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What Does It Take to Hit Lyft Power Driver Bonus?

What Does It Take to Hit Lyft Power Driver Bonus?

The Lyft Power Driver Bonus was a program to incentivize Lyft drivers to drive more on Lyft. Lyft drastically rolled back the Power Driver program last year and discontinuing it in many smaller markets. Originally, the Power Driver bonus required a driver to be within a certain zone for a number of hours a week. Some drivers took advantage of this program by staying online in rural areas without having trip requests, racking up hours for the program without driving. The incentive was either a 10% bonus or a 20% bonus for the week. For the drivers who were in rural areas, it didn’t really earn them much more money since it was based on a percentage of earnings. It did give them a free 20% for the week but the bonus wasn’t that much.

Lyft then drastically changed the program to require trips instead of online hours. They also instituted “Peak Hours,” specific hours during the week and drivers must have enough trips during these hours in order to qualify for the bonus. There is also a total trip count for the week. These trips could be anywhere in the market and is slightly different from the “Average Hourly Guarantee.”

In 2016, Lyft implemented another requirement for the Power Driver bonus. They required drivers to operate a vehicle 2011 or newer in order to qualify for the Power Driver bonus. Some drivers went out to buy a newer car to qualify for the bonus. For full time drivers logging many hours, it was quite worth it in order to earn 20% more a week. 20% could be worth up to $400 a week extra.

My Power Driver Bonus Week:

Below is my week that I qualified for Lyft Power Driver Bonus:

I only drove on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Lyft seemed to have added a few more peak hours Friday night and Saturday night recently, which made it a bit easier to meet the Power Driver Bonus.

I actually needed two more regular rides (not peak) to get the full 20% but I was a bit tired on Friday so went home early.

Here is the summary of the stats:

Peak Hours

I find that the Average Hourly Guarantees bring a lot of drivers on the road, which makes it harder to get those peak rides. However, I find that weekday morning and Friday/Saturday night peak hours are fairly easy to get rides and Lyft lines to get multiple trips. Weekday afternoon is a mixed bag since some people may be looking for long trips home and with traffic, you would only do 1 peak trip an hour. I usually have much better luck on weekday morning peak hours than weekday afternoon. Friday afternoon is a mixed bag, but Friday and Saturday nights are good. Saturday and Sunday morning peak hours are good bets. Other drivers tend to avoid morning hours so that is usually the best time to get peak trips. I once hit the peak trip requirements by just doing weekday morning peak hours a few months ago, back when the requirement was only 25 peak rides. I was gunning for the Average Hourly Guarantee that week.

Regular Trip Requirements

If you are just trying to meet the trip requirements, you will need to accept every trip. From experience, if you drive over 40 hours a week, things will even out. You will have short trips and long trips. Line requests turn into non-matched long trips that gets changed (rate-wise) to regular Lyft rates. Sure I could have earned a few more bucks by cherry picking rides, especially with Prime Time, but it was so much easier accepting every ride. By the metrics you see above, I could’ve refused 7 rides and still maintain a 90% acceptance rate.

I ended that week with just about 110 trips, which means I could have ignored about 11 requests that week.

Strategy for Power Driver Bonus

First of all, if you want to qualify for this bonus (a percentage bonus), you should be looking to work for more than 40 hours. Its all or nothing. The more you continue to drive on the platform (at peak times, if possible), then the more you gain from the bonus. However, if you have a fixed bonus ($110 a week, for example), then it would be best to do the bare minimum for that bonus and then consider doing Uber after that. Remember that Lyft takes a commission on the Prime Time portion of the ride too. It won’t be in your best interest to drive for the bonus just to meet the bare requirements. As you can see above, the bonus isn’t worth that much if you only meet the requirement. I ended up driving as much as I could in order to earn a higher bonus on the 20% portion.

For the week I drove, there was quite a few Average Hourly Guarantee hours. I only drove a handful of hours that was not guarantee, so my earnings hovered around 28 an hour before commission. When I drive on the Average Hourly Guarantee, I tried to drive as little as possible in order to get a bigger bonus from Lyft. If I exceeded the Average Hourly Guarantee, I would try to disqualify myself for that hour, which means turning off the app for more than 10 minutes of that hour. Pre-emptively, I would turn off my app about 6-8 minutes of every hour to make sure I didn’t get a ride the last few minutes. I would typically earn another $50-$100 for the week from Average Hourly Guarantees.

Personally, I accepted every single trip. Every single one. When I hit the bonus, I was driving a short week, so I had no idea how long it would take me to hit the bonus. I actually like short line trips because I was trying to rack up both peak and regular trips in the week. I would try my best to get as many peak trips as possible since they can only occur at select hours of the day. However, there are many peak hours on Saturday so you can easily get enough peak trips on Friday and Saturday and avoid driving any other weekdays. You would still need to drive over 30 hours and it can be a daunting task to do all of that on just Friday and Saturday.

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