An LA Uber Driver Photographs His Drunken Passengers
Welcome back to First-Person Shooter, a photo series that offers a brief vantage into the world of compelling and strange individuals. Each Friday, we give two disposable cameras to one person to document a night of his or her life.
In this week's installment, we shipped two cameras out to Arthur, an Uber and Lyft driver in LA. During the day, he's an illustrator, but at night he makes extra cash by driving intoxicated Californians around the city.
Arthur was a cool guy, and he witnessed some weird stuff on the Friday he burnt through his exposures. One passenger cracked a brew before getting in the car and then asked to idle outside his ex-girlfriend's place for a while. Others slugged Four Lokos and cheap liquor.
When Arthur finished his shift, he followed suit and went to a house party before calling his own ride home "to document the experience from the other side." Here's what else he told us about the night he snapped the following pics.
VICE: Can you tell us about what went down on Friday night?
Arthur the Uber Driver: Friday was fun. I started driving in Gardena, then made my way to Hollywood, and finished my night in the Valley. I live in Studio City, so that route was perfect.
What time do you usually start driving?
Anywhere between 8 and 10 PM. I like the job because the hours are flexible. I drive about four nights a week.
Are people rude or really nice?
Women are always nice. Men are mostly nice, unless they're with their girlfriends.
Are people especially rowdy on Friday night? Anybody ever throw up in your car?
Nobody's thrown up yet. As far as I know, nobody's come close. Puke smell doesn't go away easily.
It looks like a guy is drinking outside your car. What do you do when this happens?
Tell them to finish their drink outside the car. That guy was weird. When we got to his destination, which was an apartment complex, he had me sit outside with him for 20 minutes. I thought we were waiting to meet his friend, but he eventually admitted we were outside his ex-girlfriend's building.
We hear you drive both for Uber and Lyft? What's the difference?
I never use Uber as a passenger. Lyft is usually cheaper, and they take a more reasonable portion of drivers' earnings. I mostly only drive for Uber because it's more popular.
Looks like you photographed a lot of your passengers. Were there any weird reactions?
Most passengers didn't want to be photographed. I expected people to get looser as the night went on, but the drunker they got, the less they wanted their pictures taken by a stranger with a cardboard camera. I said I was doing it for VICE, but that must've seemed like a crazy lie. One of my night's passengers said, "I turned down Millionaire Matchmaker. I'm not saying yes to VICE."
It looks like you're being driven by somebody else at the end of the night. What happened here?
I went to a party after I finished driving for the night. Thought I'd take a Lyft home and document the experience from the other side. I was hoping my driver would show how diverse the drivers in LA are, but he was just another white guy with long hair. He was basically me, but willing to work later.
What do you do during your time off?
I draw illustrations. Check them out on my website.