Where are the riders in NYC? October 2020

At INSHUR we look for ways to help Uber drivers make more money – revealing the best places to find riders is one of them. But with non-essential businesses forced to close in March and many events having been cancelled this year due to COVID-19, identifying reliable rider pickup locations has felt like an impossible task for TLC drivers.

Since all regions of the state entered Phase 4 of reopening, movement around New York City is increasing according to Citymapper’s Mobility Index. Albeit a slow increase, more movement means more potential riders, trips and therefore earnings.

The following information is correct at the time of writing on October 1. Scroll down to find out where the riders are likely to be this month.


For schools in NYC, September 21 marked the start of a new academic year. Traditional classroom learning is a thing of the past, with families able to choose between fully-remote, blended or in-Person school attendance for their children.

For some grades, in-Person learning has already started with the following students scheduled to begin on October 1:

  • Middle Schools (Grades 6-8)
  • High Schools (Grades 9-12)
  • Secondary Schools (Grades 6-12)
  • Transfer Schools, Adult Education, Evening Schools
  • K-12 Schools (Grades 9-12)

Insiders’ scoop: Now that in-Person learning has resumed and school buses are limiting their capacity, this could be the next rider hotpot for you with teachers, students and staff looking for a ride. Keep an eye on key dates in the school calendar where that demand could alter. For example term recess, day closures and early dismals.

Outdoor Dining

The Open Restaurants Program launched this summer in a bid to save the city’s restaurants. Now, more than 10,300 restaurants have been certified to offer outdoor dining. And 87 car-free streets have expanded seating options for establishments on select restaurant corridors under the Open Streets: Restaurants Program.

Originally set to expire this month, the programs will now be open to restaurants and diners (and potential riders) all year round.

Insiders’ scoop: Open Streets may be open Mondays to Saturdays: 12pm to 11pm (with one hour before/after for setup/breakdown) and Sundays: 10am to 11pm (with one hour before/after for setup/breakdown). Click here to locate Open Streets and find out their specific opening times/days.

Indoor Dining

With outdoor dining now a permanent feature in NYC, the reopening of indoor dining will increase restaurant customers and potentially your riders. Having been out of action since March, from September 30, they can operate 25% of their indoor dining space.

Insiders’ scoop: Don’t expect an early hours surge as there’s to be no food service between 12am and 5am, but note that customers may remain seated after until 12:30am. Click here for more indoor dining insights. 


Although only operating at 25% capacity, Phase 4 allowed low-risk indoor arts and entertainment to reopen their doors to the public. Broadway and venues popular with riders such as Carnegie Hall remain closed until next year but museums are back!

Many are already taking visitors, so here’s a list of those set to reopen in October:

International Center of Photography Museum – October 1

Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 7pm

The Jewish Museum October 1

Monday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm; and Thursday 11am – 8pm

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – October 3

Hours yet to be announced…

The Shed – October 16

Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm

Insiders’ scoop: The Shed museum is offering free admission until October 31. Riders who save money on a cultural attraction may be more willing to spend money on a taxi taking them to and from it. So it may be an idea to drive close to this location.


Many of fall’s spooky holiday events are cancelled this year, including New York City’s 47th Annual Village Halloween Parade. But the good news is that Jekyll & Hyde’s Haunted House in the heart of NYC and Bayville Scream Park in Long Island are still going ahead.

Jekyll & Hyde’s Haunted House is open October 2 through to November 8:

  • Sunday – Thursday, 7pm – 10.30pm
  • Friday & Saturday, 7pm – 12.00am

And Bayville Scream Park is open September 25 through to November 8.

Insiders’ scoop: Special discounts are offered on group sizes of 20-49 and 50+ people. More chance of larger groups, more TLC vehicles needed to cope with demand.

Earlier in the pandemic, our customers told us that they were mostly taking riders to or from residential locations, followed by bars and restaurants, grocery stores and hospitals. So if in doubt, check them out.

Wherever you go to pick up passengers, make sure that both you and your rider are wearing a face-covering.



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