As a driver with over 28,500 rides on Lyft and Uber, RSG contributor Jay Cradeur has noticed a significant difference between Uber and Lyft.
While Jay preferred Lyft originally, he gradually began to use Uber more because of the potential to earn more as a driver.
How could Lyft improve? Jay outlines his suggestions below.
5 Things Drivers Would Like Lyft to Improve
While Lyft was my preferred choice in San Francisco, I now prioritize driving for Uber in Sacramento due to better demand.
Below, I discuss the reasons behind my decision and provide suggestions for Lyft to improve its service and attract more drivers.
- Increase Demand
- Offer Better Bonuses
- Remove the Arrive Button
- Stop Critizing Drivers for Lack of Rider Feedback
- Don’t Adjust Prices Due to Bonus Payouts
To choose which rideshare company to drive for, the main factor is money, which is determined by demand.
In Sacramento, Uber has better demand than Lyft, which leads to more consistent ride requests.
Demand is influenced by passenger requests and driver availability, but I don’t have access to those numbers.
Overall, I feel more confident that I will get the rides I need with Uber, making them my go-to in Sacramento.
What Can Lyft Do?
Either increase the demand from passengers or stop hiring new drivers so that demand increases for the current crop of drivers.
In Sacramento, Uber consistently offers better bonuses.
Here is a recent comparison of Uber’s bonuses vs. Lyft’s bonuses:
- Uber: Drive and complete 50 rides and earn a $180 bonus. (extra $3.60 per ride)
- Lyft: Drive and complete 40 rides and earn a $70 bonus. (extra $ 1.75 per ride)
Since I only do 50 rides on the weekend, the choice is clear!
What Can Lyft Do?
Offer better bonuses! When Uber is offering double what Lyft is offering, Lyft needs to step up its game.
That explains why I drive for Uber in Sacramento. There are still a few things that Lyft could do better, which would improve their overall driver package.
3. Remove The Arrive Button
What good is the arrive button? In case you only drive for Uber, Lyft requires the drivers to hit an Arrive Button when they get to their passenger’s pick-up location:
With Uber, I drive up to the passenger’s pick-up location, and the app automatically notifies the passenger.
The other thing about the arrive button is that if you are not in the exact pick-up location, the app then questions you as to why you are stating you have arrived.
The entire process requires quite a bit of question-answering and button-pushing, which is needless.
4. Stop Criticizing Drivers For Lack Of Passenger Feedback
Every week I get an email from Lyft telling me I have a 5.0 driver rating. Great! But then I scroll down, and I see this:
Lyft, you can accomplish more with honey than with a stick. When I read that each week, I immediately recoil and feel happy that I am doing more driving for Uber.
Uber does not insinuate that I am underperforming because I don’t get positive passenger feedback. I don’t know which tech bro thought that was a good idea. It doesn’t work for me.
I am not going to try and solicit feedback from my passengers. As long as my passengers give me a 5.0 rating and tips, that is all I can ask for. I’m tired of being judged.
5. Don’t Adjust Prices Due To Bonus Payouts
This is not a scientific assessment. However, I have noticed a pattern when I work to attain the “3 rides in a row” bonus with Lyft.
During the weekend, occasionally, Lyft offers a bonus in which I can complete three rides in a row and get a bonus of $6 ($2 per ride) up to $18 ($6 per ride). Usually, it is $9 or $12, which is a nice incentive.
However, it seems that the rides in this series are consistently underpriced. My paranoid self thinks that Lyft is adjusting the price of the rides so that the lower-priced rides absorb the bonus payout.
Normally my rides payout at $25 to $30 per hour. Recently, I had a second ride in a series; the total drive time was 40 minutes, and the payout was $12. That’s $18 an hour. I declined the ride, ended the streak, and took my next Uber ping.
Here is another example from a third ride recently. This one is not even close. But I have no choice. I have to accept it to get the bonus. If I pass, I lose the bonus. Fortunately, it was a short ride, so I took it.
I am getting paid $3.50 for 11 minutes. That calculates to less than $20 per hour. Coincidence? I don’t know. But the “streak” rides always seem to have a lousy payout.
What Lyft Does Right
The one thing I love about Lyft is the auto acceptance of future rides.
With Uber, I have to accept new rides as they come in. Usually, I only respond fast enough for about half. This is very inefficient and costs me money.
With Lyft, the app automatically accepts my next ride. This allows me to enjoy my passenger and not worry about jumping at that little sound the Uber app makes. It’s very frustrating.
Lyft, by comparison, is a dream. I love hearing Lyft’s notification informing me that my next passenger has been added to my queue.
Lyft was my workhorse in San Francisco. Of my 28,500 rides, nearly 18,000 of them are with Lyft. I almost feel like a traitor doing all these rides with Uber in Sacramento.
In San Francisco, Lyft showed me the money with great bonuses and plenty of rides. In Sacramento, they don’t give me enough rides, and they definitely are not showing me the bonuses that will entice me to drive for them.
As the old saying goes, money talks, and BS walks. Come on, Lyft, beef up your bonuses. Give me a reason to be loyal to you once again. Be safe out there.