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Yeah. Saturday's are usually better. Fridays people are too tired from working all week.

I got a highly risky lyft for the evening from the airport out to Princeton. Lyft is still allowing requests from that area. So I did probably the same as being in town all night if not better, and snagged one more ride in the north suburbs to make a guarantee hour.

I'm really beat now. I've been doing it for about 3 months and I can see why people say that's all most drivers last. It's fun at first, then it suddenly really starts to wear on you.

Probably only gonna stalk Uber surges in my area tomorrow night, Lyft guarantee hours or not. Hit a 1.9 and a 1.5 back to back last week both for rides longer than 5 miles...
 

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Yeah, I have never actually done the bar closings and between Lyft and Uber doing $500-550/week with planning and absolute rejection of all Uber pings that aren't surges :) I had a drunk yacker (er, talker) in my car last night, I really don't want them aha.

This week has been great for Lyft business - I did well Thursday night. BUT - those almost are all were cheap UberX millenials only on Lyft for the half-off sale, not regular Lyft customers. Only got $7 in tips even with a bag of Starburst! A few Uber cash tips though Thurs...Here's hoping this sale defaults people to Lyft and they start hitting that $1 tip button at least. I need 9.5 more hours for the darned Lyft 10% bonus, so that's probably all I'll do the rest of the weekend. Should hit my $500 goal then I think.
 

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Right now yeah, it's good. Lyft is trying really hard to get drivers and passengers in Philly. Uber got here first, Uber probably has 70-80% of the market share. With the shared $1500 referral bonuses (you split it with your referring driver), the guarantees, and the power driver bonuses, they're really set first on getting drivers over to Lyft and keeping them from doing Uber at the same time. The guarantees are the big thing - they are mostly $20 fare/hr guarantees with $25/hr on Friday and Saturday nights. If you want to hit the guarantee, you better not run Uber at the same time. Actually I have in the previous weeks before this rate sale (Lyft was half-off all week) and just when I think I'm going to clear an hour hustling, I get another Lyft ping during an Uber ride.

Now that wasn't enough, but with the rate sale Thursday I could really see the effect on Uber. A lot of drivers are on both - Thursday night Uber was surging in weird places at weird times because there simply weren't enough drivers - everyone was on Lyft.

If it keeps up, Uber will surge more and Lyft will look better for riders. Lyft's prime time system is more fair than Uber's. The prime time area can be just a couple of blocks, but as you know Uber lights up center city in 4 really big areas. It's really unfair to someone in north Mt. Airy to pay a surge because Manayunk has a lot of drunk people who need rides (and Manayunk always has a lot of drunk people who need rides lol.)

Now what's bad about Lyft:

1) For some reason Lyft rides of equivalent distance and time are coming out to be lower fares than on Uber, in some cases by $2. This despite the fact that the per mile and per minute rates are the same! I don't have that many exactly equivalent rides to check but the ones I have show Lyft as being a lower price! Lyft doesn't give us the same breakdown Uber does on rides, so I have no idea what's going on. A lot of passengers have said it's cheaper for them a lot. On the other hand, Lyft is more expensive but better for drivers on those <1.5 mile rides because they seem to be including the trust & safety fee in the calculation of commission, but Uber doesn't. That means they take 20% of the $5 minimum which is $1, whereas Uber takes 20% of $4 ($5 minus the $1 trust & safety fee), so you actually net less for each ride ($3.2). Again it pisses me off to no end I can't see the breakdown for each ride on Lyft.

2) Keeping your acceptance rate above 90% is a must for Lyft if you want the guarantees and bonuses. So again, don't even think about double dipping. Keep 'em on our side is the Lyft plan.

3) The surge areas are smaller. So you have less chance of catching one. And there is no way to tell if you're getting a surge rate so you can't cancel on them the way you probably do on Uber if you are in a surge area and get a non-surge request. You only find out if it was a surge rate or not the next day.

4) You have to schedule a test drive with a "mentor" to get on board. At least this probably weeds out obviously bad cars and drivers. This is a good thing in the long run.

All in all I definitely prefer Lyft right now. But that won't stop me from stalking surge rates on Uber. It's worth the gamble, even during a $25/guarantee hour for a 2x or greater surge. Anything less than that and I don't care, I'll work Lyft. If Uber is surging, I will make those Lyft guarantees for sure.
 

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The guarantees are paid by Lyft, they expect you to make more money than the guarantee so they don't have to pay you the remainder. And there aren't that many of them really. 6-9am, 5-7pm, and 9pm-12am for example. In the past two weeks I have beaten the $20 guarantee hours once, but they've paid out the other times a bit. The $25/hr ones are especially worth it, but this week they really suck unless you like the bar crowd - it's 10pm-3am Friday and Saturday for the $25/hr guarantee. Those are PRE-commission guarantees btw. So the $20 rate gets you $15/hr. BUT - on Lyft you have a chance to make tips. Downtown without a surge I sure as hell can't make $15 an hour on Uber. Also they average across ALL the week's guarantee hours. So maybe you got lucky and did well one night, but only had one ride an hour during the other guarantee hours, so no guarantee money for you because you blew your average.

They are paying them to increase market share and steal Uber drivers. Yes, they will end someday I'm sure. But right now Lyft apparently has enough capital to do this. They are bleeding money - even Uber is still not making a profit, which amazes me, but that's what the news reports say.

But the fact that Lyft is doing things that will be better in the long run for the company's reputation and staying power - allowing tips, parterning with Starbucks, running sales, and not using overly large surge zones, gives me hope that the better company will eventually win out. And they've decided to focus exclusively on the US and not expand overseas for now, so all their money is being spent here, whereas Uber is fighting legal battles in dozens of countries and overexpanding.

As for Philly, I don't know. I hope they increase market share. In the meantime, I am doing ok combining Uber surge stalking and Lyft guarantee hours. Doing either alone would not be worth it in my opinion.

Off to bed!
 
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