Big changes to the Lyft driver app: Ratings protection, long trip alerts, and more

We all know that Uber made a lot of app changes for drivers during the 180 Days of Change Program, but did you notice that Lyft made some significant changes too? The Lyft app now has long trip alerts, ratings protection, and a few more important changes you should know about.

UberMan recorded an informative video covering the recent changes to the Lyft app, so I recommend you check out his video on the changes, then read the video transcript below.

New changes to the Lyft app

Uber Man here. As some of you may know, I am new to the Lyft family. I was just recently onboarded after years of trying, so definitely thankful to Lyft, and any new changes that benefit drives I’m absolutely thankful for. So let’s get into what they’re offering and then we’re going to talk about it briefly.

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When you open up the app, it shows you that there’s some updates, and then you click on it and it takes you to the Lyft Hub where it says, “New long trip alerts, ratings protection, and more. November 17th, 2017. We know you work hard for your ratings and that your time is valuable, so we’ve made improvements that prioritize both and are among drivers most requested updates. Read on for more details.”

Lyft now offers ratings protection

Let’s talk about ratings protection. “We launched an update to passengers’ ratings screens that helps protect you from issues out of your control, because things like Line routing or passenger behavior shouldn’t count against you. Now, when a passenger rates a driver four stars or less, we’ll show them three new reasons that might explain their rating. If it’s a Line ride, they’ll see two new options. Co-passenger, and Line route. If it’s any other ride type, they’ll see one new option, pick up time.”

Two-minute cancellation window

Previously, passengers had up to five minutes to cancel a ride without being charged a cancellation fee. Now, two minutes is the magic number. Things to remember. After you’ve arrived to pick up a passenger, the timer will run for five minutes for regular Lyft, and two minutes for Line. Your pay still includes time spent waiting, starting one minute after you tap to arrive.”

Long trip notifications

“Heads up on long trips. On the accept screen, we’ll alert you when a ride is estimated to take longer than 45 minutes. While longer rides are typically higher earning, we want you to know what to expect before you accept. If you’re not up to a long trip, note that declining these trips will still affect your overall acceptance rate. Currently, this update is live on iOS only, with an Android launch coming in the next few weeks.”

Improved earnings reports

“We’ve already simplified the earnings tab in your app to show your net earnings, which are 100% yours. But that’s just the beginning. To ensure you fully understand what you’re taking home, we’re rolling out a new view of your earnings in the app and dashboard starting next month. On the earnings breakdown screen, you’ll see what you’ve made along with additional details, such as what the passengers paid, any third party fees, and Lyft fees. Thanks all the drivers that suggested these helpful updates. We’ll see you out there.”

“See a clear view of your earnings. We’ve heard from drivers that seeing how much you’ll get paid is harder than it needs to be, so we’ve updated the earnings tab in the app to show your net earnings. The amount you earn won’t change at all. We simply removed Lyft’s fees and commission for you, so you can immediately see what matters most, the amount you take home. We want to reiterate that nothing has changed with your pay. You’ll still earn based on the time of distance of each ride, and now, when you open the earnings tab, you’ll see earnings where ride payments used to be. This amount is 100% yours, no math, or deductions necessary. To see this change, you’ll need to update your app to the latest version of Lyft Driver.”

My take on it: Lyft is mostly copying Uber

Now, to anybody at Lyft watching this, I mean absolutely no disrespect to any of your team, to your employees, none at all. I’m new to the Lyft team as a driver, and I’m not trying to jeopardize that, but at the same time, I’m not going to keep my opinion to myself either. This channel’s always been about transparency and that’s not going to change, so here’s my perspective.

Uber implemented 180 days of change in 2017 where they made huge improvements to the driver experience, and that’s awesome. Drivers overall seem to love the new additions to the app and some of the new freedoms that they have. So, now what I’m seeing is basically Lyft is copying what Uber has done. I guess in a way I can understand that. The changes that Uber made probably affected the amount of time drivers spent driving on the Lyft platform, so Lyft has to make those changes as well so that it balances everything out and they can get more drive time on their app.

But to me it just seems like a game of cat and mouse. Uber makes some changes, and now Lyft is chasing them, trying to catch up and make the same changes. I’ve got an idea, and obviously I don’t know anything about how Lyft works behind the scenes, and again, I mean no disrespect to anybody at Lyft, but guys, don’t be like Uber, all right? Don’t be like Uber. Be innovative. Be unique. Be yourself. You don’t want to be Uber. Uber is already Uber.

Lyft should take a different approach

You need to take a different approach to this. Don’t copy what Uber is doing. Come up with your own unique ideas. You guys have got to have a team of some really intelligent people sitting back there. Why don’t you brainstorm? Get together. Go out and talk to drivers, and I mean, not on a form. I mean, go out on the streets.

Lyft, you want to make a difference, you want to make an impact, you want to change the game. Let me tell you what you need to do. You need to send some of your top people, executives, all right? Send some of your executives out in cars behind the wheel. Have them drive in multiple markets.

This will be like a real world example of what drivers go through. Let some of these execs spend a week or two behind the wheel. I’m not talking about necessarily the CEO, but I think that would be a great thing, if you could get the CEO, the CTO, the COO, get your top executives on the road. Get your development team on the road. The people that build your app. Make it mandatory.

Lyft designers should experience the job for themselves

You guys need to spend a week or two on the road, driving passengers, and I’m talking some of it during bar rush, some of it during the morning rush hour, the evening rush hour, weekends. You need to go out and experience what it’s like to be a driver firsthand. You need to go out and you need to talk to drivers on the streets of the markets that you’re driving in. Really talk to drivers, and I guarantee you you will be able to change the game if that’s what you want. But if you’d rather just play cat and mouse with Uber, go for it.

I want to see the experience improve for drivers, period. Drivers overall. I don’t care about Uber or Lyft independently. I need to see change that really benefits drivers. That’s just a quick idea of what you could do. Anybody is interested in some more of my ideas, get in touch with me. I’d be happy to talk with you.

You’re never going to get anywhere, honestly, by copying one another. You’re each unique in your own way and you each have your own image, and that’s what you need to work on. You need to work on being an individual instead of trying to mimic the other company. Hope you enjoyed the video. Until next time, like, comment, subscribe. Stay safe out there. Uber and Lyft on!

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