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After a few months of working for Lyft, you may find themselves seeking out new ways to find more passengers and increase profit margins.
One of the most common tactics used to achieve this goal is keeping track of destination patterns. Memorizing this information increases the odds of being in the right place at the right time throughout the day.
Sounds complicated, right?
That’s where Lyft Line comes in.
Lyft Line was established to assist drivers with increasing profitability. It also helps to increase ride availability for passengers and is more affordable compared to a standard Lyft.
Those who are not familiar with the rideshare option may find the topic a bit confusing at first. To reduce some of this confusion we created a guide to showcase why Lyft Line has become so popular among drivers and passengers alike.
In this article we will cover:
- What is Lyft Line?
- How Does Lyft Line Works?
- Lyft Line Requirements
- Tips for Lyft Line Drivers
What is Lyft Line?
Only four words are needed to describe Lyft Line: The Ultimate Rideshare Option.
Lyft Line makes it possible for drivers to accept multiple requests on the same journey. Each pickup along the way only allows for up to 2 people to join in on the rideshare fun.
Picking up more than one passenger maximizes efficiency but using more space in the vehicle. Increased efficiency means increased money earned for the distance traveled.
Lyft Line was originally available in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.; but the service is consistently expanding. Open up the Lyft app to see if the car service is available in your area.
Here’s how it works:
Riders use the Lyft app and are paired up with other travelers who are journeying to the same area or through the same part of town.
Since passengers are carpooling with strangers, Lyft offers riders a discounted rate upfront. On average, this reduces the price by about 60%, but drivers still benefit handsomely.
Passengers who would not use Lyft under normal circumstances due to the rate are more likely to do so when a lower price is offered.
Lyft also gets the word out about Lyft Line by advertising the rideshare option as an “affordable and safe” way to get around town.
With more passengers using Lyft the number of riders per drive increases, which benefits drivers.
You might also like: Your Comprehensive Guide to UberPOOL
How Does Lyft Line Work?
Requests for Lyft Line will show up akin to how other rideshare options do. Once drivers accept a Lyft Line request, work continues as normal. Drivers make their way to the passenger’s current pickup location, pick them up, and head toward the drop-off location. At any point during this trip, drivers may receive an additional request from other nearby passengers.
These passengers will always close to the current route. Once the new passenger is picked up, Lyft will automatically generate new directions. By doing so, Lyft is able to provide drivers with an optimal route that decreases time in transit and increases customer satisfaction.
One important thing to note is that passengers pay a guaranteed fare upfront.
This amount is lower than the regular Lyft fare, but fret not Lyft drivers! Those who pick up multiple passengers along the way are able to increase their profit for covering the same distance.
There is one last thing passengers have to trade in to take advantage of Lyft Line’s lower rate: time. Drivers that pick up a second group of people en route to the first destination may drop off the second group before the first.
Here’s an example: Person A gets picked up, then person B, but person B gets dropped off before person A, causing them to arrive later than anticipated.
Lyft Line Requirements
All driver and vehicle requirements for Lyft Line requests are the same as any other type of Lyft. Vehicles should have four working doors and zero cosmetic issues. Vehicles also need to have a valid license plate that is easy to see.
There must be at least 5 seat belts inside the vehicle, more depending on the type of vehicle in question. Drivers should also have current insurance on the vehicle and the policy must have their name on it.
To drive with Lyft, vehicles must be in good working condition with no mechanical problems.
Lyft also has age restrictions on vehicles. For most states, the cut off age for vehicles is 2005. Any vehicle made before this time do not qualify to be a Lyft rideshare vehicle.
There are exceptions to the age rule due to regulations varying from state to state. For example, there are some states that have a 2009 mandate in place instead of 2005. Those areas include the following.
In contrast to this, a few target areas have a much more relaxed age restriction. The following areas except vehicles made in 2003 or after.
As with any rideshare services, there are requirements set in place for drivers too. For example, Lyft Line drivers must be at least 21 years old. Drivers must also have a valid US driver’s license for at least one year prior to driving with Lyft.
Another key item a driver needs is a smartphone.
In order to run the app without any issue, the phone does have to be a certain model with the right software. An acceptable phone is the iPhone 5S or newer if it is running at least iOS 11.0 or higher. Drivers may also use any Android device that is able to run Android 7.0 or newer.
In addition to these basic requirements, drivers must be able to pass a driving record check. During this routine examination, Lyft is looking for any sign of inappropriate or dangerous behavior while on the road.
These rules assure that only safe drivers end up working under the Lyft brand. For example, drivers that have more than three moving violations within the past 3 years may not qualify to become a Lyft driver.
These minor moving violations include basic safety issues. For example, three speeding tickets within the past three years disqualifies drivers from becoming a Lyft driver. Other minor moving violations include traffic light violations and accidents of any kind.
Lyft also checks for major moving violations within the last three years too. Issues Lyft looks for include driving on a suspended license and reckless driving.
There are a few issues that instantly disqualify a driver during the driving history check. In fact, Lyft takes these driving violations so seriously that they review the last seven years of a driver’s driving record rather than only three.
Auto-rejection charges include DUIs, drug-related violations, and driving-related convictions. Examples of convictions that are driving-related include hit and runs or any felony that involves a vehicle.
Lyft also requires drivers to submit to a criminal background check. Like with the auto-rejection charges, this peek into your personal history extends back seven full years. Applications are automatically denied if there is evidence of unsafe behavior. Unsafe behavior can include convictions for a violent crime or sexual offense.
Additionally, drivers may not be able to if they have any felony charges in the past seven years, even if they are not driving-related. Lyft also looks for other negative offenses, such as drug-related charges, when determining to accept a driver.
This general rule does extend to cover theft and property damage offenses as well.
All of the mandatory requirements we have reviewed are set in place to keep both Lyft drivers and riders safe as well as happy. Bear in mind, the above basic background check requirements may be more restrictive based on your local city and government.
Do you qualify to drive? Make sure to use our Lyft driver referral code to maximize your driver earnings guarantee.
Tips for Driving Lyft Line
Pick Up the Right Passenger(s)
Although Lyft takes care of the route configuration, there are a few hang-ups that drivers need to be on the lookout for. When doing multiple pickups in a busy area, like a concert or sporting event, it is pretty easy to pick up the wrong passengers.
To reduce the odds of this happening, make sure you are picking up the right people.
Ask the group of people closing in on your vehicle if they are waiting for a Lyft. Since there may be quite a few people waiting for a Lyft ride, the next step is to confirm the potential passenger’s name and destination. Be sure to double check how many people are trying to tag along with the self-appointed spokesperson for the group.
Bear in mind, Lyft Line only allows for 2 people to be picked up in a party. If more than that attempts to climb aboard, drivers may have to explain this standard rule. This may occur if the person who ordered the Lyft clicked the Lyft Line option due to the lower rate offered.
Drivers who follow this procedure will always confirm they are picking up the correct passengers.
Assess Your Riders
When your party climbs aboard, take the time to read the room. With people carpooling together in the same ride, there is a high probability that some of them will be less comfortable with the event than others.
You may pick up one person who is very sociable and some else along the way who is super quiet. Be sure to avoid forcing conversation when it is not welcomed. Doing so increases the odds of getting a good review.
How to Deal with Disgruntled Passengers
Along the way, riders may become angry due to the duration of time the ride is taking. This is more likely to happen if the first group of people you pick up are still in the vehicle after you have dropped off other parties during the same ride. When dealing with disgruntled passengers, be sure to explain how Lyft Line works in a calm and non-judgmental way.
Assure them that you are following the directions issued to you by Lyft. Let the passengers know that you are only adhering to the directions the app has calculated for everyone on board. Make sure to go over the fact that the route is predetermined and you are not intentionally dropping someone off before the original group.
Once the party understands this, they may take a different stance on the subject. One of the most common ways a passenger alters their behavior is to become insistent and authoritative about which route to take.
Tell them you are required to follow the app’s instructions. Be blunt, but polite. Remind them that Lyft has calculated the fastest route based on those using Lyft Line. Reassure them that you have no control over who requests a ride along the way.
Although Lyft Line may seem a bit confusing at first, the rideshare option has become a mainstream choice among riders and drivers alike. As a rideshare driver, knowing how Lyft Line works can give you a competitive edge in the marketplace. Namely, increasing passenger pickups and the amount of money you earn.
Understanding the fundamentals of Lyft Line makes it easier for you to keep your acceptance rate high and your passengers happy. Especially if they ask why they are not being dropped off first or if they chose the Lyft Line option due to the significantly lower rate. Take the time to remind passengers that Lyft Line is designed to reduce the cost of a ride.
There is also the added bonus of introducing riders to new people they would not meet otherwise!
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.