My Lyft Experience After a Year

Originally posted on December 6, 2022 @ 10:23 AM

So MUCH to say (write) as I review my time driving for Lyft (almost exclusively) since right before Thanksgiving, 2021.

But let me first acknowledge that I’ll always be grateful, regardless, because I realize I GET TO DO THIS!  Not everyone has that perspective about what they do for income.

My primary issue with how Uber and Lyft operate has always been their continued chipping away at driver earnings, while also charging riders more.  Neither company compensates its drivers fairly, and NOW, these current “upfront fares” nonsense implemented in the past year with Uber, and the past month with Lyft, are straight out theft, in my opinion (and felt by thousands of drivers).

I REALLY want to stop driving now, but until I find a suitable replacement, I will continue to drive while also documenting publicly what I know to be true, and believe the general public ought to know.

I concluded years ago that as a driver, there are only 2 choices.  Drive or Quit.  Any, all and everything else is simply complaining, commiserating, crying, cussing, and venting against the wind, while accomplishing nothing to change the fares for the better for drivers OR riders.

When I started this site in April, 2017, it was to promote a new rideshare.  That mission hasn’t changed all these years later.  What I wrote years ago was an effort to show the discrepancies and disparities that existed and to highlight a better way with something new.  That purpose still hasn’t changed  either.

So let me summarize my time driving for Lyft and show you how BAD it has really gotten.

I reluctantly applied in April 2021, only because my sister and I would get a 4 figure bonus when I completed X number of rides in 30 days of signing up.  You would think that the same background check company that does their investigations for both Uber and Lyft would see that I’d been driving for Uber since June 2016, and issue my approval to drive for Lyft in a reasonable timeframe.

It was sometime in August when I finally got notice that I could drive.  WHAT?!  All the previous inquiries provided no answers or resolutions, and NOW, 4 months later, I am ‘worthy’ to drive for Lyft?!  And, of course, there was no bonus paid since I didn’t (and couldn’t) complete X number of rides in the first 30 days.  Because I was livid, I continued to resist turning on the app until the week before Thanksgiving.

Initially, I was loving driving for Lyft over Uber because: 1) I live in an area when the map usually showed a $2-$4+ bonus for every ride, and 2) Lyft was offering 3 ride streak bonus for $9, $12, $15 or $18.  In the early months, driving for dollars was easier compared to what has happened in the past month with Lyft.

Back in September, 2017, Uber announced Upfront Pricing for riders.  This meant that a rider’s fare would be based on an estimated time and distance, which also meant it was no longer tied to what drivers would be paid!

Since that time, drivers have been paid based on minutes and miles, and it varied amongst drivers, and areas of the country.

Earlier in 2022, Uber announced Upfront Fares for drivers.  I knew instinctively, and from all the online chatter and screenshots, that Uber was showing a flat fare with the time and distance to pickup, as well as the actual trip’s time and distance.  All are estimates. Which means, the amount shown is typically not accurate based on the actual time and mileage driven, nor is there any way to adjust the fare that was offered and accepted!

The following video is about Upfront Fares for drivers in California.  Know that it’s worse in other parts of the country.

Before Lyft went to Upfront Fares for drivers, in November, 2022, in Georgia, my rate has been 11 cents a minute and 60 cents a mile.  Some drivers were getting 20 cents a minute or 9 cents a minute.  And I’ve heard over the years that Lyft drivers who rented their cars were only paid 41 cents a mile, instead of 60 cents. 

NOW . . . we have no idea what the fare is based on because there is no rate card anymore!  Drivers are shown an amount and have less than 10 seconds to try to calculate whether the trip is worth taking or not for the amount of money being offered.  Many riders are waiting longer for a driver to show up AND long trips (more than 45 minutes) are simply not being accepted by seasoned drivers because we KNOW it makes no financial sense to do so.

Sad to say, none of the trips being offered these days are worth the money being offered, particularly if you find out what the rider paid for the same trip.  It’s absolutely theft what Uber and Lyft are doing.

Watch these astonishing videos to get an idea of how awful things have become.

After watching the last video again, I asked myself:  How Bad Is It Really? and did some math calculations to answer that question.

Because no one driver or even a group of drivers have been able to affect any meaningful change on behalf of drivers, I’ve decided to do what I can to educate the public while hoping and praying someone is listening.

Download HERide so we can all make a positive change in the rideshare industry by paying drivers better, saving riders money, and offering safer trips for women. If you do not already have a referral code, feel free to use:  DE50A

Thanks SO much for taking time to visit.

PLEASE freely share this information with your rideshare friends and family!

It’s that simple and would be so appreciated. 

You have NO idea who YOU know that needs this information.

Remember:  YOU Do NOT Need To Be a Rider or Driver to help support the movement for a BETTER rideshare experience. Just share this site with others!

P.S.  I’m fairly certain you found value in the content presented here because it doesn’t exist anywhere else.  It is my personal experience as a rideshare driver in Atlanta since August 2016.  This site was created during Easter 2017 and has found new life since finding HERide.

So, feel free to TIP your rideshare and HERide driver, Anita Johnson.  Every moment not “driving for dollars” results in a lot of time to do any and everything, but no money is made immediately.  Drivers are out here for the money.  Why else would we drive in the ATL?  🙂

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Anita Johnson

An unlikely "full-time" rideshare driver who has safely completed 11,670 Uber trips in Metro Atlanta since August 2016, and 2,828 Lyft trips since 2021. My interest in rideshare driver earnings began due to Uber's 2017 decision to change driver payout from 80%, then 75%, to mileage and minutes rates when riders were given Upfront Pricing. In 2022, Uber came up with Upfront Fares for drivers, which is significantly less than what drivers were earning in 2016. Driving for HERide since September 2022 has been exciting, and a refreshing breath of fresh air that Atlanta needs to know about!