Since Lyft launched in 2012, we’ve worked hard to be a strong ally to our driver community. This has led to a number of firsts for the rideshare industry:
First to offer in-app tipping for riders to show their appreciation
First to build product feature requests, like Express Pay allowing you to cash out your earnings, instantly
First and only to establish a Driver Advisory Council that informs our roadmap on a daily basis
Leaning into our tradition of firsts, we’re committing to rolling out at least one new feature or enhancement — direct from our driver community — each month. Each new feature will be dedicated to helping you earn more, making it easier to drive, or keeping you supported and safe both on and off the road.
We appreciate the valuable input you share with us every day in person, on social media, and through the DAC, and we are putting your feedback to good use in our products, programs, and policies.
Today, we’re announcing many first-of-their-kind features that will provide all drivers with more tips, greater rating protection, and clear predictions about when and where to drive.
Helping You Earn More Tips
To make it easier for passengers to tip you, we will be adding a default tipping option and including in-ride tipping for select riders in December with broader roll out after the New Year. Since day one, tipping has been an important way for passengers to thank you for the great service you provide each and every ride. Within the next few months, Lyft drivers like Blake in Oregon, whose passengers describe as, “the best driver,” and “a wonderful person,” will have earned more than $1B in tips.
Many riders want to thank their drivers — default tipping makes it easy. The default tipping option also ensures that you won’t miss out if a rider is in a hurry or forgets. When default tipping is selected, we’ll automatically apply the rider’s pre-set tip percentage to your earnings when they don’t proactively rate a trip and add a tip themselves.
We’re also introducing an in-ride tipping option that allows riders to thank you from the moment their ride begins — when a great experience is top-of-mind. They can still choose to tip after the trip is completed. We’ve seen that Lyft riders open the app during 53% of trips, and we’re making it easier for them to tip when they do.
After we released the latest version of the app this past June, you saw a 20% increase in the amount earned from tips based on a redesign of the tipping screen alone. The combined improvements announced today are designed to increase that even more.
Protecting Your Rating
Your passengers have shared all the ways you provide high-quality service — whether it’s a friendly “hello” that turns into a moment of bonding, offering bottled water to your passengers, or helping with luggage at the airport. Starting next month, we’ll help you protect the 5-star rating you work hard to maintain. We will drop the single lowest rating for every driver, exclude low ratings for the stuff outside your control, and default to a 5-star rating if a rider doesn’t rate you.
Even the best drivers get low ratings now and then. To protect good drivers from one-off low ratings that can have an inflated impact on their overall average, we will be continuously removing each driver’s single lowest rating for every 100 rides they give.
Many times, a one-off low rating has nothing to do with your driving, the quality of your service, or your car. To further protect your overall average, riders will be asked to qualify all ratings of four stars or below. If you received the rating because of something outside your control (like heavy traffic), we will make sure that the rating isn’t counted against you.
Additionally, we will default to a 5-star rating for you when a rider doesn’t provide one — something our Driver Advisory Council recommended this year. Now, the rating policy will work the same way for passengers and drivers: if a ride is left unrated, the rating will default to five stars. When a passenger doesn’t rate a trip, it’s usually because everything ran like clockwork, and they were satisfied with their service.
Planning Your Week
Drivers are planners. Many of you have told us that not only do you wake up and plan your driving schedule for the day but you also plan for the week ahead. After all, 99% of Lyft drivers schedule driving around their jobs, classes, childcare, and other activities.
In December, you’ll see an updated driver app home screen that prominently displays all available bonuses, local events with plenty of potential riders, and a demand graph that shows the busiest hours of the day. And with one tap, you’ll see anticipated hourly demand for the entire week ahead.
With advance information, you’ll be able to better fit driving into your life while maximizing earnings. So, if you’ll be cheering at your child’s soccer game during high-demand hours on Saturday, you can make up those earnings during high-demand hours on the following Tuesday.
Drivers are out on the road as the face of Lyft, impacting people’s lives every day, whether it is by giving rides to the polls or connecting with riders during the morning commute. The new features announced today, and those rolling out each month, represent our commitment to you and the continual improvement of your driving experience.
Stay tuned for more to come!