Did you receive an email from Lyft recently announcing a rate cut in your city? If so, you’re not alone. Overall, it looks like Lyft reduced rates by roughly 6% on long-time, ‘veteran’ drivers to make them equal to newer drivers. Is this fair? Drivers weigh in on this article from senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins below.
Veteran drivers for the Lyft platform got a rude awakening when they received the following communication via email:
As of March 29, 2021, veteran drivers will be paid like everybody else on the platform. The example above is specific to the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, but we’ve seen similar messages from drivers all over the country.
Basically, Lyft is saying that some drivers have been earning more than other drivers. Starting March 29, all rates will be evened out across the board.
Watch the video below for our take: Lyft announces RATE CUT for select drivers!
Lyft Changes Rates Nationwide
Drivers have been sharing screenshots of their new rates for the past few days, and it’s clear these changes are nationwide for Lyft drivers.
One driver from Orange County shared their new Lyft rates – note that base rate of $0:
This driver shared his new rate card in Boston:
It’s not just regular rates that are decreasing, either – a Boston Lux driver shared the following rate decrease:
What Are Drivers Saying About Lyft’s New Rate Cuts?
Needless to say, Lyft drivers are not happy about this. We asked drivers what they thought about this, and overwhelmingly, drivers are angry about this change.
According to one Florida Lyft driver, this ‘adds insult to injury to drivers. It’s bad enough with increases to rent, plus I purchased a newer car to drive for Lyft. Now I need to drive full time with Lyft to pay the bills. This hurts!’
Many shared the sentiment of the drivers below – they miss the old, friendlier Lyft that at least paid lip service to appreciating drivers.
Others are worried about Lyft’s financials. As this driver states below, it’s possible Lyft is increasing passenger rates, while decreasing driver rates, in order to get to profitability.
Still others believe this is Uber’s time to shine – and if drivers weren’t already driving for Uber, or even other one of the best food delivery services, they should be!
Few people took Lyft’s side on this, although one reader pointed out: “Should not we all be equal? I got a new car for riders to destroy and I did not make any more.”
It’s a good point. Why shouldn’t all drivers be earning the same in their respective markets?
On the other hand, being grandfathered in as a veteran driver gives incentive to keep the seasoned drivers on the platform instead of switching to other options. If a driver who has been on the platform for 5 years is now going to be paid the same as a new driver who just started driving last week.
Drivers also took to Reddit to share their new rates and feelings about the change:
“Yeah I just got one too. Is there no ride minimums anymore?? They dropped mine by four cents, but the reality is that it’s not worth it to drive for them unless I can’t get a ride on any other system I’m on,” said one.
Another posted, “It just seems so low compared to delivering food. I would have to do a lot of rides to make any money.”
I didn’t realize there were some drivers in my market making more than me. Does it upset me that they were making more? No. Does it upset me that their rates are being cut? A bit.
The rates have been cut and cut and cut time and time again. Drivers are making squat compared to what they were just a handful of years ago.
It used to be you could make a living off of driving for Lyft. Now you have to be signed up for as many platforms as possible just to make it through your month.
I understand that these companies need to turn a profit, but could you please stop making it impossible for people to earn money on your platform? You’re not going to have any drivers left.
What can drivers do?
Besides getting angry, what can you do if you drive for Lyft and have been affected by this rate cut? One thing is clear: multi-apping is a necessity nowadays. In addition to driving for Uber, you should sign up to drive for a delivery company, like Instacart, DoorDash, Postmates, etc.
In addition to driving for several apps, keeping you busy while on the road, consider your Plan B or a way to increase your income outside of rideshare. We have a list of ways of how to make money, including ways you can make money online, in person, and from your phone.
Finally, if you really need flexibility above all else, check out these ways to make money without a job – a W-2 job, that is. We have over 30 ways you can make money on a flexible schedule, including dropshipping, transcription, pet-sitting and more.
Yes, it sucks that some drivers will lose money on this rate cut. But none of us should be surprised that Lyft is doing this – it’s been happening to drivers since almost the very beginning. We can, however, prepare ahead and make sure cuts like this don’t ruin everything by coming up with a Plan B.
Readers, were you affected by this Lyft rate change? What are your thoughts on it – is it fair or unnecessary?
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-Paula @ RSG