Uber Driver Says: Driving for Uber Lets Me Live My American Dream
Article Originally Featured on The New York Post
People are constantly talking about the American dream, but I want to talk a bit about the New York City dream. As a first-generation New Yorker, I was struggling to support a family in this expensive city until I started partnering with Uber. Now, I’m supporting three sons and a wife and am able to pursue my real passion on the side — music.
I was born in the Dominican Republic, and moved to New York City when I was 9 years old. I’m proud to have called The Bronx my home for 25 years. New York is the greatest city in the world but, as everyone knows, it’s not the most affordable.
I drove a yellow taxi for more than 10 years, and it was a constant struggle to make ends meet. I was always stressed about the fact that I couldn’t spend enough time with my family and wondered how I’d pay the bills each month.
I was earning between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. I thought that finding a job that allowed me to earn enough to support my family and give me time to pursue my dream of becoming a singer and spend time with my children would be impossible — until two years ago, when I found Uber.
The difference between driving a yellow taxi and partnering with Uber is like day and night.
With Uber, I make about $60,000 a year — and right now, I’m only working three days a week. Friday nights are incredibly busy for both taxi riders and Uber riders. When I was driving a yellow taxi, the most I could take home on a Friday was about $200 — and I had to work until 4 a.m. With Uber, I can make up to $600.
And last year, there were several instances when I made $7,000 in one month alone. The earning potential along with the flexibility and freedom is incredible.
I certainly don’t miss those grueling 12-hour shifts I was forced to work when I drove a yellow cab. I started off every day owing the medallion owner money. I barely slept. I barely saw my family. I always had a medallion owner breathing down my neck, and I was unable to take a vacation or else I would risk losing my right to lease the vehicle. I had no control over my life or my time.
Partnering with Uber doesn’t just mean more money in my pocket. It means I have time to work with my wife (who is also a singer) on recording our second album together because I can start or stop working whenever I want. We have time to perfect our craft and promote our work.
It also means I take my kids to baseball practice, music classes and school. Anyone who has three boys under the age of 7 knows how much time it takes to ensure they all get quality time with their dad.
Being a positive role model in their life is priceless. My family and I also got the opportunity this summer to visit the Dominican Republic, where I grew up, so I could show my children my roots — and what has grown from them, thanks to Uber.
But the most important benefit of working for Uber — for myself as well as my family — is the peace of mind we’ve gained. We’re no longer stressed about paying the bills and are more focused on spending quality time with one another and doing what we love. We’re happier — after all, we’re living a life we only dreamed of not all that long ago.
And as I’ve learned since becoming an Uber partner, my experience is far from unique — it appears to be par for the course.
Partnering with Uber gives you the chance to create your own earning potential — to stop letting others set limits on your own career. That’s the true New York City dream. I’m living proof.
Samuel Nunez has been an Uber driver-partner for two years. He lives in The Bronx with his wife and three sons.