Friday, July 11, 2014

How to make money driving for Lyft?

The strategy to make money ridesharing on the Lyft platform is to drive at high peak hours. These hours are usually morning commute, after commute and weekend nights. The most ride  requests arrive at these times. How to make money driving for Lyft?

Driving for Lyft is beneficial to those who need flexible hours. College students, actors, writers, web developers, consultants, independent contractors, freelancers and other trades rely on consistent income to make a living between jobs. Lyft supplements lost income, which provides value beyond weekly earnings. When Lyft used to offer "Power Hours" to get drivers on road, this made their ridesharing service the best out there.

Last year, a driver could sign up for "Power Hour" shifts that were mostly offered during the weekend. There were a few late night hours on weeknights that included "Power Hours." During these "Power Hours," Lyft wouldn't take any commission to drive these hours. Drivers could make the most money driving at these times, where the times show $35-40 an hour. This doesn't cap the amount a driver may earn, since hourly earnings are based on a driver feeding this potential.

Lyft drivers sitting around at Safeway can't expect to earn $40 per hour. If this driver starts driving on the back side of San Francisco, these hourly earnings would be much less. It really depends on ride requests; where the driver is positioned and how many rides and length and time of rides. Picking up passengers who are taking too long to enter vehicles and going on short trips may likely impact these earnings.

Before Lyft decided to be transparent with trip earnings, drivers would only receive a daily summary as shown below (first driving shift ever):

Your Daily Report

Here’s your driving report
FRI 10/4
7.41 hrs
75%12 of 16100%
THU 10/3
WED 10/2
TUE 10/1
MON 9/30
0.28 hrs
Sep 30 - Oct 5
12$14475%12 of 16100%

– Your acceptance rate is lower than average, perhaps a result of phone or carrier problems. If this is a reoccurring issue, please contact
You will receive your complete week’s total on
The Lyft Team
*  Donations are after Lyft’s admin fee of up to 15% (waived during Power Hours).
** Passengers have 24 hours to donate, so yesterday’s total may not be final.

The new daily summary launched in the last week of November 2013. You will notice that trip details show drivers how donations are calculated per ride. In this daily summary below, the reliability rate for this weekend was lower because a vehicle switch took until Saturday to approve and this driver couldn't work their Friday shift. This driver remembered going online, and then hearing about Fast & Furious star Paul Walker's death on that Saturday evening. It was tough to hear that sad news, which most of the night involved discussing Paul Walker with passengers who respected this gifted and humble person.

The new Lyft summary shows a breakdown of trip distance, trip time, donation, Lyft fee (no fee during "Power Hours"), tip and your earnings. Lyft drivers who worked mostly during peak times where Power Hours were available received a greater portion of their money than other ridesharing services that charged commission for all trips made during a given week.

The thrill of driving for Lyft; people at night noticing the Pink mustache and asking if you were a Lyft driver. You would smile and say "Yes" with respect and be happy about providing these on-demand ridesharing services. The lowest point driving for Lyft; trying to sign up for additional hours on a Sunday night in mid December and noticing the app was longer active - driving account deactivation for star ratings in the last 100 trips dropping to 4.79.

This driver already planned, a month advance, to work as many hours as possible to make a move closer to the city. They were confident that Lyft would be a part of their future goals, where they considered moving down to Los Angeles to pursue their screenwriting dream. Strange things happen in life. People never expect to be put out in the cold for working hard.

Lyft drivers earn money on weekend nights, all day Sunday, and during Rush Hours. If Lyft hasn't changed their policies, then drivers are tied down to driving in approved areas. This means that drivers must stay within San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and/or Los Angeles. Last year, drivers who traveled down to Los Angeles on a trip could not work in that particular area. Lyft drivers must file a change of venue to work permanently in another market. 

According to a Lyft employee on working in other markets:

"We'd like to to stick to one region since that is how our system works at the moment - since you are in SF. Are you moving or just wondering about longer distance driving" (October 22, 10:37am)

How do you make money driving for Lyft? Get on the road on the busiest nights. Drive in areas where you know ride requests will arrive. The excessive demand for rides will take care of your earnings. As long as you keep giving rides, you don't have to worry about making money. For the most part, ride requests arrive all night long and never let up. It is not unheard of you give 30 rides in 9 hours of driving. Start off in a distant area where you shift delivers a longer ride and just keeping driving. 

Drive on Friday and Saturday evening beginning at around 5pm or 6pm. Try to stay on the road up until 3am. There is a good chance to can make near $40 an hour driving these times. It may be more since old estimates of $32-36 probably increased and offer drivers new incentives to give more rides. 

San Francisco is the top Lyft market bar none. There are so many rides to give that all drivers serious about making money won't have any problems receiving ride requests. Only park if a ride request is taking too long. As soon as peak time hits, riders will be rolling into your vehicle. We can't guarantee if these riders will be socially inept because Lyft is known for their drunken passengers. Keep vomit bags ready and don't let riders hurl outside of a moving vehicle.

If Power Hours are no longer available to make 100% of earnings, review the past Power Hours from last year. There, you will find the best times and days to work. We believe 5pm-3am on Friday and Saturday night are by far the best shifts to drive. Sundays' between 10am-9pm are great times to drive. 

Greet all passengers with a fist-bump and introduce yourself as their driver. Ask for the name of the main rider to verify account because you don't want to drive the wrong passenger under another account. Keep track of Lyft emails that feature the busiest times to work. The Lyft team know when the most ride requests arrive and the frequency of busy at any given time. 

Have fun driving for Lyft. Happy Lyfting!