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Lyft Changed Trip Earning Rates in Eight Cities

Lyft Changed Trip Earning Rates in Eight Cities

In November 2018, Uber had announced a drastic change to the way drivers were compensated for each trip. In select cities, Uber drastically lowered per-mile rates and increased per-minute rates to better account for traffic. For most trips, the payout seems to be very similar but now longer distance trips will earn much less while trips stuck in traffic will earn much more. The outrage among Uber drivers was swift but overall drivers are now getting used to the new rates. There are always detractors out there that will always hate whatever Uber does, but many drivers continue to drive for Uber because they are still earning money and can drive whenever they want.

You can see which cities were affected and get more information about the rate changes in the below post.

About a month later, Lyft changed driver earnings in select cities as well

How Are the New Lyft Earnings Different?

This change only affects eight cities so the impact of the changes are minimal but they are in major Lyft markets. In short, they are cutting per-mile rates and drastically increasing per-minute rates. I find that for most trips, I am earning about the same or more with the new rates, especially when driving within the city where my trip time (in minutes) is much higher than trip distance (in miles). This will impact trips on either end of the spectrum, from long ride durations but short distance to long distance trips and short duration.

For trips with a long ride duration and short distance, the new rates will heavily favor these kind of trips. I find that many more of my trips are within the city, so I am earning much more on these trips where I am spending a lot of time navigating through the city. The new rates will reduce earnings for long trips that are mostly highway miles with little traffic.

What Is My Response to the New Rates?

I have been driving for the past few months under the new rates, and I find myself driving slower on the new rates. The per-minute rates are higher so if the trip takes an extra minute or two, it is essentially higher income for me. I don’t make it a priority to make every light or try to go the shortest route possible. I will often take a route that may be shorter in distance but longer in duration so I can increase my earnings. The shorter distance should save me some money in gas and wear and tear as well.

Lyft Changed Trip Earning Rates in Eight Cities

The changes to trip rates are only for Lyft Lux, Lux Black and Lux Black XL. It hasn’t affected regular Lyft or Lyft XL rates so the effects of this change is relatively small. I myself rarely get Lyft Lux trips on a weekly basis. I would be lucky to get more than 2 in a week.

For these rate cuts, Lyft emailed the policy out to all affected drivers early last week. These drivers shared them with their friends and national groups. The list of cities affected by the change is very small and hopefully it won’t expand to all cities.

Below is the list of cities and the amount of change of the rates:

LuxLux BlackLux Black XL
MinuteMileMinuteMileMinuteMile
atlanta-ga0.31-0.670.45-1.080.4-1.06
boston-ma0.35-1.030.48-1.580.5-1.65
chicago-il0.1-0.250.39-1.120.28-0.84
dallas-fort-worth-tx0.4-0.710.65-1.310.65-1.36
minneapolis-st-paul-mn0.3-0.560.35-0.70.35-0.75
phoenix-az0.36-0.650.56-1.070.58-1.23
sacramento-ca0.51-0.910.95-1.861.15-2.66
san-francisco-ca0.37-0.80.43-1.080.23-0.59
washington-dc0.22-0.60.42-1.260.41-1.22

Final Thoughts

Many drivers had predicted that Lyft would change the rates to match Uber. Both companies tend to mimic one another and this drastic change was no surprise. Lyft drivers hoped that Lyft wouldn’t change the rates so that there was some difference between the two services. However, Lyft ended up changing the rates after a few weeks.

In my previous post on Uber rates, I showed that most rides earned about the same amount. The rare long distance rides would be a few percent lower in ride earnings but earnings would be similar.

My advice to drivers is to simply drive slower. It would be in your best interest to follow the speed limit and ensure to hit a few red lights. Every 2-4 minutes extra per trip equates to about the earnings of a mile. If you added two red lights to a trip, it could increase your earnings as much as an additional mile. The other benefit of these rate changes is that now Shared Rides and Uber Pool will earn a little bit more. I find Uber Pool and Shared rides takes much longer than a regular ride.

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