All Lyft Line drivers know that they get less income per mile and minute than from Lyft Classic. This was true until Lyft realized that drivers were shirking from Lyft Line rides and that caused a lot of issues with many customers. The recent change to pricing has matched Lift Lyne rates to those of Lyft Classic rates.
Here is a quick overview of the rideshare rate payment schemes
Rate Payments – An Overview
December 2015 saw a change in Uber Pool rates, a reduction in per mile and the minute rate was introduced to make their customer pricing more attractive and competitive. In February 2016 Lyft also lowered their Lyft Line rates, the companies both stated that more rides would generate more income for drivers. What these companies didn't take into account were the issues rising from UberPool and Lyft Line, the complexities and the stress, compound that with the lower income per ride and it was natural to observe a significant rise in drivers dissatisfaction in 2017. What had happened was that many drivers blocked UberPool and Lyft Line rides, and unless they were part of a Quest or Power Drive Boost, they would be ignored.
The UberPool/Lyft Line ride explained
Consider what happens in a pool ride. The driver has to pick up multiple passengers, many of whom not only do not bond with each other but can sometimes clash. Added to that are the amazing smells that mingle in a closed car, and you get a terrible ride with so many starts and stops, that the driver will stop the car and run off never to be heard of again. Let's look at this closer:
Pool driving means the driver has to collect any number of passengers on the way to a specific destination. This concept grew out of the rideshare pools that many employees of the same company would use to ease their day riding and fuel consumption to work. Uber's pool offers the same service, and drivers now collect passengers on the way to the same destination.
Sometimes new passengers don't realize that they are the first in a line fo passengers to be collected on the way. So they start to grumble, then the driver gets the late or delayed pickups which cause the process to slow down. Add to this the traffic concerns, cops, and parking officials. Consider the problems of double parking in areas that you can not find a place to park and then add to that the hassle of crossing lanes in heavy traffic. All these factors become exaggerated when taking on grumbling passengers, passengers with different body odors, mouth odors and perhaps some posterior flushing odors. You think that's all; you are wrong. If the time of year is cold, or hot and the car is sealed, the mingling of all these wonderful scents causes even more aggravation. Now, add to this the cohesiveness of conversation. Imagine the number of people that can be stubborn, loud, ignorant or egotistical. The driver has to manage driving as well as dealing with all this in the car.
The lowered price rates were a slap in the face of the drivers since pool driving is much harder than regular driving and in the end didn't add more income but cost more in the quality of the driver's life.
This change in pricing, introduced by Lyft President John Zimmer in July 2017, came as a surprise and welcome change to the Lyft drivers world. While many readers would not consider the change a breakthrough, the rate only increased by 10 cents a mile, but when you factor in all the elements of a pool ride, you realize how much of an increase this is, which is around 11.77% on gross income. This income is both realized by Lyft and the driver, which is a fresh change to how drivers are usually treated when price changes occur.
Lyft Driver Incentive
Lyft drivers now have an immediate and tangible incentive to accept Lyft Line rides. Although the problems arising with dealing with share passengers remains the same, and the hassle of driving with many pickups and drop off remains an issue. The income generated is the same as a classic ride. So at least the driver can now enter a pool drive with a smile and be better equipped (emotionally) to deal with all the shit some passengers give them.
Add to the psychological and financial upgrade the Power drive or Bonuses and drivers will now consider more Lyft Line rides when factoring in these extra financial tools to increase their daily earnings.
The Uber – Lyft Competition
You might think that Lyfts surprising announcement came as a direct driver incentive result from an online review of pool driving statistics. It didn't work in fact; Uber had instigated the same concept in LA, where LA UberPool drivers could get the same rates as UberX rides. The Uber pilot most probably triggered the Lyft announcement, and they made it national not local.
The Uber Pool LA Pilot
Let's take a look at what happened in LA. Uber started a new pilot pool pay model in LA to check how they could increase drivers incentives to take pool rides. The massive decline in drivers taking on pool rides was felt nationally, and the only way to combat this issue was to hit it where it originated from, the driver's income rates.
The UberPool pilot offers a great incentive, better than the Lyft Line rate upgrade. Uber Pool drivers in LA got a matching rate to UberX as well as an additional 56 cents per passenger. This increased the pooled income enough to make it a preferred ride.