Lyft Driver Ridesharing Gig Program Review

Looking for a way to generate an income while working flexible hours, simply chauffeuring passengers in your own vehicle? For a long time it seemed like Uber was the only game in town, but now there are major competitors—and Lyft is foremost among them. Whether you’re looking to Lyft as an alternative to Uber or as a way to augment your Uber income, here’s a quick overview of the program.

How Lyft and Uber Differ

Lyft and Uber are based on roughly the same premise, which can make it difficult to determine exactly how each is distinctive from the other. After all, both services allow passengers to signal for rides; drivers then pick them up, using their own vehicles, and take them to their destination. There’s a little more to it than that, but that’s the gist.

If there is any one major difference between the two platforms, it’s in the culture. Many drivers who work for both companies find that Lyft does a better job of conveying how much it values its drivers. What’s more, it allows drivers to take more initiative, to have more ownership of their rides; personality and uniqueness are encouraged, where Uber emphasizes a highly dogmatic sense of professionalism.

If you look into the way the two companies present themselves to the public, you’ll notice some key differences. In its marketing and communications, Lyft places a heavy emphasis on being a good friend and citizen, and on providing clean, safe rides as a service to others. Uber is more about advancing your career. Depending on your personality, one of these approaches may appeal to you more than the other.

In a Lot of Ways, Lyft and Uber Are Extremely Similar

With those distinctions stated, it is also important to note that Lyft has, if anything, tried to become more like Uber. This is true even in its pricing. Lyft has generally followed Uber’s example in terms of price cuts, and the overall take-home pay you get from the two platforms averages out to be pretty much the same. (There is some geographic variation; some markets are better for Lyft and some are better for Uber.)

Additionally, Lyft has its own version of Uber’s Surge Hours. They refer to it as Prime Time, and it denotes a time when drivers are in greater demand and thus prices go up—like right after a major sporting event lets out, for instance. This provides Lyft drivers with the potential to make a little extra money.

One financial point to make about Lyft, which might make it more appealing than Uber, is that bonuses are possible. These are only awarded to the highest-performing drivers, but they are certainly worth pursuing. One example is the Power Driver bonus, awarded to drivers who give a lot of rides during the week. They are rewarded with a smaller commission paid to Lyft. For those really willing to hustle, this bonus is highly attainable, and can really impact your bottom line.

Driving for Lyft is Hard Work

With that said, anyone who thinks driving for one of these companies is easy has it wrong. While the great appeal of Lyft is that it makes it possible for you to be your own boss, making money without any technical expertise required, the reality is that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. It’s not just driving; it’s also tracking your expenses, being judicious about where and when to look for passengers, etc.

The people who do really well driving for Lyft will be the ones who are thorough in their personal accounting and disciplined in keeping their cars neat and tidy. Even these drivers may not find Lyft to pay out quite as well as they’d hope, though we think it is at least as lucrative as Uber.

One solution is to try driving for both companies, or else to augment your Lyft income in some other way—picking up and delivering meals for GrubHub, taking inspection videos for VidoTek, or something similar. This will allow you to maintain the freedom and flexibility that Lyft affords, but also to bump up your bottom line.

Final Recommendations About Lyft

For anyone looking to drive for a rideshare company, we recommend Lyft as highly as we do Uber, and might even give it a slight edge due to its more positive and affirming culture. Just know that, if you’re going to improve your bottom line significantly, this may need to be one gig among two or three that you take on.

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