Uber Launches Power Driver Rewards to Compete with Lyft
Uber is essentially copying Lyft’s Power Driver bonus in order to better compete with Lyft over full time drivers. They didn’t even bother changing the name, except for changing “Bonus” to “Reward.” Due to all the recent price cuts on both Uber and Lyft over the last year, the remaining difference between Uber and Lyft for some drivers was the Power Driver Bonus. There had been a growing number of drivers who preferred to drive on Lyft because of this bonus. After about 18 months, Uber is finally launching their own Power Driver Rewards program.
Lyft launched Power Driver Bonus in order to attract more full time drivers. Historically, Lyft always had issues attracting and keeping full time drivers. Uber had a much easier time because they already had thousands of UberBlack drivers in many cities to build on. Lyft started from a mostly part time driver basis. The main complaint had always been that drivers just made more on Uber, mainly due to more trips per hour. In order to combat that, Lyft offered to give drivers a 20% bonus if they drove more than 50 hours a week. They then added on a requirement where you had to drive a certain number of peak hours during the week. Lyft would send out an email the week before defining what the peak hours were in the upcoming week, so it became a game to hit the peak hours.
Some drivers eventually found a small loophole in Lyft’s Power Driver Rewards. The reward requirements did not have a eligible area that the trips had to be within, so many drivers who lived on the outer part of the coverage map left their apps on all day and night in order to hit the required number of hours. In many of these cases, the drivers didn’t really make that much to make it lucrative, but it did reward drivers with an essentially free 10% or 20% on their earnings for basically doing nothing. For example, say driver drove for 30 hours and made about $600 net. If they left their apps on for another 20 hours, they could get another $120 for essentially doing nothing. This was the main reason why Lyft changed the terms of the promotion.
I was about to write about this loophole about 4 months ago but then Lyft decided to change the Power Driver Bonus in that you had to complete a required number of trips, with a certain number of trips during peak hours. They also added a vehicle requirement in that the car had to be 2011 or newer. After speaking with a few drivers, there were a few that either bought a newer car or considered getting one for the bonus. This underscores how important the Power Driver Rewards bonus is for some drivers.
As of now, the program for Uber is only live in San Francisco, but I see this program rolling out to more cities over the next few months, with a nationwide roll out sometime in May or June. Below is an email I got from a loyal reader in San Francisco. Keep in mind that if it launches in other cities, the number of trips will be lower. San Francisco always have a higher trip requirement for these kind of bonuses and promotions.
Here the notable details
- The program started in San Francisco on February 22nd
- Similar to Lyft, you will have to hit a certain number of trips per week to get either 10% or 20% bonus in your weekly pay statement
- As of now, there is no peak trip requirement, but in the future they may require it
- Similar to Lyft, each Uberpool passenger count for the trip total.
- Similar to Lyft, the cars need to be 2011 or newer
- UberBlack trips do not count towards trip requirement
- Power Driver Rewards will be available for all partners through May 22nd, 2016. No word on if they are launching it in other cities
Below was the email I received from a reader in San Francisco:
The incentive is a reward equal to 10% or 20% (depending on number of completed trips) of a driver-partner’s gross fares between Monday at 4:00am PST and the following Monday at 3:59am PST.
Below please find an example of the reward you could expect to receive on your next pay statement if you earn $1,500 in gross fares (excluding Booking Fee) and complete 100+ trips during the week.
Total Fares After Booking Fees: $1,500
Reward: $300 (20% x $1,500 = $300)
Peak Hour Information
Want to know the best time to drive so you can complete your trips quickly? Here are the suggested peak hours to help you hit your trip requirements:
*For a limited time, peak hours are not required for the Power Driver Rewards eligibility, however, these hours are the highest demand times and will help you hit your trip minimum faster.
Eligibility Requirements For Power Driver Rewards
- This incentive is available for all driver-partners in the San Francisco Bay Area who have a car with a model year of 2011 or newer. uberPOOL, uberX, uberXL, and uberSELECT trips qualify for Power Driver Rewards.
- Incentive below:
- 80 trips – 10% incentive
- 100 trips – 20% incentive
- Maintain a 90% acceptance rate over all hours driven.
- Your acceptance rate is calculated by taking the total number of trip requests that you accepted during the week divided by the total number of trip requests that were sent to you during that same week. Totals are based on trip requests between Monday at 4:00am PST and the following Monday at 3:59am PST.
- For a limited time, there are no peak hour requirements. Trips at all hours will count towards your weekly trip goals.
- Trips must be completed in the San Francisco Bay Area between Monday 4:00am PST and Monday 3:59am PST to be included in that week’s incentive.
- Qualification parameters reset each Monday at 4:00am PST for each of the eligible weeks.
- No more than 5 rides given to the same passenger will count towards the trip requirement.
- We reserve the right to withhold or deduct payments that we determine or believe were in error, fraudulent, illegal, or in violation of driver terms or these terms.
- Power Driver Rewards will be available for all partners through May 22nd, 2016.
The Power Driver Rewards are deposited weekly when your earnings are transferred to your checking account. They reset each week, so if you take a couple days off one week, you can start fresh the next.
uberPOOL: Each uberPOOL passenger’s ride will count towards your weekly goal as a completed ride.
*UberBLACK trips, Star Power trips, and cancelled trips do not qualify for Power Driver Rewards.