Now that Uber and Lyft drivers have had a few years to figure out how best to do the job, many drivers are using a system that they claim is the most effective way to make the most money: Run both Uber and Lyft apps at the same time. That way, they’ll tell you, you’ll get more ride requests and get the chance to pick and choose the most lucrative rides.
But not every ride sharing driver works that way. Some, like Chicago Lyft driver Matt Wilkison, choose to drive for only one app even when both apps are available in their area.
I spoke with Matt about his experiences as a Lyft driver and why he chooses to drive only for Lyft even though he has the opportunity to drive for both Uber and Lyft.
Bold Face = My Questions
Why did you decide to become a Lyft driver?
I used Lyft as a passenger way before I became a driver. One day my previous supervisor told me they were looking for drivers, and I applied and went from there!
How was the application process? Was there anything that wasn’t too easy, or took a long time?
It took about two weeks for me. I just had to resubmit some car information that didn’t come in clear through the mentor photos.
Do you have any good stories about being a driver? Have you ever had any crazy passengers, or times where you made someone’s day?
With over 700 rides under my belt, I’ve had an array of passengers, but to be honest I don’t really have crazy stories, except the occasional wrong address from an intoxicated passenger. But I have made plenty of people’s days by listening to them vent if they were not having a great day!
Have you ever needed to get any support from Lyft? If you did, how’d that go?
I’ve contacted Lyft support for numerous things, including a regulatory issue I had not long ago, and they are usually good at responding quickly. Usually within 24 hours.
What do you think of driver pay as a Lyft driver?
I think the driver pay is fair and competitive, and with the increased advertising they have been doing, business has really picked up.
About how much do you make per hour?
Lately it’s been around $30+ an hour. I just had my biggest income week this past week. You have to know the best times to drive. I just switched full time as well, and sometimes I do mornings only and sometimes morning and night.
Why don’t you drive for Uber?
I don’t really care for Uber’s business practices, and I really never had the desire to drive for them.
Tell me more about why you don’t like Uber’s business practices.
I really don’t like the pressure from them. I’ve had several Uber recruiters in my car — which can be an uncomfortable situation — that I’ve had to brush off, and several requests to get there and then cancel. I just think Lyft treats their drivers better too.
Overall, how’s it being a Lyft driver? Do you think it’s a good job?
I think being a Lyft driver is such a great job! I love it, love interacting with passengers, and it’s hard to lose track of time and is a great income. If you’re on the fence about joining, what are you waiting for?
Do you think there’s anything Lyft could do to improve the job for drivers?
I really think they are doing a good job and the increased marketing has helped. The only thing I could think of is maybe lowering their commission to 15%.
Although many Uber and Lyft drivers are choosing to work for as many apps as they can, not every driver does it that way. Matt is making it work by driving only for Lyft, and others are making it work by driving only for Uber. That’s one of the great things about this job: You can experiment with whichever app you want and decide for yourself what works for you.