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People are increasingly using the Lyft services because they’re both affordable and convenient. All you have to do is download the Lyft app and determine the locations of both the start and the destination of your journey. Then, you just need to wait for a short amount of time for the Lyft driver to arrive and confirm your pickup.

You might first want to check out our article on how to use Lyft.

How Much Does Lyft Cost?

One of the most significant advantages of this method of transport is that you can quickly get a Lyft price estimate, so you will know how much a particular ride is before you start it. You can find a reliable fare estimator both in the mobile app and on the website. Usually, it will turn out that the Lyft estimate is much more cost effective than taking a regular cab.

When you enter a particular destination, you will see the fare before you order a ride. Thanks to upfront pricing, passengers can find out what the cost per ride is before they make a decision if they want to get a Lyft or not. However, you may wonder what happens if your plans suddenly change, and you need to alternate the destination. Lyft has taken into account that a situation may be dynamic, and they allow you to modify the route during the Lyft ride. In such circumstances, a stop is added, and the upfront price you were quoted before is no longer valid. The cost of the ride will be calculated to reflect the new route you enter.

How Lyft Prices Are Calculated – Lyft Fare Breakdown

When you enter a destination, the Lyft app will immediately determine your upfront price based on the estimated time, distance, prime time pricing, and a calculation based on how willing you are to pay for the ride. You will have to cover this cost unless the journey turns out to be much shorter or longer than expected in the fare estimate. Due to upfront pricing, it is hard to check an easy time and mileage calculation for your Lyft ride.

The main advantage of such an approach is that you will always be informed about the fare estimate before you get a Lyft ride. On the other hand, when you already enter your pickup, you may not be sure why you have to cover that particular cost.

What Fees or Other Charges to Passengers Are There?

Lyft fare estimate is calculated with the following criteria:

Base charge – The flat minimum fare you always need to cover for a Lyft ride.

Price per minute – The cost counted for every minute of your journey.

Price per mile – The cost calculated for every mile of the Lyft ride.

Service fee – A stable fee added to each ride. This money does not go to the driver, but to Lyft.

Other fees – If your ride starts at an airport, an additional fee will be included. If there are toll roads on your route, your Lyft fare estimate will be increased with toll charges.

Tip – If the ride was exactly as good as you expected, and the Lyft driver was friendly and helpful, you can award them with a tip at the end of the ride (it is recommended, but entirely optional).

What Are the Prices for Different Lyft Services?

When the Lyft app first appeared, there was only one way to order a ride – you just had to open it up and press the large button saying “Request Lyft.” In the beginning, all the services were the same, so the fare estimate was counted similarly in each case. However, the company has developed its service, and now, in most cities, it provides passengers with many different options to personalize their Lyft ride.

Here you can see the list of the currently available services:

Lyft – a regular on-demand ride, available for four passengers maximum.

Lyft Shared (previously known as Lyft Line) – here, you can get the lowest Lyft fare estimate because you will be paired with other people who need to travel along the same route. It is because the cost is split between all the passengers.

Lyft XL (previously known as Lyft Plus) – an SUV or a minivan that can take up to six passengers. The fare estimate is higher here than in the case of Lyft.

Lyft Lux – a luxury sedan for people who appreciate greater comfort. Seats for four passengers are available.

Lyft Lux Black – the most exclusive and costly Lyft service. Your ride will take place in a luxurious new black SUV or sedan with a Lyft driver that has been rated highly by many previous clients.

Lyft Lux Black XL – similar to the option above but with SUVs that can take up to six passengers.

When you want to travel alone or with less than four people, a regular Lyft ride will be the best option for you. If there are five or more people with you, then Lyft XL sounds perfect. For commuters, Lyft Shared is the most recommended because it allows you to save more money on frequent rides.

Where to Find a Lyft Fare Estimate?

Both on the website and in the Lyft app, you can find a real-time fare estimator that will allow you to calculate the price of a particular ride. As we have mentioned earlier, it includes the cost per minute or per mile, as well as a service fee and possible additional charges.

You should bear in mind that in prime time when many people are looking for a Lyft driver, the fare can be higher. Therefore, if you see a higher price than you had earlier on the same route, it means there are a lot of orders at a particular moment. If you are not in a hurry and you care about the cost a lot, you can try to wait a little and see how the system estimates the fare after some time.

How to Get Fare Estimates in Your City?

Note that your fare estimate may differ from one city to another because every market is priced differently. For instance, you can get a Lyft ride in Tulsa, Oklahoma at a bit lower price than in, let’s say, New York City. In order to check the prices in your city (or the place you are currently in), you can go to the Lyft Cities page on their official website.

An important thing to remember about a Lyft estimate is that on some routes, tolls need to be added to the general cost of a ride. Toll amounts are counted with a local electronic toll collection pricing. It can be, for example, E-ZPass, TollTag, Peasy, Good to Go! or FasTrak. Keep in mind that Lyft does not cover the difference between the electronic toll collection rate of a particular region and other rates (like a cash rate). Hence, if you do not want to overpay, you should turn to the electronic systems.

Connecticut to NYC

Apart from the applicable tolls and surcharges, your Lyft fare estimate will be increased with a $15 surcharge for every Lyft ride that starts in Connecticut and finishes in New York City.


Remember that a Lyft driver from Massachusetts will be reimbursed for particular tolls at the commercial E-ZPass rate. They will be provided with a special adjustment from E-ZPass to the commercial toll rate. A Lyft driver with a commercial transponder will not even get any difference in the E-ZPass statement. You can find more details about it if you visit the MassDOT website.

Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

When you travel from New Jersey to New York City or the other way round, your Lyft estimate will be raised with a $20 surcharge. What is more, if the route starts in New Jersey and includes the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, you will pay $19 more. Overall, the price will increase by $39, which again includes tolls. However, remember that the $19 is not added to your Lyft estimate if you order a ride starting from Staten Island and going through the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.


It is definitely worth understanding the different ways how Lyft calculates the fare estimates. It is a fantastic feature to get real-time updates about the cost of a particular ride, but you need to be aware of the fact that if the time or distance turns out to be different than the Lyft fare estimate, your ride may be more expensive (or cheaper, if you are lucky).

In order to check the predicted cost, you just need to open the Lyft website or app and enter the location where you are going and the place where you want to be picked up. In most cases, Lyft’s estimate is close to what you will pay, and usually, the price is much more affordable than ordering a traditional taxi.

It is great that you have many options to adapt the services to your needs and financial capabilities. People who want to save money may use Lyft Shared, and those who need more convenience and luxury can turn to Lyft Lux or even Lyft Lux Black if they intend to impress someone(like a potential business partner).

The Lyft estimate will always take into account your choice while counting the price. So, just check the cost of the route you need to go and if you are okay with the probable price, order a ride and enter your pickup as soon as it arrives! Don’t forget, you can always order a Lyft in advance if you need to.