Uber and Lyft are releasing new driver bonuses in the form of ride streaks: consecutive rides given by drivers. But is this just another way to keep us from canceling on rides, like POOL or Line, that we don’t want to give? Today, senior RSG contributor Christian Perea lets us know what Lyft Streak Bonuses and Uber Consecutive Trip Boosts are, how they work, and how they could affect drivers.
There’s a new driver bonus in town from both Uber and Lyft, and it gives you cash for completing rides in a row during peak hours. Uber calls it the “Consecutive Trips Boost” and Lyft calls it the “Ride Streaks Bonus”. Both are similar programs that encourage drivers to accept every trip that comes their way without logging out, denying, or cancelling a ride during a set time period.
Lyft just announced they will be rolling this promotion out to drivers in all of their large and medium sized markets. Meanwhile, Uber has been testing several versions of this program in Boston, NYC, and Singapore over the last six months and are now testing it in San Francisco, Denver, and New Jersey. This leads me to believe that these sort of promotions will become a big part of driving for Lyft and Uber over the next few months.
Why Are Uber & Lyft Offering Bonuses For Ride Streaks?
Every bonus for drivers has a larger angle in play. Earnings Boost for example incentivizes drivers to work during specific times and in specific places. It seems like the angle behind the consecutive trip bonus is to reduce wait-times and surge during peak hours.
Some say that every business breaks down into one metric that matters (OMTM). The MBAs at Uber and Lyft seem to really believe that the OMTM for rideshare is having the shortest ETA (estimated time of arrival). This is how quickly a passenger can expect to wait from the time they push a button to the time their car pulls up.
This promotion helps Uber and Lyft meet that goal because it rewards drivers for being extra reliable and generally doing whatever ride the app sends their way. When enough drivers blindly follow the directions of the app’s dispatch system, it results in lower ETAs and the rideshare company with the lowest ETAs wins a prize!
Strategies for Streaking Effectively With Lyft & Uber
Strategies around streaking should be based on high volume and low distance. You’re ultimately going to have limited options in the ride requests you receive for these promotions. You have to accept every request without logging out of the app, cancelling a ride, or denying a request. We all know how that can go :/
I’ve spent the last few days analyzing how this is working out and thinking of ways to get the most out of it. So here are my suggestions for getting the most out of Lyft’s Ride Streaks and Uber’s Consecutive Trip Boosts:
Go to the Bathroom and Get Caffeine Beforehand
You don’t want to get caught having to pee while you’re streaking through rush hour traffic. So make sure you use the bathroom and get your coffee beforehand so you can focus intensely on completing as many rides as possible within the 2 to 3 hour period of your ride streaks. Maximizing this program basically means you will remain in your car for the next few hours without a break.
Editor’s Note: Astute reader Will pointed out that coffee is a diuretic, meaning it may make you need to go to the bathroom more or sooner than drinking plain water. Keep this in mind before you start streaking! If you’re in San Francisco and looking for a clean restroom, checkout an app called Good2Go. They have the best bathrooms.
Maximize Short Rides
While you won’t have many options on what rides you get, you should focus on driving in densely populated areas where you are unlikely to get rides that drag you far out of your area of operation or that will pull you into the suburbs for a pickup. Time is precious here, so if you can manage to stay in busy areas during this time, you will do better with getting consecutive rides that keep you in a “loop” of multiple short rides.
Don’t Rate Your Passenger So Fast!
Note: This only works with Lyft
If you need to position yourself to a better location, leave the ratings screen open WITHOUT rating your passenger. It prevents the app from assigning you another ride for a few minutes and will allow you to drive closer to a better location without the risk of getting dragged into a bad/unprofitable spot.
After a few minutes, the app will timeout of the ratings screen, but it should buy you an extra 3 minutes if you need to change positions without getting a request.
Target Lyft Line and UberPOOL
I know a lot of drivers dislike shared rides, but in this case we are literally making an extra few dollars for every passenger we pickup. Uber recently adjusted their terms on UberPOOL to make it a little more digestible, while Lyft now pays the same for Line rides as they do for regular Lyfts. You can “target” getting matches by hanging around the areas you usually avoid for Line/POOL rides.
Hope For A Pre-Match or Back to Back Ride
If you get a prematch, you will have to take it since you cannot deny any trips. Denying a pre-match will end your ride streak. In my experience, most pre-matched rides will keep me in high-demand areas since that is where most people want to go anyways.
Destination Filter Hacks
Lyft will not allow you to use Destination Mode, but I haven’t found any language from Uber (yet) that will knock a driver for using their Destination Filter. From what I can gauge, Uber’s Destination Filter should still work but you never know because they’re messing with it a lot right now.
Commit To One Platform
This goes without saying, but it will be best to either commit to Uber or Lyft for the duration of each peak period. Uber and Lyft are highly likely to offer you similar bonuses for these blocks of hours, so my advice is to commit yourself to whichever company offers the better streaking bonus.
Mystro Can Help Here
Mystro is an app that automatically accepts your trips and allows you to drive for both Uber and Lyft. But in this case, you can still use Mystro to auto-accept all of your requests on just one platform. Sign up here with our link.
Getting Multiple Streak Bonuses
You can complete multiple streaks within the time period given to you by Uber or Lyft. So if you have to take a break, do it between each set of streaks.
Overall, This Will Reduce Surge and PrimeTime
Back in September, I wrote about how these companies are trying to get rid of Surge and Primetime. Uber or Lyft don’t have much of an interest to charge their passengers a lot of money for these rides, and they are clearly using Boost, Quest, Switching Rides Mid-Trip, and clever matching to make sure rides are cheap and fast.
Related: Where Has All The Surge Gone?
If you drive in a market that consistently has Surge or Primetime during commute hours, I would expect these promotions to delay the initial onset of dynamic pricing during the first 45 minutes to hour since a lot of drivers will be trying to start their “streak”. This means that drivers will get assigned to rides much faster since fewer drivers are fishing for the best ride.
This means that any Surge or Dynamic pricing will likely come quickly, be intense, and leave quickly as streakers complete their rides and immediately accept the next ride so they can max out their streaking. You will have to choose between the high risk/high reward of surge hunting or the relative predictability of the bonuses associated with completing a streak.
Final Thoughts on Lyft Ride Streaks and Uber Consecutive Trips
Personally, I’ll take any bonus that comes my way that I think I can reasonably attain. So sure, I’ll do some streaking for extra money.
However, I’ve seen an increase in drivers lately who have been on the road for long hours, often for 6 or 7 days a week, trying to always hit Uber’s Quest or Lyft’s Power Driver Bonuses. Some drivers even manage to hit BOTH. I’m concerned that this will become another way of getting drivers to grind out as many trips as possible at the expense of our sanity.
One of the reasons I was so compelled to write about this program is because I’ve seen a lot of the other bonuses being reduced slowly over the last six months (especially Uber Quest). A bonus program like this might be meant to replace Quest and Boost if it proves to be more effective at reducing surge and wait times for passengers.
We’ve already figured out that Uber and Lyft are going to filter some of the extra money they’re taking from Upfront Pricing and increased “service fees” in an effort incentivize drivers to modify their behavior. Hopefully the end result of these promotions will allow us to earn more while working fewer hours to meet our goals.
What do you think about Lyft Ride Streaks and Uber’s Consecutive Trip Incentive? Let me know in the comments section below!
Lyft Ride Streak Bonus FAQ
How Does The Ride Streak Bonus Work With Lyft?
If Lyft selects you to receive a Ride Streaks Bonus they will notify you in the driver app and via text message to let you know that the Streak is on. The promotion will tell you how much money you will get if you complete a certain number rides in a row. For example, Lyft might reward you with a $12 bonus for completing 3 trips without logging off, cancelling, using destination mode, or denying a request.
What Rides Qualify For Rides Streak Bonuses on Lyft?
Lyft will begin counting your rides toward a streak bonus from either the time you accept a ride or the time you begin a ride. This works the same for drop-off times. This means you won’t have to logout ten minutes before the bottom of the hour in order to avoid getting a request at 6:58 a.m. for a promotion that starts at 7:00 a.m. There are no geographical restrictions on where you need to get your rides.
What if you don’t finish your last ride in a streak before the hour is over?
You will still get credit for your Lyft Ride Streak as long as the first ride started within the promotional time-frame. If a streak ends at 10 a.m. and you begin your first ride streak at 9:55 a.m. you will still earn the streak bonus as long as you give two rides afterwards.
Where can I find my Streak Bonus in the Lyft App?
Your Streak Bonus will show-up on the last ride in any given Streak. So if there are 4 rides in a Streak, you will see the money credited to the 4th ride you gave. You can also cash out your Streak Bonus money through Express Pay as soon as you complete your Ride Streak.
How To Know I Got Paid For Lyft Ride Streak Bonus
You will know if you received your Lyft Ride Streak bonus by checking the 3rd ride within a “set” of three rides. The payout will be similar to the image above. You can cash it out using Express Pay immediately. It is not subject to commission fees.
How Does Lyft Line Work With Ride Streaks?
Every passenger request will count as one ride in your streak. A triple Lyft Line means you had a streak of 3 rides.
What if My Passenger Cancels or Doesn’t Show Up?
You won’t get dinged and your streak will continue. Make sure to wait the 5 minutes required to “no-show” a passenger and collect your $5. Otherwise you might lose your Lyft Ride Streak.
What Causes Me To Break A Streak?
Logging off, using Destination Mode, cancelling on a passenger, or denying/missing a request. All will cause you to lose your streak during a Lyft Ride Streak Bonus.
Source: Ride Streaks – The Hub
Uber Consecutive Trips FAQ
Uber is still testing Consecutive Ride Boost in several markets so the program will likely change as they dial-in their test data with drivers. Here is what we know so far though:
How Do Consecutive Trips Work For Uber?
Uber Consecutive Trips work by rewarding drivers with extra money for completing a series of trips (usually 3) in a row. Drivers must complete the required number of rides without logging out of the Uber Driver app, cancelling, or denying a ride. You have to take the rides that Uber gives you.
In the example below, you would earn an extra $11 dollars for completing 3 trips in a row between the hours of 7 AM and 9 AM.
What Rides Qualify As Consecutive Trips On Uber?
Trips must occur within a preset geographic area determined by Uber. Only the first trip has to occur within the area though. So if a trip takes you outside of Uber’s zone, you can give the next 2 in a row anywhere.
Where can I find my Consecutive Trips Boost in the Uber Driver App?
You can find it under the promotions tab and within the home screen.
How Does UberPOOL Work With Consecutive Rides?
Every passenger request will count as one ride in your streak. A triple UberPOOL means you had 3 consecutive rides.
Don’t forget: Mystro can help you automatically accept rides to keep on streaking, and you can sign up here with our link.
Track Your Miles for Free with Stride TaxSmart drivers know they need to track their mileage from start to finish. Stride Tax is a free app you can use to track your mileage, which will help you save money at tax time.
-Christian @ RSG
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