Ultimate list of Driver Lingo and their Explanation.

There’s no official Uber or Lyft manual (although you can check out our Ultimate Guides to Uber and Lyft!), so it’s not like you can even look up what all this stuff means.
Luckily for us, senior RSG contributor John Ince has been collecting rideshare abbreviations for us for a while and has put together the Ultimate Guide to Rideshare Driver Lingo. If you’ve ever wondered what a TCP is, or why anyone would “pee in the POOL”, John has you covered. Did we miss any lingo? Leave a note in the comments and, if it’s a good one, we’ll add it to this list!

For older drivers, words such as surge and boost are words that they use on a daily basis when driving. However for new drivers all these new words can be pretty confusing and difficult to understand . To make things more difficult, Lyft and Uber do not offer an official manual explaining these words.

Luckily for you though, we have made a list of all these special words explaining at the same what each word means:

The App

When it all began the app was considered a breakthrough for the transportation industry. However as time went by, the app has turned into a simple necessity and a source of frustration and anger, for both drivers and passengers, since it often malfunctions.

Autonomous car

Autonomous cars are cars that they can take you from point A to point B without someone behind its wheel. Thankfully for professional drivers, researchers are still trying to figure things out when it comes to driverless car technology thus buying us some time. Perhaps in the future everything will be automated but for the time being autonomous cars are still just an idea.


This term was first used by Travis Kalanick, Uber’s former CEO. There is no precise definition for this term since it is highly dependable on the age, sex and level of someones drunkenness.

Business License

In some cities being a rideshare driver means you are a business owner. As a result you need to have the necessary license in order to legally operate in the particular city.

Chase the Surge

This one is a strategy that never works. Usually experienced drivers know how and where to anticipate the surge and be there before it starts. However newer drivers, not familiar with the negatives of chasing a surge, choose to go after it as soon as they see the red dot on the screen.


It is a small camera drivers usually put on the dashboard in order to monitor what it happens on the outside and inside of the car. It is particularly useful when an incident takes place and the driver needs to defend himself against the passenger’s claims or after an accident.

Dead Miles

These are the miles each driver drives every day without earning any money.

Dead time

The hours each driver spends on a daily basis waiting for a ping.


When a driver gets a bad rating. Very often there is no logical explanation for the reason why someone received a bad rating since Uber and Lyft make it impossible to track down the person who gave a negative rating.


The all too familiar Estimated Time of Arrival. For driver this word is related to the distance they will have to drive in order to reach the particular passenger. Lower ETAs are always better.

Indefinite Pin

This is usually a sign of someone that is either drunk, on drugs or a new passenger. Often this type of passengers misplaces the pin (pick up location) forcing the driver to drive around in order to find them and getting dinged for being late.

Independent contractor

Most TNCs call drivers as independent contractors, since this enables them to avoiding paying various expenses they would have to pay if they classified their drivers as employees. Expenses such as gas, insurance, maintenance and unemployment benefits.

Lyft Line

This is the equivalent of UberPool


This is what drivers call passengers.

Periods 1 to 3

Drivers have to have insurance for all 3 periods. In period 1 the driver is online but without a ride request. In Period 2 the driver is online and has received a ride request whereas in Period 3 the driver is online and has passenger in the car. Uber and Lyft cover only the first 2 Periods whereas rideshare endorsements will cover you for all 3 Periods.

Pick Up

This is the most difficult part of bing a driver. Often you will have to pick up a passenger from a crowded street forcing you to double park and risk getting a fine.


The sound your phone makes when you receive a ride request. It took its name from the sound the app makes when a ride request is received .

Prime time

This is equivalent to Uber’s Surge.

Pee in the Pool

When a driver ignores a ride request immediately or when the driver accepts it and later cancels it.

Rideshare insurance

The type of insurance every rideshare driver should have. This type of insurance was created by insurance companies in order to deal with the increase of rideshare drivers, offering specific packages meant for the rideshare industry.


This word is used to describe what Uber and Lyft do. Certain authorities have claimed that ridehailing would be a more suitable word to describe the kind of operations that take place since there is actual sharing taking place.


This is used to describe Uber’s practice of charging its passengers in excess of the usual fee. Uber claims that through Surge the company is just trying to balance passenger demand with the supply of available drivers.


The license the California Public Utilities Commission issues for commercial drivers in the State of California.


Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick.

TLC Licensing

The Taxi and Limousine Commission located in New York City


It is a Transportation Network Company. It is what authorities use when referring to companies like Uber and Lyft.


It refers to the Terms of Service.


It describes the instance where there can be multiple pickups and drop-offs within the same ride. This is ideal for passengers since they get to pay a lower fare but negative for the drivers because it can be very distracting and draining.

Underage Passenger

It refers to any passenger that is requesting a ride but who is not 18 years of age.