Driver Articles

Drive for Uber and Lyft at the same time

Uber and Lyft logos side by side on drive for uber and lyft at the same time post

After a slow night of work, many rideshare drivers wonder how they can bring in more ride requests and increase their trip earnings. While there is always the option of integrating SherpaShare into the mix, sometimes drivers need to step their game up and get creative. If you are a driver that has signed up for Uber and Lyft, then why not drive for both at the same time?

Driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time increases efficiency while helping drivers maintain a high volume of ride requests throughout the night. This means more money and less time wasted behind the wheel. I have been driving for both for over a year now, and as long as I remember to turn one off when I request a ride on the other, it has worked out great so far.

How my setup looks

There are two different ways to drive for Lyft and Uber at the same time. You will either have one device or two, both will work. Many drivers use two phones, but in my opinion this is distracting and just a little excessive for practical purposes. In addition, it is very distracting to the passengers, and can be an unsafe distraction to the driver as well.

Personally, I only have one phone. I am still grandfathered into Verizon’s Unlimited Data plan, so it doesn’t make sense for me to go out and spend $10 a week on an Uber phone or open another plan. Since I only drive part time and don’t mind switching between apps, this solution works best for me.

I drive with my phone mounted on the dashboard using the Kenu Airframe mount, which Lyft issued to me last summer as part of my welcome package. This mount is great because my phone is accessible which makes it very easy to switch between apps.

How to run the apps at the same time

Once you have everything set up you will need to actually open and run both apps at the same time. This is pretty easy for the most part, but there are a few tricks that will help you out.

First, close out any apps you have open. Driving for Lyft and Uber at the same time requires you to keep both apps open until you get a request, which puts quite a bit of strain on your phone, sucks the battery dry, and uses a ton of data in the process. So bring a charger, stay on task, and be prepared to pull down a lot of data. And I mean, a TON.

Second, try to minimize surfing the web or being active on social media. Keep in mind you have two apps that are constantly talking to their respective platforms, so the chance of your phone crashing or glitching out becomes much higher than usual. The last thing you want is to get a ride request and have your phone freeze up or crash, costing you both time and money.

It is also worth noting that when you have both of the apps open, you will need to have Uber open on the main screen, with Lyft running in the background behind it. Uber will automatically close out after a minute or two if it is running in the background, but Lyft will stay open.

Accepting ride requests

When you get a ride request, make sure to accept one and immediately log right out of the other. It won’t take long to get a ride request, and on a busy night you may get two at the same time. If this happens, pick the once closest to you and decline the other. As every driver knows, the best way to make money is in volume, and the less dead miles you have, the better.

After picking up then dropping off your riders, open up the Uber rider app and go into passenger mode with Lyft. Head to a spot without a ton of drivers but a place that you know has pretty good ride volume. Then hop back online with both apps and wait. You will honestly be surprised how quickly you will get another ride request.

Helpful tips

After driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time for over a year, I have made mistakes and learned how to make the most of my driving. Below you will find a few tips on things that you should and shouldn’t do when driving for both apps. I learned the hard way, and trust me, I wasted a lot of time and money.

Do not randomly drive around

The best way to maximize trip requests is to stay in one spot. When I was a novice driver, I used to think driving around town was the best way to drive around till I got a request. While this helped pass the time, I was putting extra miles on my car and burning expensive gas. So stay in one spot and be patient. I assure you, the rides will come.

randomly driving around vector image

You are going to spend more time driving from spot to spot then actually getting a ride request. Keep in mind that each mile you drive wastes time and gas, so it is better to anchor yourself in one spot and wait it out. If you don’t get a ride request after 20-30 minutes, then consider moving.

Do not go chasing SURGE or Prime Time

It is easy to get caught up in SURGE and Prime Time pricing. Rideshare apps not only activate higher prices based on demand, but also when EXPECTING demand to get high. That means that SURGE and Prime Time might be on, but that does not always mean that there are tons of ride requests coming in.

Uber SURGE pricing on drive for uber and lyft at the same time post

I once saw that 3X SURGE was on all the way across town. In hopes of getting a huge ride fare, I drove 20 minutes away from a request-heavy zone. When I pulled into the SURGE zone, it dropped to 1.2X, then after another minute, to regular pricing. After switching into the rider app, I realized that there were close to 20 other drivers in the same area as me. Key point: don’t chase the red, otherwise you may end up wasting a lot of time, money, and leaving other ride fares to pad another driver’s pockets.

Conclusion

To tie it all together, as long as you exercise a little patience and stay attentive, you can leverage driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time to decrease wait time between rides and increase efficiency. Many drivers would like to do this, but don’t know how. As long as you stick to what I outlined and don’t make the mistakes I did, you should be fine. If it works successfully, let us know!

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