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Lyft Ends PDB Power Driver Bonus in 5 Cities Today

Lyft Ends PDB Power Driver Bonus in 5 Cities Today

Lyft started the Power Driver Bonus in August 2014. Back then, this program was replacing their promotion where the driver fares were commission free for the past few months. Looking at their original announcement, they started this program and never mentioned that there would be an end date. The first mention of an end date was that they were extending the bonus back in January 2015 for another month. Every few months after that, they keep mentioning that they will extend the Power Driver Bonus.

Lyft Ends PDB Power Driver Bonus

They noted that the Power Driver Bonus (PDB) has given out over $87 million dollars in the past two years. In the beginning, some drivers were cashing in on the bonus without even driving. The old metrics were based on hours and not by rides like it is today. A lot of drivers would sign on for hours at a time at home outside of the city so that they won’t get requests, but continue to accrue online time to meet the Power Driver Bonus (PDB). Lyft put an end to this scheme last year by changing from hours to trips and also adding in an additional requirement for Peak Trips. Most of the requirements are in line with the old hours system.

An email was sent last week announcing that the Power Driver Bonus (PDB) will be phased out today, November 7th at 4:59am local time. Here are the list of cities that will not have PDB anymore:

Also, the Power Driver Bonus (PDB) has been lowered from 10%/20% down to 5%/10% in Oklahoma City. I won’t be surprised if Oklahoma City will be losing PDB in the very near future. I also believe that Lyft will be rolling back the Power Driver Bonus in many other cities and only keep the bonus in a few of Lyft’s bigger markets in order to better compete with Uber.

Power Driver Bonus As a Competitive Advantage

There were many times when I wanted to drive just a few more trips in order to get the Power Driver Bonus. This creates a powerful incentive for both part time and full time drivers. It motivates part time drivers to complete a few more trips to get the bonus. It incentivizes full time drivers to primary drive for Lyft full time, assuming that they can make as much as Uber with the same number of hours online with Lyft.

Many full time drivers claim that they get anywhere between $200-$400 a week extra because of the Power Driver Bonus. This is a major increase in pay, considering that these drivers are earning about $800-$1800 a week. 20% is a lot once you consider income in that range.

Power Driver Bonus in Other Markets?

There hasn’t been much communication about the Power Driver Bonus in other markets. In Seattle, they added in a few extra “Peak Hours” during the Thursday night commute. This is good news for at least Seattle since it means that Power Driver Bonus is here to stay for a little while. They also lowered their fares back to the same level as Uber. They claimed that it was just a test but I believe that they were less competitive at a higher price. This shows that at a minimum, Lyft needs Power Driver Bonus to compete with Uber in those cities with the higher pricing.

How Uber Fights Against Power Driver Bonus

Uber has multiple ways to incentivize drivers, which have been around for some time:

Each of these tactics motivates drivers to be online for Uber at specific times, usually the busiest times in the day. It helps reduce the number of available hours drivers are willing to drive on Lyft. Some drivers drive so much that they cash in on both types of incentives, but it is difficult for most part time drivers. Drivers pick and choose who they drive for. However, the tipping option for some drivers is a clear winner. Some drivers noted that they earn about 20% alone in tips, which heavily tips the scales in Lyft’s favor.

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