The Lyft Journey 🚘
It’s been almost a year and over 600 happy passengers since we’ve tried Lyft as a mini side hustle. In this blog post we will talk about my overall experience driving with Lyft. We’ll touch base with my overall experience, some of my stories, and what I liked and what could be improved on (from a technical stand point, of course!)😛. I can honestly say that the experience has been overall good! Sure, there are some bugs in the iOS app that we will discuss later in this article, but some of them have seemed to be resolved, while other nuisances still exist.
Taking a Chance!
So, what made me decide to join Lyft? Well, that answer is pretty easy. Since I just graduated with my masters degree in IT Management (MsITM), I had a lot more free time on my hands from not studying around the clock for the past several years. I always planned on increasing my streams of revenue, because why not? With high inflation and how the current economy isn’t doing so well, I figured driving a few hours here and there would be worth it as long as I can do it part time. And by part time, I mean less than 8 hours a week, sometimes only for 3.5 hours. This will help keep the depreciation of the car value from dropping significantly while using it as a source of income. Plus, this still allows me to have more free time over the weekend when I’m not doing my regular 9-5 job Monday through Friday.
After doing some research into what I would be preparing myself for, what materials I would need, watching a few YouTube videos from TheRideShareGuy, I was confident enough to take the challenge into unknown territory. The benefit I thought to myself was that I would be able to explore a lot of different locations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area while getting paid. When I lived in NJ, I would travel as an IT Support Technician in a company car all the time, so driving to long places each week was a no brainer for me too.
Main Materials Used
After careful consideration, I’ve opted to use the following:
- Audio Video Recording Window Cars Stickers.
- Hutton Lyft Rideshare Sign (No longer available). Read Lawsuit here.
- Apeman C860 Dash Camera.
- Rideshare Rating Tips Accessories Driver Signs.
These materials have helped me along the way. I highly recommend using a car dash cam because it can be used as a deterrent for unwanted behavior as well as recording your entire drive on or off Lyft. Always remember to look after your own best interests whenever driving with strangers. If there is ever a disagreements or false accusations, the camera has everything recorded as a liability too. Also you can always cancel or decline a ride at any given time!
There are way too many stories that I can delve into, but I will try to filter them out the best I can! You see, I have drove so many people from CEOs, VPs, Parents, Elderly, and tourists. Yes, even I have picked up drunk people before. Just a pro-tip, it doesn’t matter if its afternoon or night time, the chances are you will pick up a drunk passenger from time to time.
The one story that stood out to me was picking up a passenger that claimed he had overdosed on drugs and was on support for several months. From there he described his experience of what it was like living in hell. He described it as constant nightmares that never ended. He claimed to sober up a few years after but relapsed again. He claimed he is clean now but who knows. I only wish him the best!
One of the most bizarre stories was picking up a passenger during night time. It was around winter time and the person was covered head to toe with a winter like trench coat. They needed me to put a cooler in my trunk. This cooler must’ve weighed about 150 pounds! It took us both to lift it into my trunk. As soon as the passenger entered the car, they asked me if the camera was recording inside, and I replied yes. The passenger then told me they could not ride with me any longer, so I had to cancel the ride and then take out the cooler from the trunk again. I then drove off thinking to myself, what happens if that was like a serial killer? What if there was body parts in that cooler?! Mind you we were not at a grocery store, it was in the middle of the plaza I had picked up this passenger. I was getting creep vibes the whole time. Thank goodness I was able to cancel the ride without any issues.
Passenger Success & Feedback
I’ve learned that by engaging with passengers in a positive and neutral manner can help with potential tips and help reassure the passenger that they will be safe with you while traveling from Point A to Point B. If you feel that a passenger is not in a good mood or not interested in chatting, then its best to let them enjoy a mute ride. Having an overall positive ride can increase your score reviews and help you increase your tier level whether its silver, gold, or platinum. Additionally, it can help increase your tip potentials! Finally, ALWAYS be friendly and curtious. A simple smile and “how are you?” can go a long way.
Bugs and Area’s of Improvement
Since everything is expanding in the DFW Metroplex area at an amazing rate, the GPS cannot update to new construction zones or residencies, thus leading me to either a wrong direction, a shorter path to a location, or a location that is non-existent. Granted there is so much Lyft can do, but a good warning sign of a new area would be nice!
An area of approvement would be when you’re filtering to travel to an airport, but once you are or near the terminals, it will try to sync you with a passenger in the vicinity instead of being geo-fenced within the airport property. I had a bonus get cancelled because I declined a ride while already driving about a mile out from the passenger loading zone for the airport.
Lastly, another area of improvement would be adding better streaks for drivers who work on weekends only. Yes there are already streaks, however the time frames are either too early or too late for me since I usually hit the road after 9AM up until 3 or 4PM (depending on traffic and other factors).
Lyfts New Feature
From August 14th until September 16th, Lyft has recently rolled out a new feature for their select drivers known as Extra Earnings.
According to Lyft, this is only available in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Tampa Bay area. I’m fortunate enough to be selected for this new feature and it does increase your earnings. Add a tip and bonus on top of it, you can even make close to 100% of your earnings back! As the driver, you will see how much increase the price will be up front and after the ride you will be able to see how much the increase was.
Here is an example of my 10% Extra Earnings between two passengers under the 1 hour window:
I made $41.15 in about 30 mins. Not bad, eh?
Here is an example of what the Extra Earnings schedule rides look like:
Hopefully Lyft will continue to deliver with this program for exceptional drivers (such as myself) with over 5.0 star ratings. Every little penny added helps!
The bottom line is driving with Lyft has been overall enjoyable. I am able to see locations and venues that passengers like to travel to, to see and visit. I usually write down these locations on a small pad that I have in my console. I am doing this in the DFW Metroplex area so if you’re doing Lyft in another state, then the prices and pays will obviously be different. The average pay in this area based on my own experience has been anywhere from $15-$35 an hour. The holidays will pay the most of course since everyone will be out shopping. Lyft has been a great side hustle for me that helps keep my revenue stream flowing. However, I don’t see myself doing Lyft full time because I already have a good paying primary job! ☺️
If you’re a new driver, then I recommend reading Lyft’s New Drivers Guide. This should help cover some questions that you may have at the time.
Interested in driving with Lyft in the DFW area or elsewhere? Then use our referral link and earn $680 guaranteed when you give 170 rides in 30 days!!!