- Lyft last week launched a new driver rewards system that's now live in select US cities.
- Among the privileges unlocked at each tier is the ability to see a potential trip's details before accepting.
- That could ease one of drivers' biggest headaches when it comes to planning their workflow and estimating their earnings.
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And while many of the perks, like credits for Lyft rides, may not excite everyone. There's one perk for the most elite drivers that's likely to become a big incentive: trip details.
Usually, drivers are merely told there's a ride-request nearby, and can choose to accept or decline. That lack of insight makes it hard to know if a ride is worth it. For example, driving 15 minutes away for a 5-minute fare, might not be worth a driver's time.
"It's not about what you make on a trip, it's about how much of your time it's going to take," Michael, a driver in Washington DC, said in a recent interview. His last name has been omitted for privacy.
Other drivers developed their own tools for seeing trip details, like accepting the ride from a block away, and cancelling before getting to the passenger if they didn't want to take it.
Seeing a trip's destination was an intermittent feature during testing, a Lyft spokesperson said, but this is the first time it's been codified transparently like this. Those tests sparked interest among drivers online over recent months, and led to much speculation about which markets, or which trip acceptance rates, would trigger the app to show trip details ahead of a ride.
Some of those drivers said they started to see the details when their acceptance rates hit 90% or higher, depending on where they work. That's key, given that drivers still risk being deactivated if they cancel 15 rides in their last 100 acceptances, according to Lyft's published policies.
To unlock the new features, drivers have to reach the gold tier of Lyft's rewards program by earning points. That second rung also includes a 4% cash back on gas when using Lyft's debit card and $5 cash back for every 500 points, but it's not clear how many points it will take to level up to each tier.
Uber, by contrast, has had a nearly identical rewards program for drivers since earlier this year. On the company's platinum and diamond tiers, drivers can see a trip duration and direction.
Have you used Lyft or Uber rewards? Get in touch with this reporter at [email protected].
Here's the full rewards chart for Lyft: