3 min read

    3 min read

    How many drivers can say they’ve given 24,000 rides – all on one platform? In this episode, senior RSG contributor Christian Perea interviews a driver who’s not only given 24k+ rides, but has also served on Lyft’s Driver Advisory Council and who runs a popular daily email newsletter for his fellow drivers. You won’t want to miss his tips for drivers!


    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

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    • Not many drivers can say they’ve made it to 24,000 rides, but today we have a driver who’s done just that – and more, all on the Lyft platform
    • Today, we have a special episode with Michael Bendorf, a Lyft driver from the Bay area who’s given more than 24,000 rides, runs the popular Northern California newsletter, the Pink Stache Gazette, and was until recently on Lyft’s Driver Advisory Council (DAC)
    • The holidays are coming, which means it’s the perfect time of year to purchase The Rideshare GuideWhether you’re just getting signed up or you want to learn more about the industry, this book is definitely something you should take a look at

    Interview with Michael Bendorf

    • Michael Bendorf has been driving for Lyft exclusively in San Francisco for the past 5 years and has given over 24,000 rides
    • He runs the Pink Stache Gazette, a newsletter in the Bay area where he researches, curates, and sends the largest events, plus their end times, for every big event, from Sacramento to San Francisco, to San Jose.
    • From 2015 to 2017, Michael also worked on Lyft’s Driver Advisory Council, providing drivers perspective to Lyft employees and other initiatives at Lyft

    Comparing Lyft Driving in 2013 to Today

    • It’s a lot busier today than it was then – 60% of his time was spent in period 1 in 2013. Now, he only spends around 10% of his time waiting for a passenger
    • Tipping is different – not so dependent on having water or chargers, but rather about the connection you make with passengers
    • Gas mileage makes a big difference – before he began driving a hybrid, Michael spent $600/mo. on gas. Now, he spends around $200/mo

    Recommended Vehicles for Rideshare Drivers

    • If you’re looking to get a car for rideshare driving, Michael recommends a hybrid
    • Over the last 5 years, Michael has had 3 cars – rideshare driving is tough on vehicles
    • Don’t get a car with cloth seats! It will absorb odors that are eventually impossible to get out – always spring for leather upholstery if possible

    The Pink Stache Gazette

    • Michael started the Pink Stache Gazette (a daily, free email) four years ago to help out drivers in the Northern California area
    • It’s designed to help ensure drivers are the closest person to the passenger and lists various events in the Bay area – concerts, conferences, theater productions, etc. Over the course of 6 days, they publish about 250 events each week
    • It’s important to pay attention to the end times of events – be there a few minutes before the event gets out to get a good spot

    Lyft’s Driver Advisory Council

    • Michael served as DAC representative for the Pacific Region (California, Hawaii, Nevada) and focused on driver earnings
    • The purpose of the DAC is to make sure drivers’ voices are represented at headquarters
    • Lyft wants drivers to be successful, but they don’t always know the right ways to make us successful
    • The driver-despised Taco Mode was one thing covered in the DAC – Lyft learned to take more input from drivers before announcing promotions


    • Big thanks to Michael for coming on, I think it’s really important for drivers to see what’s going on behind the scenes, plus his advice for improving your driving
    • Let us know what you thought of this interview format with Christian!
    • If you’re looking for some good books to read about rideshare, I recommend checking out my book The Rideshare Guide– you can also get the first chapter for free here

    Show Notes

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.