Uber Driver Goes Full Throttle
‘No regrets’ switching jobs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Mark Messina has been an Uber driver for only eight months, but already he’s hooked.
“It’s a good deal,” said the Lynn resident. “I get to go and come as I please. There’s no time clock. Uber is the way to go. It’s revolutionizing the industry.”
Messina, 54, drove for a major limo company for five years until a friend working for Uber convinced him to make the switch last year. Curious but unwilling to commit right away, he leased a car for a couple of months to see if he would like it before buying a sleek black SUV — a Nissan Murano — and throwing himself full-time into Uber.
Messina won’t say how much he makes, but an Uber Craigslist ad boasts that drivers can make up to $21 an hour, or $1,300 a week. He said he buys his own gas and car insurance — in addition to coverage provided by Uber.
He drives at least four days a week, working long days on Mondays starting with airport runs at 4:30 a.m.
The flexible schedule allows him the time for personal errands, such as dropping by to see his three adult children in the Boston area, including his daughter, who introduced him to the Uber app.
“Since I’ve been doing it I have no regrets. I’m always busy,” Messina said. “The demand I think is outweighing the supply.”
Messina said he’s well aware the online service is taking away business from the big cab and livery companies. “The cabbies are not happy, but it’s really hitting the limo companies,” Messina said. “I was not busy (as a limo driver) at all this past spring and summer, and I attributed it to Uber.”
With his kids now graduated from college, Messina said he’s thinking about moving to a smaller place and spending winters in Florida — where he plans to continue driving for Uber.
“Once you’re in with the company,” Messina said, “you could potentially go anywhere and do this.”