Lyft is one of the most popular ridesharing apps with more than 12,000,000 users.
Over the last decade, it’s quickly grown into a great transportation option for customers and income for drivers.
At peak hours, Lyft usage surges considerably, making it important to know what to expect when the traffic is higher.
If you’ve been curious about the busiest times for Lyft, we’re here to help.
Read on for a quick guide to Lyft’s peak hours and how that affects your usage of the app.
Table Of Contents
- What are Lyft Peak Hours?
- Why do Lyft Peak Hours Matter?
- When are Lyft Peak Hours?
- How are Lyft Peak Hours Calculated?
- Does Lyft Pay Drivers More During Peak Hours?
- How is Driver Pay Calculated?
- How to Earn More Money Driving During Lyft Peak Hours
- The Lyft Driver’s Guide to Bonuses
- Lyft Peak Hours – FAQs
- Riding Out
What are Lyft Peak Hours?
As the name suggests, Lyft peak hours are the time during which Lyft is at its peak of customers.
During this time, there are many more customers than the average hour of the day.
Think of peak hours as rush hour in other businesses.
A restaurant may have a lunch rush, for example, when a large number of customers pour into the doors.
Afterward, there is often a period of slower business with fewer customers.
Ridesharing apps work the same.
During peak hours, many more customers are using the app for transportation.
After these hours, the surge in customers dies down, allowing drivers to prepare for the next surge.
Lyft, like many ridesharing apps, employs surge pricing to deal with these higher demand periods.
By increasing the price, Lyft attempts to accommodate supply and demand, making it more expensive to use the app at the same time as everyone else.
Surge pricing doesn’t have an exact amount to it.
Instead, it depends on what the current traffic using the app is.
Prices can often increase by 50% or more, making a ride significantly pricier than riders would pay at other hours of the day.
Why do Lyft Peak Hours Matter?
There are several effects that the peak hours of Lyft can have.
These changes affect both drivers and riders.
Here are the primary effects for each that you can expect from the surge during peak hours.
Riders may want to avoid peak hours when they can.
Not only are rides more expensive, but you may also find yourself waiting longer.
As more and more people use the app, more drivers are taken up.
You may have to wait for others to finish their rides before a driver is free to come and get you.
With the rise in prices, a rise in wait times is often not a welcome sight.
To accommodate for this, leave yourself extra time to get to your destination if traveling during peak hours.
You should also expect to increase your budget if you’re frequently driving during these times.
If you rely on Lyft to get to and from work five days a week, you could easily end up spending well into the hundreds on Lyft rides alone.
Related: How much does Lyft cost?
For drivers, the surge from peak hours is a welcome sight.
These hours are the best times to drive for Lyft.
A driver can expect to make more money during these times.
Lyft pays a “surge fee” during these times to help encourage drivers to help take more customers and alleviate the strain that the surge is causing.
You also won’t be spending time waiting for your next customer to come in.
During Lyft peak hours, there’s a constant stream of guests.
You’ll certainly be busier, but you’ll make much more than during business at other hours.
When are Lyft Peak Hours?
Given Lyft’s nature as a mode of transportation, one can find the peak hours by looking at peak hours of traffic.
Whenever it’s most common for cars to be on the road is when it’s most common for people to be using Lyft for a ride!
That makes it easy to see the peak hours as the early morning and early evening.
Specifically, Lyft’s peak hours are 7-9 AM and 5-7 PM.
These hours are directly related to the average “9-5” employment.
Many people use Lyft to get to work and to leave work, making these surge times.
These are also the hours that some may be trying to get something done both before and after work.
Lyft’s peak hours can change as days come and go, though.
Holidays will likely have different peak hours, as will weekends or other periods where work isn’t as common.
Many things can lead to a surge of users on the app, but these hours are most often the peak.
How are Lyft Peak Hours Calculated?
Lyft’s peak hours are calculated by looking at the number of customers.
A surge can take place on any day and at any time, but drivers can predict them by knowing when people in their community are the most active.
Peak hours will also be put in place on the fly.
During a local sports game or a travel-heavy holiday, you’ll likely run into surge pricing and peak hours at different times than normal.
Lyft will look at the number of customers attempting to use the app at any given time and handle a surge as it comes.
Does Lyft Pay Drivers More During Peak Hours?
Yes, Lyft pays drivers more during peak hours.
The increase in pay can end up doubling how much a Lyft driver would make for traveling the same distance in non-peak hours.
Because of this, drivers will try to make themselves available during peak hours so that they can earn more money.
How is Driver Pay Calculated?
Lyft calculates driver pay on the specific time, distance, and location where a ride begins for the customer.
Once a Lyft driver confirms they’ve arrived to pick up the rider, pay will begin a minute afterward.
Lyft has not revealed to the public what its exact algorithm is for paying drivers.
Pricing is also different in different cities where rides may be more or less common, making some cities pay more or less than others for drivers.
In summary, a Lyft driver earns pay from a base fare from the riders paying for the ride.
From there, the pay increases at a cost per mile, making long trips pay more than short ones.
There is also a cost per minute, meaning drivers even get paid for their time spent waiting at a red light.
Many riders will also tip the driver either in the app or with cash.
These tips do not factor into what Lyft pays them, but are usually a welcome addition to the driver’s income.
How to Earn More Money Driving During Lyft Peak Hours
Lyft drivers stand to earn considerably more during peak hours.
Here are the ways to maximize your income during Lyft peak hours as a driver.
Lyft Peak Hours Based on Your City
Look into your city to know when peak hours are common.
It’s a good idea to look at this ahead of time before you begin working with Lyft so that you can maximize your income from the start.
Some cities will have peak hours at separate times.
Lively nightlife in your city may make a surge commonly appear during the late evening.
Some cities even have surges during Sunday mornings as riders use the app to attend church!
Every city is different, so do some research to know when your city’s peak hours are.
Keeping track of this is the quickest way to double – or even triple – your income as a Lyft driver.
Lyft Surge Tracker
Lyft provides drivers with a surge tracker to help them see when peak hours are being hit in their community.
By doing so, drivers can go to where the surge is occurring so they can help alleviate the high demand.
Not only does this help Lyft by keeping customers happy with quicker rides, but it can also help end the surge sooner.
Drivers can take as many rides as possible during this time so that they can both alleviate the surge and earn much more than they usually will.
The Lyft Driver’s Guide to Bonuses
Peak hours aren’t the only way to maximize your income as a driver.
Here is a quick overview of the bonuses a Lyft driver can expect to take advantage of.
Power Zones – Driver Bonus
Lyft Power Driver bonuses are a great promotion to take advantage of.
A “power zone” happens when a rider requests a ride from a high-demand area.
No matter where a driver is, they’ll earn a reward when they accept this ride.
A power zone can happen at any time and is separate from a surge during peak hours.
These may occur if there’s a large number of riders requesting rides in the same area, such as a local event beginning or ending.
Lyft employs plenty of different bonuses to help drivers earn more and keep wait times down.
For example, Lyft will often issue a “ride challenge.”
These give drivers a set deadline to give a certain number of rides with milestones at a certain number.
For every milestone hit, drivers earn a bonus.
These bonuses will stack with each other, making it so that drivers can earn much more than usual.
Meeting the quota for a ride challenge by getting a driver from a power zone during peak hours is the perfect storm of adding in as many bonuses as possible.
It’s uncommon for so many things to occur at once, but drivers can enjoy them when they do occur.
Lyft Line to Achieve More Rides
Drivers with a car that can fit several riders can opt into Lyft Line to pick up several passengers at once and drop them off at their destinations.
Each of these counts as a ride, as each is an independent customer being taken to their destination.
These are great for drivers trying to meet the quota for a ride challenge.
Lyft Peak Hours – FAQs
With everything covered, there are still a few questions left.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Lyft peak hours.
When is the busiest time of day to drive for Lyft?
The busiest times to drive for Lyft are the early morning and late afternoon.
These hours accommodate people going to and from work.
Some cities will have different peak hours, but these are the most common.
What days should I work as a Lyft driver to make the most money?
Lyft drivers tend to make the most money on weekdays.
Saturdays can often be great for earning money due to a high peak of people going out for the things they can’t do during their workweek.
Sundays tend to be slower, as fewer people use the app on Sundays.
Whether you’re a driver or a rider, knowing the Lyft peak hours is vital.
Make sure you’re organizing your time for the most convenient traveling hours.
For drivers, do your best to be available during peak hours to take advantage of the stacking bonuses.
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