Lyft presents itself as a driver-friendly app that has the best interests of drivers at heart. While it began with the company being involved in contributing to charity and being vocal about social issues, the rideshare company is struggling to offer drivers what they need.
Two factors are greatly affecting the company: the pandemic and the labor shortage. The pandemic has kept people at home, less likely to travel, and those who were driving were more likely to use their own vehicles over getting into a car with another person who could possibly infect them. Many drivers shifted to transporting food. This takes away the need to interact face-to-face with the other party, a high demand for deliveries, and drivers could see where their pay was coming from with those other apps.
While other rideshare giant Uber was able to focus on UberEats, Lyft didn’t have that option. With ride demand returning, the lack of drivers is creating a shortage. Lyft’s lack of transparency and other options to still participate in the gig economy with other companies is causing rift with their drivers.
Lyft drivers usually take home less pay than Uber and they aren’t able to see how much passengers pay for the ride. Lyft commented that they’re focused on the driver experience. With driver rewards and upfront payments, the driver can see the information about the trip and earnings and then choose to accept the ride or not.
The rideshare company’s algorithm takes more time to spike than Uber, and has less frequent driver bonuses. However, there is a supply of drivers that will make it more likely to have a driver accept a ride.
However, when there are spikes, it’s usually because of a demand surge. There was a snowstorm where Uber drivers were offered significant bonuses to offer rides, but Lyft didn’t. This resulted in the Lyft ride being cheaper, but there weren’t any drivers to accept those rides.
It seems that those use regularly use rideshare apps often have a choice: pay more for Uber and get a ride sooner, or get a cheaper ride from Lyft, but wait a long time to get a ride. With the ongoing pandemic and increase in people returning to needing rides due to the vaccine, it’s possible for more change to come to the rideshare landscape.