Harry here. It’s hard to stay on top of all the new features coming out on rideshare platforms these days but today, RSG senior contributor Christian Perea highlights some new Lyft features that are aimed at improving the driver experience. Let us know in the comments what you think about them!
Lyft has been rolling out a bunch of updates over the last month, and many of them are aimed at improving the driver experience. Even though Lyft is valued at 1/10th of Uber, and has 1/5th the funding, you really have to give them a lot of credit for how they can compete with Uber by catching up to them or launching new products ahead of Uber altogether. Over the past year, Lyft has even taken back some market share from Uber in many of the major markets.
Most Rideshare Guy readers primarily drive for Uber, but it’s important to stay up to speed with what Lyft is doing so you will know who stands where and make a decision on which company is best to drive for. Furthermore, all of these product changes add up to highlight where rideshare is heading over the next year as the industry continues its shift towards profitability.
Destination Mode Gets An Upgrade
Lyft has upgraded their destination filter to include both Lyft-Line and Lyft Classic rides. It will provide priority matching for anybody using the feature. So if you use the destination mode, you will be much more likely to get a match. Furthermore, this feature has been rolled out to more Lyft markets.
Lyft rolled out a destination filter a while ago but it only worked on Lyft Line rides and was only available in certain markets. A lot of drivers were critical of the feature because it didn’t match very often with another rider. A few months later, Uber launch a destination filter that matched with all rides and would get matches quite often.
Wanna Know How To Use Destination Filter? How To Use The Lyft Driver App (go to 4:05)
Destination Mode is useful because it allows drivers to strategically filter their rides towards a targeted area. It is particularly useful after getting a long ride that takes you out of your primary area of operation. Destination Mode will only match you with rides along the way back and reduce dead miles. It is also useful for drivers who commute to or from home; allowing them to pickup some rides on their journey to or from home.
Take Note: Destination Mode rides will not count towards Power Driver Bonus, Hourly Guarantees, or any promotion requiring rides. It will, however, affect your acceptance rating.
Pre-Matching (Back To Back) Rides
You can now get your next ride request before you drop-off your current passenger. As you approach your drop-off point for passenger A, you will receive a request for passenger B, who will be nearby the drop-off point for passenger A. This allows you to have requests back to back with less downtime. Lyft has already been testing this feature in San Francisco for year and it works pretty well. Previously it only worked for Lyft-Line rides, but now it will work for all rides in all markets.
Lyft’s Pre-Match system is actually a little bit better than Uber’s because it allows you to accept or deny a request in the event that the passenger changes their destination. As long as there’s a clear detour during your current ride, declining doesn’t hurt your acceptance rate.
Lyft has also included an option to “pause” new requests while in your current ride. You can pause new requests by tapping the “Online” button in the top of the Lyft app. This is nice because sometimes when it is busy, I have to pee. I don’t have to worry about getting endless requests without having enough time between rides to logoff.
RSG Pro-Tip: The best way to make a bunch of Primetime/Surge happen is to drink a ton of water until you REALLY have to go. Then Primetime/Surge will come and you will be forced to choose between making a lot of money and peeing your pants. It’s a law of science.
Upfront Pricing on Lyft
Lyft will now provide passengers with an upfront price for their ride. They agree to the price and then hit request. This is a big feature because it encourages more app use by passengers who want to know what they will pay before requesting a ride. I think I have have seen increased app usage after Upfront Pricing on Uber, so there is no reason to think it won’t happen on Lyft.
It was only really a matter of time before Lyft launched this feature since it has been so popular on the Uber app for passengers. Having a sort of price guarantee makes passengers more likely to request a ride. So competitively it is smart for Lyft to do the same thing. Drivers will be paid out based on the time and distance for the route they choose.
Upfront Pricing Tip: I recommend taking the fastest route irrespective of price since passengers will not worry about getting overcharged above their original quote. Furthermore, the fastest route is sometimes longer in distance, meaning you will earn more than if you take the shortest route. Less time on trips means completing more overall trips and thus earning more.
I will be checking to see if there are any major discrepancies between what passengers pay and what drivers get paid in the coming weeks.
Lyft Hub: More Rides, New Upfront Pricing
The Lyft Amp
Well folks, looks like the mustache is gone. It’s shaved and replaced by this device. They should have done it back in 2014. I remember getting started with rideshare and thinking “this mustache thing is creepy” and asking myself “Will my parents approve of this?”
I later grew to love the mustache for being cheeky and representing the community of drivers on the Lyft platform. But it definitely had to grow on me. 😉
The Glowstache will be replaced by the Amp which lights up and connects with your phone. When you get a request, the Amp will display a certain color. That color will match with the color displayed on your passengers phone. So if you pickup in a crowded area like a stadium or during bar close it should make things much easier. Think of it like a tractor-beam for passengers.
Related Video: Lyft Amp Unboxing!
It will also display how much power it has left within the Lyft app on your phone. That way you know when to charge it up. I welcome this since my Glowstache would kind of just randomly die and then I would never know how much power it had when I put it back on my dash.
Lyft Hub: Meet Amp, the New Way to Glow
The Big Theme:
All of these updates add up to a common theme: they all revolve around dispatch efficiency and reducing driver downtime. I expect that a lot of them are ways to combat the amount of PrimeTime passengers face since pre-matched rides, destination mode, and upfront pricing all work to get people rides faster on Lyft. That may all make it easier to reach bonuses like Power Driver Bonus, or Average Hourly Guarantees where ride counts make a big difference.
It may also affect how often you get a PrimeTime ride since drivers will be routed faster and face less downtime. This means that rides are more efficiently dispatched and the level of supply can meet demand. Through this, there is less shortages and PrimeTime goes down.
Drivers, what do you actually think about Lyft’s new stuff? Will it make you more likely to drive for Lyft? You can sign up for Lyft using our referral link here.
-Christian @ RSG
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