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2023 Driver’s Guide To Understanding The Lyft Driver App

The Lyft Driver App is a resource for drivers to earn while driving on their own schedule. Learn how to apply and start being your own boss today.

Lyft has made significant updates to its driver app to enhance the overall experience for its rideshare drivers.

Whether you are new to Lyft or a seasoned driver, there’s a lot to know about the new features offered.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using the Lyft Driver App, from how to apply to become a driver to bonus opportunities.

By the end of this article, you should be able to easily apply to become a Lyft driver and have a good understanding of all the features offered within the app.

What Is the Lyft Driver App?

The Lyft Driver App is an application that lets drivers work as contractors to transport customers to and from their desired destination.

It gives drivers the ability to manage their business effortlessly.

The updated Lyft Driver App has enhanced shared rides by collaborating with transit agencies and surrounding cities.

It simplifies the overall experience of drivers and passengers, streamlining everything through the app.

This Android and Apple iOS application takes your ridesharing skill set to a higher level.

In using this app, you will have more control over the fares you make as well as how many hours you drive each day.

How the Lyft Driver App Works

Using the updated Lyft Driver App is pretty straightforward.

When you open the app, you will see these options:  

  • Side Menu: Includes information about scheduled pickups and is a place to edit your vehicle information, bank info, or other settings
  • Home: Shows the map to allow you to start picking up passengers
  • Go Online: Allows you to go live
  • Earnings: Shows your earnings
  • Messages: Allows you to message passengers
  • Referrals: Provides a referral code to give to potential Lyft drivers

Features of the Lyft Driver App

Lyft has several features to allow you to maximize your earning potential.

Show When You’re Active

The “Go Online” button is in the steering wheel icon in the top middle of the home screen.

Tap the button to go live.

Going online allows the Lyft app to know that you can receive rides.

Once you toggle the switch on, you will start receiving ride requests. 

When you are ready to stop for the day or take a break, tap the button again during a ride, and it will automatically make you unavailable when you are finished with your current passenger.

Find Rides Along Your Route

Destination mode allows you to find rides along your route by using real-time updates on the location of pickups and dropoffs.

You can either specify your ultimate arrival time or final destination to maximize your earnings en route.

You will see passengers’ locations and where they are currently located within your GPS range on the homepage map.

The app allows you to view the estimated time it will take to get somewhere by entering an address or name of a business.

Scheduled Rides

Scheduled Lyft rides let drivers claim rides ahead of time before going online.

The feature removes the need to wait around for a ride request.

The Lyft Driver App sends drivers an alert when it’s time for them to begin the scheduled ride.

It takes the guesswork out of the process.

Here is how to add a scheduled ride to your itinerary:

  • Under the main menu, select “More Ways To Earn.”
  • Navigate to the “Scheduled Pickup” option.
  • Choose the ride that fits best with your schedule and select “Add to my Pickups.”
  • The next step is to wait for the Lyft Driver App to notify you when it’s time for the ride.

Earnings and Bonuses

The “Earnings” tab is the second from the left option (dollar sign button) at the bottom of the home screen.

Tap this button to see how much money you’ve earned and elect to cash out using Express Pay.

Lyft offers its drivers multiple ways to earn and achieve bonuses.

Under the “Earnings’ ‘ tab, drivers can see their ongoing progress of how much they have made each day as well as accumulative earnings throughout the week.

Bonus opportunities are listed under the “Earnings” tab as well.

In-app bonus options include:

  • Real-time: You will see real-time bonuses appear in the app when there’s a high demand for rides near you.
  • Scheduled: On weeks when scheduled bonuses are available, Lyft adds them to the app on Monday at 5:00 a.m.
  • Personal Power Zones: You’ll see this bonus in your app when there are more passengers available than drivers in a nearby area.
  • Ride Streaks: You see this bonus option in your app every Monday, giving you the potential to earn more when you accept back-to-back rides during peak times, especially during commute hours, weekends, events, and holidays.
  • Earnings Guarantees: You’ll find this bonus in your app every Monday. It’s a bonus you can earn to make up the difference between actual earnings and promised earnings potential.
  • Ride Challenges: New ride challenges will appear in your app every Monday.

Update Streamlined Pickups and Dropoffs

The latest update to the process of picking up and dropping off passengers has not only increased the safety of drivers but lowered how many taps it takes to get to the next step in the pickup.

When a driver receives a ride request, they will see the passenger’s name, ride type, and ETA of the pickup.

Drivers can easily accept the ride by tapping anywhere on the screen.

Once they have accepted the ride, they simply swipe up to access the navigation prompts to the passenger’s location.

Once they arrive at the pickup location, they tap the “I’m here” prompt.

Thus, the passenger knows that they have arrived for the pickup.

Once the passenger enters the car, drivers can then tap the “Slide to Pick Up” prompt and the “Nav” prompt to access the directions to the passenger’s destination.

Once the driver reaches the dropoff location, they can tap “Slide to Drop Off” to rate the driver manually.

If the app doesn’t receive a manual rating before the timer runs out, it will automatically receive a five-star rating.

Another perk is changing dropoff locations or adding multiple stops.

Passengers can update their stops and dropoff location in the app.

When this happens, the Lyft app will alert the driver.

Added stops and longer routes to dropoff locations will increase earnings.

However, drivers must communicate with passengers on wait times at each stop.

Setting these expectations will make the ride easier for both driver and passenger.

Not to mention, if drivers and passengers can’t agree on wait times, drivers can opt to end the ride by tapping “Slide to Drop off”.

Note: Do not cancel the ride.

Drivers will not get paid for rides completed if they cancel.

Learn more about canceling a Lyft ride before getting started.

Update Accepting a Ride

Ride acceptance updates work in favor of Lyft drivers.

Before accepting a ride, drivers can see the rider’s information.

Drivers can determine if the ride is beneficial to them in the long run based on time, rider rating, and current guaranteed bonus.

Accepting a ride is now easier than ever because it now only requires five taps rather than eight to accept a ride.

The map has also changed to be three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional, which makes the map easier to read while driving.

If you determine that the ride is not beneficial to your overall goals, you can simply click on the “x” on the initial screen and decline the ride.

Previously, if you wanted to decline a ride, you had to waste your time waiting for the rider acceptance timer to run out.

However, keep in mind that declining a request will lower your acceptance rating, which can decrease your chances of getting earnings guarantee bonuses.

Update Calling Passengers

The route screen also now includes a purple call button that allows you to call your passenger, rather than having to click away from the main screen like before.

The white lettering on a bold, purple background is more visible than the previous flat, rectangular buttons.

This feature allows Lyft drivers to keep their ratings high and not miss out on passengers they have already accepted.

All drivers have to do is select the phone icon on the ride screen. From here, they can send a message or make a call.

Lyft uses a third-party service to hide the phone numbers of the passengers and drivers to enhance the privacy and safety of everyone involved.

Update Airport Queues

In most cases, drivers can now only see the screen for giving rides at airports if they are near the airport or onsite waiting in the staging area set up for Lyft drivers.

There’s also an extra step in the process now.

Once you get to the staging area, you have to click the airplane icon to see what driver number you are in the airport queue.

The driver who has been waiting for the longest will be the first one to receive a ride request.

If you leave the designated area, you will lose your spot in the queue.

Google Maps Integration

When a Lyft driver updates their Google Map location, it will show up in real-time on the home screen map.

Google Maps is the most reliable navigation service since it has better real-time traffic updates.

However, many drivers prefer the user-friendliness and community of Waze.

Lyft lets drivers use Waze or Google Maps to navigate their rides.

It is essential to understand that if the driver chooses to use Waze, they will have to switch between apps for navigation.

Lyft Driver App Comparisons

Several apps work similarly to the Lyft Driver App.

Let’s look at how each one compares.

vector graphic showing an illustration of which rideshare service pays the most

Lyft Driver App vs. Uber Driver App

Uber’s driver app is more sleek and modern, and they update their driver app more often than Lyft.

However, Lyft’s latest updates are making driving with them even easier.

Both Lyft and Uber let their drivers use Google Maps and Waze to navigate rides.

Neither allows drivers to use Apple Maps or MapQuest.

The Uber app also allows passengers to leave compliments along with the service rating, which isn’t an option for Lyft.

Lyft Driver App vs. Via Driver App

Like with Lyft, Via’s app allows you the opportunity to take advantage of surge pricing through Rocket Pay.

The Via app also gives you the option to accept carpooling rides and actually earn more for each passenger your pick up rather than a lower fare for each passenger like with Lyft.

Just like with Lyft, the Via app allows you to set up Quick Pay to get paid instantly.

Also like Lyft, the Via Driver App allows drivers to use Waze and Google Maps to navigate their rides.

However, drivers complain about glitches in the app, such as ones that cause you to pass a passenger and have to make a u-turn.

Turn arrows often don’t match up with verbal instructions.

The app often stops working at inopportune times.

Lyft Driver App vs Wingz Driver App

The Wingz Driver App only allows you to pick up pre-scheduled rides to and from the airport rather than around town, too.

Unlike Lyft, you can accept pre-scheduled rides in the app from riders who choose you as one of their favorites.

The Wingz app works similarly to Lyft by allowing riders and drivers to update their location during their rides. 

However, there’s no opportunity in the Wingz app to take advantage of surge pricing.

Wingz only uses Google Maps for navigating rides and doesn’t also offer accessibility to Waze as Lyft does.

Lyft Driver App vs. Flywheel Driver App 

The Flywheel Driver App allows its professional taxi drivers to use an app to pick up passengers and collect online payments as the Lyft app does.  

Like with the Lyft app, you can sign up to pick up more than just passengers; you can also find earning opportunities to pick up food orders.

Unfortunately, the app still has flaws that bump you off when you try to access the internet, read messages, or engage in phone calls.

How to Download the Lyft Driver App

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to download the Lyft Driver App.

  • Step 1: Visit your smartphone’s app store and search for the Lyft app.  
  • Step 2: Once you find the app, click on download. Your phone will then ask you to authenticate your selection.
  • Step 3: Click Accept.
  • Step 4: The app will download.

Can You Apply to Be a Driver in the Lyft Driver App?

vector graphic showing a person in the process of learning to become a lyft driver

Yes, you can apply to be a driver in the Lyft driver App.

  • Step 1: Start by creating a Lyft account through the app.
  • Step 2: Click on the “Get Started” button at the bottom middle of the screen.
  • Step 3: Select “use my car” or “rent a car” based on how you conduct rides.
  • Step 4: Enter your email address, name, phone number, and city you will be driving in.
  • Step 5: The app will send a verification code to the number entered into the application — type in that code.
  • Step 6: Fill in social security number, driver’s license image, background check consent, profile photo, and complete the Community Safety Education (20 minutes).
  • Step 7: Once your application is complete, you will be on a waitlist. Lyft has to conduct a background check to ensure they keep you and your passengers safe.

The background check can take up to two weeks.

Once everything checks out, you will be accepted as a driver and can start work!

Note: If you don’t have all the requested information, don’t panic.

You can pick up where you left off later, as your application will be saved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to other questions you might have about the Lyft driver app.

vector graphic showing a lyft driver app on a smartphone screen next to a lyft vehicle

Does the Lyft Driver App Track Mileage?

The Lyft Driver App does not track mileage for drivers.

However, the company recommends that drivers record their miles just in case tax time comes around, and they need to produce this information.

There are plenty of mileage tracking apps available to drivers that work well with Lyft.

What Should You Do When the Lyft Driver App Isn’t Working?

If the Lyft app begins to malfunction, close it and reopen it.

If that doesn’t work, drivers can try restarting their phones.

Another option is to try uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

It is a good idea to check for phone and app updates as well.

Additionally, drivers can report the problem to the Lyft support team using this form.

Is the Lyft Driver App Free?

The Lyft Driver App is free to both passengers and drivers.

Currently, there are no fees associated with using the Lyft Driver App.

What Kinds of Phones Does the Lyft Driver App Work On?

The Lyft Driver app works on both Android and iOS devices.

Wrapping Up

The Lyft Driver App functions well for Lyft drivers.

The new and updated features take the guesswork out of the processes of being a Lyft driver.

Each feature is streamlined to lower the number of taps, increase safety, and enhance productivity.  

If you’ve been using the Lyft Driver app, please feel free to share your experiences and helpful tips in the comment section below.

2 thoughts on “2023 Driver’s Guide To Understanding The Lyft Driver App”

  1. The Personal Power Zone is no longer in effect in the State of New Jersey. I contacted Lyft support and was told that the now-former PPZ promotion will (soon?) be replaced with something else.

  2. Latest version of Lyft Drivers app has some lag time, and some GPS issues that weren’t present in the older version. Many times the GPS does NOT take into consideration: traffic, weather conditions, and other obstacles in the route.
    Anyone else having these same problems?


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