Published on March 29th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba
March 29th, 2019 by Jennifer Sensiba
After recently going public, Lyft is trying to attract more drivers and maybe take some of Uber’s best with some new perks. By offering no-fee bank accounts with automatic deposits, and cheaper repairs, they hope to sweeten the deal without increasing driver pay. They’re also increasing the number of hybrid and electric vehicles available for driver rentals.
For those not following the rideshare market, it’s been a wild ride the last few years. A price war between Lyft and Uber drove passenger pay lower and lower, and with it, driver pay. The services promised lower pollution and congestion, but studies are showing the opposite happening. It even got so bad in New York that they capped the number of permits available in the city for rideshare drivers, and other cities are considering doing the same. All the while, many drivers work for both Uber and Lyft, and the services want as many drivers as possible to prevent charging “surge” or “primetime” rates and to shorten wait times for passengers.
But the big challenge is that they can’t do this by increasing driver pay, or they risk being undercut by the competition. In a recent email to Lyft drivers, they announced several changes to try to help drivers earn more money and reduce the environmental impact.
“As we become a public company, we’d like to thank our drivers for every mile, minute, and conversation you’ve given so far.” they said. “Just days ago, we announced the launch of Lyft Driver Services, designed to save you money and make driving easier. Now, we’re more equipped and accountable than ever to support drivers like you.”
The email directs drivers to their new “Why Drive With Lyft?” page. They first go over the new Lyft Direct Debit Card. If drivers sign up for one, they get instant deposits to the account after every ride without the usual $0.50 fee. They also get no ATM fees for withdrawals, and some cashback rewards.
They’re also rolling out “driver centers,” where drivers can get reduced cost repairs and maintenance for their vehicles. For those outside of an area with a center, mobile repair services will soon be available in several cities, with more to come later this year. The idea is to both provide cheaper repairs and less time without the car out of service.
They also announced that they’re ordering more vehicles to expand the Express Drive program to more cities. To start, they ordered over 6,000 new vehicles, with most of them being hybrid or electric vehicles. This probably is mostly meant as a perk for drivers to keep gas costs down, but is probably also meant to help reduce the environmental impact of the service in cities.
Finally, they announced increased Driver Advisory Councils to get more feedback from drivers and announced that people using GEICO rideshare insurance will get higher pay on every ride.
While I’m sure most drivers would like to just see higher pay, these moves seem to be designed to help drivers reduce their expenses and take home more pay at the end of the month. While we watch to see how this goes, be sure to TIP YOUR DRIVERS if you use these services and your driver did a reasonably good job. These days, the driver usually gets less than half of the money you are paying for a ride. Just a few bucks from each passenger can make a big difference at the end of the day.