Tuesday, September 22

Why I Decided to Drive for Lyft

I've been driving for Uber going on three months.  At first I didn't think it would work out.  I was frustrated by the low fees and unpaid miles.  Things have begun to improve.  One of the strategies I did to make rideshare driving more profitable was signing up for Lyft, Uber's main competitor.

What Are the Differences Between Uber and Lyft?

From a driver's perspective, Lyft cares more about our success:
  • If you are logged onto Lyft for 30 hours per week, including 10 of the designated "Peak Hours", and accept 90% of the requests that come your way, you receive a 10% bonus on your weekly earnings.  Work 50 hours and the bonus is bumped up to 20%.  Uber has no such incentive.
  • The Lyft app includes a tipping function.  When a ride ends, the customer can easily add a tip to the total fare.  Uber does not offer this, and actively encourages customers to stiff their drivers.
  • On minimum fares, Lyft pays more.  This is because Lyft does not include the Safe Driver Fee in the minimum fare calculation - it is added to it.  On a $4 ride, the driver receives $3.20 with Lyft but only $2.40 with Uber.  That $.80 difference starts to add up when I drive on the beach, where minimum fares are standard.
There are some disadvantages to Lyft:
  • Fewer people use Lyft.  It is only sustainable for me when used in conjunction with the Uber app.
  • The requests that do come in are sometimes really far away.  I've had three requests that were almost a half hour drive to the passenger.  The longest request was 43 minutes away.  This is due to there being fewer drivers using Lyft.

Lyft is a great supplement to Uber income

First off, I was offered a $50 sign-on bonus for joining Lyft.  The only requirement was that I provide 30 rides, which I have already done.  One of the worst things in this industry is downtime between rides, and having two platforms open decreases the time I have to wait for my next request.

The Numbers

In my first week, I only logged onto Lyft over the weekend.  I was logged on for 17 hours and received a net payment of $191.46, which included $22 in tips.  The week of 8/31-9/6 was my first full week on Lyft.  I was logged on for 30 hours and received $292, which inclued $33 in tips and a $28 Power Driver Bonus.  I should note that most of the hours I logged I was not actually driving.  In fact, many of the hours I was sitting at home, running the clock to try to obtain my Power Driver bonus.  I succeeded at that in week 2.  The most difficult part was accepting 90% of my requests, since you are naturally inclined to ignore requests that are too far away.

Summary

Now that I've been driving Lyft for a few weeks, I'm finding a lot to like about it, but only as a supplement to Uber.  If Lyft was more popular with riders, I would choose to only do Lyft since it has a tip function and opportunity to earn bonuses.  I'm learning to ignore far-away requests, even though that means forgoing the bonus I would earn if I accepted 90% of the requests.  Sure, a $30 bonus is nice, but not so enticing if it means I am driving more unpaid miles and time to pick up a passenger.

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like having Lyft as another option to supplement Uber is working out well for you. We don't havve Lyft here. They were here a couple years ago, but left the market when KC started to regulate them and Uber and I haven't heard anything about them coming back.

    I'm glad to hear that the driving is working out okay for you. I'm doing Uber just often enough to keep access to the app right now. I might give it another try next year once my job has finished.

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    1. Too bad Lyft exited the KC market. They really have a lot of positive things going for them. I just wish more people used them.

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