regulars that I get with FRED. It is an enjoyable and stress-free job.

What kinds of people make the best passengers?

People who are in a good mood and talk to me are the passengers I like. I have had some passengers who are grumpy and they are just on their phone the whole ride. I can’t start a conversation with that person. I am trying to make that person’s ride enjoyable for them.

Describe your most memorable ride.

I got a kiss from a passenger at the end of a ride. That was memorable and fantastic.

What’s the longest ride or strangest destination you’ve ever been asked to drive to?

FRED doesn’t go to the airport and I had a passenger ask me to get them as close as I can to the airport. I found that strange because they had a fair amount of luggage.

Curtis P.

51, Oceanside

Ride: Prius

Drives for: Uber, 1.5 years

What kinds of people make the best passengers?

Sober adults who like to talk! I love guiding tourists around San Diego.

What time of day do you prefer to drive? Why?

Friday and Saturday evenings ‘til bar closing. It’s the busiest time of the week.

Describe your most memorable ride.

The boundary-crossing guy who kept playing his game really loud, playing with my radio without asking and feeding me a candy bar he bought for me when I told him I was too busy driving to eat it.

Have you ever refused a passenger, or stopped midway through the ride? Why?

Absolutely. Open containers, parents without car seats, too many passengers for my car, people who insult me and curse me out. I have no patience for that.

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever gotten?

The couple that wanted me to hold their clothes while they went to Black’s Beach.

What’s the funniest or craziest thing that has ever happened to you on a ride?

Couple having sex. Guy doing a line of coke. Cougar offering to take me to her room.

As a contributor to, what’s been your most popular YouTube video or podcast topic?

How I make money on puking passengers.

Jason L.

40, Rolando

Ride: Chevy Cruze

Drives for: Uber, 1 year

Besides the money, why do you drive for ride-sharing companies?

The ability to set your own schedule and be your own boss.

What time of day do you prefer to drive? Why?

Any time before bar closing hours, because you do not have to deal with crazy drunks.

What are some of the strangest requests you’ve ever gotten?

A lady early in the morning wanted me to come to her apartment and get her key that was stuck out of her door. I did not perform her handyman duties.