During my nearly eight-year tenure as a rideshare driver (29,700 trips), I have been privileged to drive many handicapped, ailing, and elderly individuals. While you may think these passengers are difficult because they take more of your time, their benefit to you as a person far exceeds any inconvenience.
In this article, I will share the details of the Lyft Assisted program. You don’t have to do this type of ride. In fact, you will have to go through a short training program before you will receive any Lyft Assisted pings.
I will share the immense joy of providing a Lyft Assisted ride. Finally, I will share a few tips so your Lyft Assisted rides go off without a hitch.
Lyft Assisted passengers are awesome. Usually, my passengers are elderly. I find the elderly always have a gift of wisdom to share.
A few months back, I picked up a seventy-nine-year-old woman in a wheelchair. She had an eighty-four-year-old man as her chaperone. During the ride, she told me the man had asked her to marry him.
I was amused and asked why they felt the need to get married at this stage of their life. Neither of them gave me a good answer. However, as I helped her out of the car at the destination, she let me in on a secret.
As the man was helping with the wheelchair, she said, “I’ll tell you why he wants to marry me; he wants to take care of me.”
She said, “I think most men want to care for a woman.” I heard that and realized she knew a thing or two about relationships.
Let’s jump into how you can start to do rides like this.
1. The Passenger Experience
Here is the information that Lyft provides for passengers:
If you want assistance during pickups and drop-offs, there are Lyft drivers who are happy to help!
Note: Lyft Assisted is only available to business profile users.
Taking an Assisted Ride
- When you take an Assisted ride, you’ll be paired with a driver who is informed you may want assistance.
- Your driver can meet you at the front door of your pick-up location, help you get in and out of the vehicle, and accompany you to the door of your destination.
- They can also help load and unload light mobility devices (such as canes, walkers, crutches, and foldable wheelchairs).
Tracking Assisted Rides
- After your ride is requested, we’ll send you text message updates with a link to track your ride.
- We’ll let you know your driver’s ETA, their vehicle info, and their contact info. Your driver might call you if they need help finding you.
2. The Driver Experience
Here is the information that Lyft provides for drivers:
Lyft Assisted rides give drivers an opportunity to earn more while supporting our community.
You can help riders who want light assistance get from their pick-up door to their destination door.
You’ll get a bonus for each Assisted ride you complete.
Sign up for Assisted Rides
You’ll have to complete a special tutorial to start giving Assisted rides. Lyft’s partner developed this tutorial, the Open Doors Organization (ODO). To take the tutorial:
- Tap on your earnings at the top of the home screen.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap ‘Earn more with Lyft Assisted rides.’
- Complete the tutorial by the ODO.
- Check the box and tap ‘Give Lyft Assisted rides’ to opt in.
Once you take the course and opt-in, you’ll get Assisted ride requests when they’re available.
Giving Assisted Rides
Assisted ride requests will be labeled ‘Lyft Assisted’ in your app. You’ll also see the bonus amount you’ll get for the ride.
When you arrive to pick up your passenger, be sure to:
- Walk to the door to meet them.
- Ask how you may assist them.
Assistance may include:
- Providing an arm, elbow, or hand for assisting with stability.
- Opening and closing doors.
- Storing small personal belongings.
When you drop them off, you should again ask the passenger how you may assist them to ensure they reach their destination’s front door.
After you’ve completed the ride, any Assisted ride bonus will be added to your earnings for that ride.
Cancellations and No-Shows
To get a no-show fee for an Assisted ride, you must:
To get a no-show fee for an Assisted ride, you must:
- Swipe up on the bottom panel and tap ‘I’m here,’ then confirm you’re parked.
- Wait at least seven minutes without moving from the pickup location.
- Contact the passenger or respond to the passenger contacting you.
- Cancel the ride by tapping the ‘X’ and then tap ‘Confirm no-show.’
If the ride is canceled on the passenger’s end, you’ll get a fee based on the normal passenger cancellation policy.
I have provided a few screenshots to access the Assisted Driver training. I have completed the course, so I no longer have the option.
It’s pretty simple, and took me about half an hour:
- Click on the money in the first screenshot.
- Then scroll down, and you will see the Assisted Driving option.
- Click on it and watch the videos.
- Then opt-in.
4. A Few Tips
My first tip is to be patient. Things move a lot slower with the assisted rides. Most of my assisted rides involve a wheelchair.
Not only will you need to assist the passenger into your back seat and close the door, but you will also have to fold up the wheelchair and put it in your trunk.
For most foldable wheelchairs, you will lift the seat and then lift the middle bar under the seat to fold the wheelchair in half.
Sometimes, you may need to remove some items from the wheelchair pouch. Other times you may need to remove the handles so that the wheelchair will fit in your car.
I recommend you get a short bungee cord for your trunk. Sometimes the wheelchair won’t lie flat in your trunk, and a wheel or handle will stick out. I use the bungee cord to tie down the trunk hatch. I tie it tight but not too tight as you will hit speed bumps. With the bungee cord, you will be ready for anything. I also keep an old beach blanket to protect my trunk from scratches.
During your drive, remember your passenger is most likely far more sensitive and fragile than your normal passenger. Therefore, drive slower, especially over speed bumps and when making ninety-degree turns.
I like to imagine I have an egg sitting in the back seat, and my job is to keep it on the seat without any cracks. Slow and steady is the mantra for assisted rides.
Enjoy the passenger. I always ask questions to tease out some wisdom someone older than me may have.
Lyft realizes that you will take more time with the Assisted rides. Therefore, you will earn a small bonus and your normal fee. I don’t know exactly how much extra you get, but the bonus is designed to compensate you for your extra time. However, I feel the biggest bonus you and I get is helping someone who needs extra time and care. I like to think about how I would want to be treated when I cannot walk and require a wheelchair.
Additionally, the conversations can often be transformative. I recommend you go through the training and opt in to do these rides. It’s one of the best parts of being a rideshare driver.
Enjoy the ride. Be safe out there.