Why is Lyft Deactivating Drivers? 3 Possible Reasons

Our video last month about Lyft deactivating quality drivers for no reason received 380 comments. It was one of our most commented videos ever! Many commenters echoed the same situation they hadn’t driven for months. Then they were randomly deactivated for safety concerns.

We’re going to go over some theories as to what is going on. Take a look at the video, and scroll to the video transcript below if you prefer to read.

Deactivated for Safety Concerns…But Haven’t Driven for Months?

Some quick background. Last month, we posted a video discussing how highly rated drivers for Lyft – who hadn’t been driving since the beginning of the pandemic – were being deactivated. The deactivation reason given from Lyft was safety concerns. These drivers hadn’t been driving for months and then randomly, they were deactivated due to safety concerns. I took a look at all the comments I scoured through the comments to see how many drivers this was happening to as well as see what drivers had four theories as to what is going on.

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Is Lyft Targeting People on Unemployment? (Probably Not)

One commenter say: “We all know Lyft is targeting unemployment.” And another commenter said, “I am not deactivated yet, but Lyft has been conducting a background check on me for at least two months now and still no answer.” And another commenter said,  “Exactly. The background checks are employed to monitor who has been collecting UI/PUA, weekly payments.

One more commenter said, “So the same thing happened to me on Uber in may.” One day they just straight up asked Uber if they were deactivating drivers because of the pandemic, they were placed on a brief hold and then reactivated.

This theory is that drivers that have been collecting unemployment insurance or PUA payments are being deactivated by Uber and Lyft because they’re collecting those payments.

Lyft did sort of address this when they commented on a previous video, saying that these deactivations had nothing to do with the pandemic.

The thing with UI and PUA is the government is paying this. Uber and Lyft are not paying this. So it’s not coming out of Uber or Lyft pockets.

And one commenter did mention the background checks, and that is an issue. It’s those annual background checks that both Lyft and Uber do now, Lyft is having an issue with those. I know for me personally, I think it took them a couple of weeks to pass mine. For him, it’s going on two months, but they are having an issue with the background checks and it doesn’t have anything to do with unemployment insurance or PUA payments.

Is Lyft Thinning the Herd? (Probably Not)

Theory number two. Jabari Jones commented, “I think what is happening is Lyft is thinning out the herd, getting rid of drivers so they can profit.”

Now, the only way that Lyft would be making more profit by deactivating drivers is deactivating drivers that were locked into an 80% commission.  Drivers like myself who’ve been around for many years, have 5-10% higher commissions than newer drivers. And this could be Lyft taking this opportunity to eliminate those higher commission drivers.

But this would be really shady if they were doing this. It doesn’t make sense for Lyft to try and get rid of drivers. The more drivers, the better, the more drivers, the more efficient their system is the shorter wait times for passengers. If there’s an oversaturation of drivers. Sure. It’s not great for drivers, but it’s fine for Lyft. Their system is efficient. People are going to be getting rides.

Is There an Issue With the Deactivation Algorithm? (Probably)

Theory number three. And I feel like this is the theory that holds the most weight. Christopher Larrivee commented. It is an algorithm that does it automatically. Nobody on the safety team can even tell you why. I personally think this may be the reason. Many drivers are probably getting cited for safety concerns during this time.

And some of those drivers are getting justly deactivated, but other drivers may be just collateral damage to an overactive algorithm. If this is the case, Lyft should investigate it. But sounds like they’re going to need to be forced to. Many drivers are asking Lyft what is going on. And they’re just getting canned responses. B

ut if enough drivers pursue their deactivations further or even take legal action, this could force Lyft’s hand. And again, their hand shouldn’t have to be forced, but that unfortunately is the situation. But since those other theories don’t make sense, this is probably the one it’s probably just a glitch in Lyft’s system. They should address it.

They should look into it because if they did have actual reasons for these safety concerns on these quality drivers, they should give these drivers reasons. Don’t just give them canned responses. This is a big issue and Lyft needs to address it with actual evidence as to why these quality drivers that are cited for safety concerns are being deactivated.

How You Can Fight Back

If it’s an algorithm gone bad and it’s not affecting their bottom line, they may not look into it. But if it does start to affect their bottom line from a business or legal standpoint, this may actually give them reason to do something about it. Again, if you were a driver that this has happened to, and it is important that you receive answers, you can keep hounding with asking them for answers or take it a step further and pursue legal action.

If enough drivers push Lyft, they will have to look into this. And if you would like to take legal action, you can reach out to our partner. Francis-Mailman-Soumilas. They have been helping drivers sort through deactivation issues like this.

Thanks again for watching, please like comment or subscribe, and drive safe.


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