Note: Lyft Shared was discontinued in May 2023. It is no longer available.
If you’re looking for a cheap Lyft and don’t mind sharing your ride with a stranger, Lyft Shared is a great option for you.
With Lyft Shared, passengers heading in the same direction can share one Lyft ride and get a big discount—around 20% cheaper than a standard Lyft or more.
For Lyft drivers, shared rides can present new challenges and opportunities. Drivers should know how shared rides work and how to avoid them if you think the downsides outweigh the upsides.
Read on to learn how Lyft Shared works for passengers and drivers!
What is Lyft Shared? Share your ride and get a discount
Lyft Shared is a Lyft ride type that can pair you with other passengers heading in the same direction as you. It is the cheapest Lyft ride type.
On a shared ride, your driver may stop to pick up another passenger, or your ride might already have another person inside when you get in.
Why share your ride instead of taking a car all to yourself? Lyft Shared can be significantly cheaper than a regular Lyft. Lyft shared rides are typically 20% cheaper or more.
Be aware that your driver might not drop you off first. The Lyft app tells drivers the ideal route, so don’t be surprised if they stop to drop off your co-rider first.
Lyft Shared rules: How it works
Lyft Shared is for solo riders only. The app will pair you with other solo riders for a maximum passenger capacity of two.
Don’t bring a friend along! Your driver can cancel your ride if you have more than one person in your group.
Lyft Shared has less wait time than other ride types. Your driver will only wait one minute at your pickup spot before they can cancel your ride and collect a fee.
Another rule is that you can’t change your pickup or destination address after you are paired with a driver. Multiple stops aren’t allowed—you can only set one destination, and your driver will only stop along the way to pick up or drop off other passengers.
Lyft Shared prices: How much is the discount for sharing?
A Shared Lyft is always cheaper than a standard Lyft ride, even if you don’t end up sharing your ride with another passenger.
According to Lyft, the precise discount for a shared Lyft depends on “the likelihood of being matched with other riders, driver availability, and your city.”
The estimate you see when you book the ride will always be the price you pay. The cost won’t go down if your ride picks up other passengers along the way.
In Los Angeles, Lyft says that shared rides will be at least 12% cheaper than a standard Lyft.
In the example ride below, a Shared ride was around $17 when a regular ride was $22. That’s close to a 25% discount.
Get the biggest discount by requesting in advance
Lyft says you can get the biggest discount by requesting a shared ride far in advance.
When booking a shared ride for a much later time, you might see an option called ‘no surprise pickups.’
“No surprise pickups” indicates that you are getting the biggest discount, and any additional pickups of other passengers will be pre-determined. There won’t be any new surprise pickups along the way.
Lyft Shared vs UberX share
Uber also offers a shared ride type called UberX Share. Both services are similar, but a few differences are worth pointing out.
Lyft Shared offers complete upfront pricing, with the total discount displayed before you request a ride.
UberX Share first gives you a small discount just for using UberX Share, then an additional 20% if you actually end up sharing the ride.
Lyft Shared offers a clearer pricing system that shows guaranteed savings, while UberX Share only offers the possibility of a big discount.
For drivers, the main difference between UberX Share and Lyft Shared is that you can opt out of UberX Share, but you can’t currently opt out of Lyft Shared in every market.
Driver pay on both shared services is the same: You only get paid the normal rate. There’s no extra pay for Shared rides on either platform.
How Lyft Shared works for drivers
Lyft Shared is a new ride mode that will give Lyft drivers new challenges and opportunities to maximize earnings.
How driver pay works on Lyft Shared
The shared rides pay formula is the same as a standard Lyft: You are paid for mileage and time, according to normal rates. There is no additional pay for doing shared rides.
Each pickup counts toward a Streak or Ride Challenge, so shared rides are potentially a faster way to complete promotions.
The process of doing a shared ride
Ride requests will have a ‘Shared’ label, along with all the other information you typically get on the ride request screen.
After you pick up the first passenger, the app may direct you to pick up a second. The app will tell you who to drop off first. It’s possible to do a long chain of Shared rides, or you might only get 1-2 pickups.
The person that you pick up first might not be dropped off first. Not all passengers understand shared rides work, so you may need to explain that the app determines the order of pickups and drop-offs.
Can you opt out of Lyft Shared?
Depending on your market, you may be able to opt out of Lyft Shared rides in the Driving Options area of the app.
To opt out, select Driving Options > Ride Types > All ride types except Shared.
You should no longer receive Shared ride requests after you select All ride types except Shared.
If you can’t opt out of shared rides in your market, you can decline Shared rides without any penalty for the remainder of 2022.
“Through the end of 2022, you can decline Shared ride requests (or let them lapse) without it affecting you negatively. It won’t affect your acceptance rate, driver rating, or any ride streaks.”
Is it worth doing Shared rides?
Lyft drivers who drove before 2020 might remember that Lyft used to have a shared ride service. It might be an understatement to say that it was not popular with drivers!
Downsides: Why drivers didn’t like the previous version of Shared rides on Lyft
More work for the same/similar pay: More drop-offs and pickups mean more work and complications, but share rides don’t offer extra pay.
Passengers don’t always understand how it works: Not every passenger understands that the app determines the pickup and drop-off order, not the driver. And others don’t even know they ordered a shared ride at all, and get upset when you stop to pick up another passenger.
Budget passengers tip less: The main appeal of shared rides is the low price. Bargain hunters aren’t as likely to tip, and tips can make or break your earnings.
Passengers don’t always get along: It can be awkward enough to drive a stranger in your car, but when you add a second one into the mix, things can get even more uncomfortable.
Potential upsides of doing Shared rides
It’s not all bad. You can use shared rides wisely to meet your goals.
Finish Streaks and Challenges faster: Every pickup during a shared ride counts toward promotions. That means that you can quickly knock out a Streak or Challenge.
Less downtime between rides: You only make money when a passenger is in the car with the wheels turning. If you are running into a lot of downtime between rides, shared rides might help you get back-to-back paying customers.
Lyft Shared: Great for bargain-hunting passengers, not as great for drivers
Lyft Shared is a great option if you’re looking for a cheap Lyft and don’t mind the extra inconveniences of sharing a ride with a stranger.
But for drivers, shared rides don’t offer extra pay to deal with the added inconveniences. It’s smart to target shared rides if you have a Streak or Challenge to knock out; otherwise consider skipping shared rides.