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Lyft is an American company specializing in ridesharing that operates in over 600 cities in the United States and some of the biggest cities in Canada. Ridesharing is the practice of matching a passenger and a nearby driver. Using the Lyft app, you can request a ride in a minute or less. In this way, you’re not only providing yourself with a very convenient service but also taking care of the environment by reducing the number of cars on the roads.

What is Lyft, and How Does Lyft Work?

Lyft is an excellent alternative to traditional taxi services. You can download its smartphone app easily, both on iOS and Android devices. As it uses GPS to find the drivers who are the closest to your pickup location, you can be sure that you won’t wait long for your ride. Usually, it takes just a few minutes, so you can start your journey really quickly and reach your destination in no time. As your Lyft account can be connected with your credit card, you do not even have to have any cash to pay the driver after the ride because the payment will be made automatically.

How to Use Lyft as a Driver?

Becoming a Lyft driver it creates a great opportunity to make some extra money in your free time. If you have a driving license, meet the age requirement, pass the vehicle inspection through company or by scheduling vehicle video inspection, have car insurance and all the other criteria set up by the company, you can easily start working as a Lyft driver.

When your application turns out to be successful, and you get access to the Lyft driver app, make sure to be fully prepared to use it before your first ride. After opening the app, you’ll be welcomed with a step-by-step tutorial and you can check how everything works with a sample ride, starting with accepting a client and finishing with dropping them off.

After learning the basic functions of the Lyft app for a driver, you’ll be guided through some additional features, such as:

  • Last ride – A notification sent to Lyft saying you need a break or want to call it a day.
  • Shared rides – A mode allowing you to pick up passengers going to different destinations along the same route. (Note: this mode is unavailable now due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Destination mode – A feature making it possible for a driver to set a destination so that they could be matched only with passengers who need a ride in the same direction.

How to Use Lyft as a Passenger?

To start using Lyft, you need to first install their app on your Android or iOS mobile device. You can find it easily in the app store and download it quickly. Then, open it and sign up, providing all the necessary data, like your name or phone number. If you don’t want to create a new account manually, you can optionally connect through Facebook.

The next step is to add a payment method. Lyft wants to provide cashless services so that everyone can easily use them, even if they don’t have any cash in their wallet for the time being. Therefore, you should connect a credit card or PayPal account to your profile before you request a ride. The payment tab can be found under the menu – just tap the icon in the top-left corner to toggle it.

How to Request a Ride?

When you’re all set with the payment method, you can order your first ride.

  1. Select “Search destination” and provide your destination.
  2. Choose the proper address from the list you see.
  3. Decide on the ride type you want to get. Apart from the standard service, you can find, for instance, Lyft Shared, Lyft Lux, or Lyft XL.
  4. Tap “Select Lyft.”
  5. Make sure everything’s okay and confirm your choice, or change your pickup location, if it’s a different spot than the one you’re in now (normally, it’ll be uploaded with your GPS).’

Don’t forget, it’s now possible to schedule a Lyft in advance.

How Long Should my Driver Wait for Me?

Typically, drivers wait for around five minutes for the passengers to arrive. However, if you need more time, it isn’t a huge problem usually. You should just notify your driver in advance because otherwise, they may leave and mark your ride as a no-show, which will result in charging you with a cancellation fee. Try to reach your driver as soon as possible, and if you know that due to some sudden circumstances, you won’t be able to appear anytime soon, please don’t make the driver wait pointlessly and cancel your Lyft ride straight away.

What is Lyft Prime?

Lyft has been using its Prime Time feature in its app for years to let drivers earn more in the busiest hours, the same as Uber does with surge pricing. However, this year they have replaced it with a new feature called Personal Power Zones. Thanks to them, a driver can find an area with a high demand for Lyft rides comfortably and earn some extra money. These zones are based on your location so that you won’t have to drive long to reach the most lucrative area. Interestingly, you’ll get the bonus even if you aren’t in your Personal Power Zone yet, provided that you accepted a ride request from there.

What are the Different Lyft Services?

Nowadays, Lyft provides its clients with a bunch of services and they impact upon the level of service you receive and how much the Lyft ride costs. They are as follows:

  • Lyft – A standard ride for 4 passengers maximum
  • Preferred – The same as above, but with a high-rated driver and in a more modern, spacious vehicle (it isn’t available in all markets).
  • Shared – An economical shared ride for passengers going in the same direction
  • Shared Saver – Even a more economical option where you need to walk a short distance to reach the driver
  • Wait & Save – A feature allowing you to lock in a lower price when there is a high demand for Lyft. In this way, you’ll have to wait longer for the driver, but your ride will be cheaper (it’s not available in all markets either).
  • Lux – A ride in a luxurious car for 4 passengers maximum
  • Lux Black: An even more exclusive option where you (and up to 3 other people) are picked up by a black car with leather seats
  • Lyft XL: SUV for 6 passengers maximum.
  • Lux Black XL: Luxurious black SUV with leather seats for 6 passengers maximum.

Also, there are a few other modes, where you can rent a scooter or a bike, or request a car adapted for disabled people or with a child’s seat.

Should I Tip?

In the app for Lyft, you can easily tip your driver for an excellent ride, but still, it’s entirely optional. Lyft encourages you to do it, but the choice is yours. You can also adjust the size of your tip to adapt it to your financial capabilities.


Generally, using Lyft is very easy and intuitive, and everyone should be able to request a ride without any difficulties. You just need to download the app on your smartphone and follow the instructions provided on the screen. However, in case you have any problems, Lyft’s customer service can provide you with all the help you need.