Jose recently gave his 15,000th ride. The one he remembers best was when he picked up a pack of crayons — human-size crayons. “It was a group of older guys in their 40s,” he says. “You don’t expect that!” Except on his favorite night of the year: Halloween.
The 25-year-old driver has hit the streets of Chicago the past three Halloweens—and is excited to head out again this year. “I try to get people in the spirit. Most importantly, I want to give them a good experience,” he says. “And honestly, Halloween is the night I make the most in tips.”
Halloween this year falls on a Wednesday. But Jose and other experienced drivers who serve on Lyft’s Driver Advisory Council all agree that Halloween festivities hit their peak the weekend before the holiday. Friday will be big. Saturday will be even bigger. Expect back-to-back-to-back rides through the night.
Engaging with riders is the key to Halloween success, says Tim, 59, who drove on Halloween last year in Pittsburgh for the first time. “I really try to make it about them,” he says. “I drive a van, so I’m opening the doors and saying, wow, you guys look great!”
Tim, who works full-time as the director of a charitable foundation when he’s not driving with Lyft, hands out candy and puts a Halloween playlist on the stereo to set the mood. (Streaming services will have plenty of options to choose from.) Other drivers go all-out with full-blown costumes for themselves and their cars — including Jose, who’s driven as a vampire and a werewolf.
How to Get Ready
On Halloween, people in masks may be harder to recognize at pickup. New York driver Phedeline says it’s important to follow best practices: “I have people confirm their name when they get in,” the 26-year-old paralegal says. “I don’t just say, ‘Are you John?’ I have them confirm their full name and location.”
Come prepared as you would any other night when people are out partying, Phedeline says. Travel with paper towels, hand towels, and spray-on cleaner. Trust your gut and pull over if someone looks like they’re about to get sick.
But don’t let your worries get in the way. “It’s light-spirited throughout the whole night. And it always just feels good to be busy,” she says. “It’s a collective celebration. The whole city is in the spirit.”
Look for her on the streets of NYC all weekend. Just remember to say trick or treat!