How the Lyft App Works for Drivers
So you’ve passed the comprehensive background check and DMV check that Lyft requires for all drivers. The company has approved your application, and you’re now ready to start driving for Lyft. This is where the Lyft app comes in.
The Lyft smartphone app is one of your most important tools as a Lyft driver. This is where you will go to accept Lyft rides, check payments, and conduct business. Lyft calls this area “driver mode,” and it’s technically just an extension of the passenger app (though this is changing with the introduction of a dedicated Lyft driver app, as we’ll discuss below).
In this section of the course, we’ll take a look at some key features of how the Lyft app works for drivers, as well as some tips for making your pickup process as efficient as possible.
Tap to Arrive and Tap to Drop Off
You have to be in driver mode to receive ride requests. Go into your Lyft app and tap the steering wheel icon in the top right to activate driver mode. The icon turns pink while in driver mode. Make sure you don’t accidentally turn this off, or you won’t be able to receive any other ride requests and could miss out on serious earnings.
When you receive a request, you will see a notification with a picture of the passenger and their name. Tap the screen to automatically accept the request. You only have fifteen seconds to accept the ride or another Lyft driver will be given the passenger.
Once you arrive at your customer’s pickup location, use the Tap to Arrive button on the screen. This will start the passenger’s trip and their bill timer. Once you arrive at your passenger’s destination, you will be prompted to tap “Cancel” to stay in the ride or tap “Confirm” to end the ride and drop off your passenger.
Be sure you’ve gotten the passenger to their actual destination before you tap “Confirm,” as sometimes the GPS location that passenger picked won’t be exactly where they need you to drop them off. This is especially common in denser urban areas, where a passenger’s destination might be a different floor of a building or even set back off the street in some way.
Pay Statements and Reserving Hours
Your Lyft pay statements are the total amount of your income for each week you drive for Lyft. Lyft operates on a Monday through Sunday work week. You must set up direct deposit through your account to receive your pay.
You will receive daily, weekly, and feedback summaries through your email. Daily summaries are emailed every day, and everything you did that day is broken down into categories for easy viewing.
The rides section of your summary includes the distance you traveled, the amount of time you worked, and your tips.
The earning section details the amount you made from giving rides and any bonuses you received that day. You also get a breakdown of any cancellation fees and Lyft commission fees. This will help you keep track of how much you are making in total as well as how much you will be bringing home.
The time section of your summary features exactly how many hours, minutes, and seconds you spent in driver mode.
Remember to keep track of your daily summaries, because they will help you to ensure that Lyft has all of your earning information correct. The summaries are perfect reference material for any questions you might have regarding your pay.
Lyft will send you weekly summaries every Tuesday. This summary is set up the same way as your dailies but covers the entire week all in one summary.
Every Friday you will receive a feedback email. This email will consist of any comments left by passengers through the smartphone app. You will also be able to view your rating in stars.
A five-star rating is top notch, while a one-star rating is considered a poor rating. This feedback will help you to improve yourself as a Lyft driver, so please do not ignore it. Of course, sometimes you’ll get a passenger who’s just mean or unreasonable. But if someone has legitimate feedback, don’t take it personally. It can help you provide better service and ultimately earn more money.
Furthermore, you will be able to see where your ratings rank you against other Lyft drivers as well as how your newest ratings compare to your old ratings.
Reserving hours with Lyft is not a requirement of employment, but it does help to set forth what your weekly schedule will be. If you choose to reserve your hours, you can work a maximum of 50 hours over seven days.
You must have at least four hours per day and a maximum of 10 hours per day. You can use hour reservations to your advantage by setting them to coincide with Prime Time hours so that you can boost your earnings even further.
Why Use GPS Navigation
Lyft depends on GPS info to track your rides. While in driver mode, the app will regularly send your location into the Lyft server. This is how Lyft calculates how much the passengers should pay for their ride. It also allows Lyft to show your passenger where you are and when you are on your way to pick them up.
Lyft recommends that drivers either use the Waze GPS system, Google Maps, or the built-in Lyft app navigation. Remember that poor navigation is one reason drivers get low amounts of stars, so keeping yourself in sync with your GPS will get you to your passenger’s destination faster than trying to find it yourself.
How the Lyft Driver App Will Change Things
For most of Lyft’s existence, the company’s rideshare drivers would use the same app that Lyft passengers used. The only difference was that drivers had access to the “driver mode” we discussed above.
As more people started to use Lyft, however, the company recognized that it would make more sense for them to have a separate app for Lyft riders and drivers. They’ve since introduced the Lyft Driver app, which makes it much easier to keep your rideshare driving and riding separate.
The app runs on both iPhone and Android devices, and you can download it on the Google Play and Apple App Store. At the moment, Lyft still allows drivers to use the Lyft passenger app to give rides, but they’re eventually going to require all drivers to use the Lyft driver app. We recommend downloading the new app and using it, as it’s where Lyft will eventually introduce new features tailored specifically to drivers.
The Lyft App Makes It All Possible
Things have come a long way from the days when you had to dial a phone number to get a cab to pick you up. With Lyft, you can now get an affordable ride at the tap of a button pretty much anywhere in the United States. The company is even expanding into new areas like electric scooters and bikeshare services.
Curious about the app you’ll use as an Uber driver? We have a companion guide you should check out.