4 Tips for Giving Successful Lyft Line Rides

Love it or hate it, Lyft Line (now known as Lyft Shared) is here to stay. The ride option lets Lyft passengers get a cheaper price in exchange for sharing a ride with other passengers headed in the same direction. But it can be frustrating as a Lyft driver because the service may take you all over town in a strange pattern. Plus, Lyft passengers don’t always understand (or follow) the proper etiquette for using the service.

Giving Lyft Line rides doesn’t have to be frustrating, however. If you follow the tips below, you’ll be on your way to giving Lyft Line rides with ease.

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What Is Lyft Line?

If you’ve driven for Lyft for awhile, you’re probably familiar with Lyft Line already. But just in case you’re a brand new Lyft driver or are still considering signing up to drive for Lyft, here’s a brief introduction to what Lyft Line is and how it works.

As we mentioned above, Lyft Line exists to help passengers get cheaper fares than they would for standard Lyft rides. Lyft accomplishes this by using their routing technology to match passengers who are headed in the same direction. Of course, it’s difficult for them to match passengers in a perfectly direct route, but they do their best.

This method leads to a longer overall travel time for passengers, but many are willing to do that in exchange for a lower fare. There are instances when the Lyft app won’t be able to find other passengers heading in the same direction. In this case, the ride will function just like a regular Lyft trip. Lyft does their best to avoid this as it leads to lower earnings for drivers, but you should be aware that it can happen.

4 Tips for Giving Exceptional Lyft Line Rides

Now that you understand the basics of how Lyft Line works, let’s move on to our tips for creating a smooth Lyft Line driving experience.

1. Stick to the Route

This is a key part of making Lyft Line work smoothly. Because the app is attempting to match ride requests headed in the same direction, it’s imperative that you do not deviate from the route that the Lyft app chooses (unless, of course, it’s unsafe).

If you use a different route, it can lead to delays for passengers. Furthermore, it can also confuse the Lyft app and lead to navigation issues. In order to create the best experience for both you and your passengers, follow the directions that the Lyft app gives you. If the directions appear to be inaccurate or inefficient, you can let Lyft support know after you’ve finished the ride.

2. Don’t Wait for Late Passengers

Unlike regular Lyft rides, Lyft Line relies on precise timing in order for passengers to reach their destination in the amount of time that the Lyft app claims. Because of this, Lyft is much stricter with the amount of time that they require you to wait for passengers.

Once you confirm that you’ve reached the pick-up location, the requesting passenger has around a minute to make their way to your vehicle. If they don’t, then Lyft will charge them a no-show fee and let you move on with your route.

Bearing this in mind, you shouldn’t wait for any longer than the Lyft app requires if you don’t see a passenger. Of course, it could be that the location they chose was inaccurate or the Lyft app chose the wrong pick-up location. If the passenger contacts you and lets you know what’s going on, you’re welcome to use your judgment and wait a bit longer. But don’t feel obligated to do so.

3. Be Mindful of Service Animal Laws

Generally speaking, Lyft discourages passengers from bringing pets in shared Lyft rides. Since passengers are sharing the ride with others, capacity is naturally limited. If someone does bring a pet, you are welcome to allow it if you think it won’t cause space issues. However, if you don’t have enough space, you aren’t required to let the passenger bring the pet.

There is one important exception to this rule: service animals. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids you from discriminating against a passenger for bringing a service animal on a ride. It’s better to err on the safe side here and just take the passenger’s word for it. If you think they’re lying, you can contact Lyft after the fact to let them know. Consult the official Lyft service animal policy for more info.

4. Don’t Let Passengers Overcrowd Your Lyft Line Ride

In order for shared Lyft rides to work, passengers are encouraged to have only one person in their party. If they have two people, then Lyft will charge them extra and adjust the route accordingly.

Unfortunately, some passengers either misunderstand or ignore this policy. This can lead to situations where a group of two people will attempt to get in a Lyft Line that already has three or even four people in it. The maximum number of people allowed in any Lyft Line or standard Lyft ride is five, including the driver.

If you encounter passengers attempting to go over this number, you should cancel the ride request and move on. It’s not worth the safety risk of cramming more than the permitted number of people into your vehicle.

Lyft Line FAQ

Two girls riding in a Lyft Line

To conclude this guide, here are the answers to some common questions that drivers have about Lyft Line.

Which cities have Lyft Line?

Lyft Line is available in a wide variety of cities across the United States. The availability of the service can vary within different areas of a city. Generally, Lyft Line is easier to find in urban areas where there are lots of Lyft rides. If you’re in a more suburban area, you’re less likely to encounter shared Lyft rides.

Here are just a few of the many U.S. cities where Lyft Line is available:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

Does Uber have a service that’s similar to Lyft Line?

If you’re an Uber driver, you may have run into UberPOOL. This is essentially Uber’s version of Lyft Line. It’s based on the same principles, so most of the tips we’ve discussed in this article will also apply. For more information about driving for UberPOOL, check out this guide.

Why did Lyft change the name from “Lyft Line” to “Shared”?

We assume the reason is that “Shared” better describes how this Lyft service works. We’ve used the term “Lyft Line” throughout this article because it’s what many Lyft drivers and passengers are used to. Aside from changing the name and expanding to additional cities, the service remains more or less the same.

Drive for Lyft Line With Confidence

We hope this guide has helped you understand the finer points of driving for Lyft Line. With the right tactics, driving for the service doesn’t have to be stressful.

Curious about how to use Lyft Line as a passenger? Check out our companion guide.