NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Driving the streets of Music City, Samuel Taylor doesn’t need a GPS.
For more than two years, the father-of-two has worked for the popular ride-sharing service Uber.
“It’s a good way for you to just meet people, all different kinds of people,” Taylor said.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Taylor came to Nashville a few years back to visit his mother. He liked it so much he stayed, got married, and started a family.
He took the gig with Uber in early 2015, when the service was still fairly new to the area.
“I was doing it part-time and working two other jobs at the same time. I was making more money doing it part-time than the other two jobs combined,” Taylor explained.
When he chose to go full-time, he said he was suddenly making more than enough money to support his wife and kids.
On average, Taylor works 12-hour days, six days per week. He estimates he has given more than 10,000 rides.
He has a nearly perfect rating from his riders — 4.97 out of 5. That gives him the highest rating of any Uber driver in Nashville, according to a spokesperson for the company.
“I take what I do seriously,” Taylor said. “I don’t know if a lot of drivers do that. I think most people are just there to make money.”
For his success, Taylor credits his knowledge of the ever-changing city. He is able to double as a tour guide of sorts, offering suggestions on hotspots in town.
His car is always spotless and stocked with water for his passengers.
And most importantly, Taylor loves to chat.
“You got to be a people person,” Taylor said. “The most awkward thing to do is be quiet on the trip.”
His real money-making strategy is a simple one. He drives out of the city to places like Franklin, Mount Juliet, and Hendersonville, and brings people to downtown Nashville.
“Those rides will give the best fares because they’re longer,” Taylor revealed. “My biggest fare was maybe 150 bucks.”
Taylor is just one of thousands of Uber drivers across the Metro area. Though the company does not release specific numbers, several websites list Nashville among the top cities nationwide for travel by ride-sharing.
A spokesperson for Uber said “the average wait time for an Uber in Nashville is less than four minutes.”
Additionally, over the last three months, “Visitors from more than 70 countries have taken an Uber in Nashville.”
Taylor added the busiest time for Uber in Nashville is weekdays between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. He also said the most popular destination within the city is along Broadway.
Lyft, another popular ride-sharing service, has also experienced a noticeable increase in Nashville business. The company says number of drivers and passengers using the service has grown by about 90 percent year-by-year since 2014. In that same time frame, the number of rides taken has doubled each year.