The Essential Guide for Lyft Riders

As one of the top ridesharing services in North America, Lyft has become an essential way for over 20 million people per month to get around. Whether you‘re a daily Lyft commuter or an occasional ride-hailer, there‘s always more to know about safely navigating and saving money on Lyft.

I‘ve put together this comprehensive guide covering everything Lyft users need to know, from rider ratings to wheelchair accessibility and beyond. Let‘s dive in!

A Quick Intro to Lyft

For those new to Lyft, it‘s a transportation network company that allows private car owners to shuttle people directly to their destination via a smartphone app. It launched in 2012 and has operations exclusively in the United States and Canada.

Some key stats about the company:

  • 20.3 million monthly active riders as of 2022
  • 2 million drivers across the US and Canada
  • $4.1 billion in annual revenue, a 28% YOY increase
  • Ranked the #3 rideshare globally behind Uber and DiDi
  • Holds 29% rideshare market share in the US

Understanding Lyft Ride Types

Lyft offers a range of ride types to match your group size, accessibility needs, and budget:

Lyft Standard

The classic Lyft ride for everyday trips for up to 4 passengers. An affordable option with safety features and friendly drivers.

Lyft XL

Need room for up to 6 passengers? Lyft XL vehicles like SUVs and minivans have you covered for larger groups or lots of luggage.

Lyft Lux and Lux Black

A step up in luxury, these premium rides use high-end sedans and SUVs like BMWs, Audis, Cadillacs. Includes features like leather interiors, premium sound systems, and bottled water.

Lyft Access

For riders in wheelchairs needing an accessible vehicle with a ramp or lift. Fits up to 4 passengers plus the wheelchair.

Lyft Assist

Help with entering and exiting the vehicle is available for elderly passengers or those needing an extra hand. Just request Assist when booking your ride.

No matter your transportation needs, Lyft likely has a ride type suited for you.

Driver Requirements, Pay and Demographics

Wondering what it takes to be a Lyft driver and what they make? Here‘s a quick look at Lyft driver stats:

  • 69% represent minority groups
  • 75% are 40+ years old
  • 55% have a bachelor‘s or master‘s degree
  • Average hourly earnings are around $25 per hour
  • Annual Lyft driver pay ranges from $31,703 to $46,503

To become a driver you‘ll need:

  • A 4-door vehicle newer than 2000 for Lyft Standard
  • To pass criminal and driving record checks
  • Valid license, insurance, registration
  • To be 21+ years old generally

It‘s free to apply to drive with Lyft. Many drivers do it part-time for supplemental income.

How Safe is Lyft?

Safety is a top priority for Lyft corporate. All drivers undergo thorough background checks prior to being approved.

The Lyft app also contains multiple safety features riders can use:

Emergency button – easily call 911 from within the app if needed

RideCheck – uses AI to detect unexpected delays or irregular routes

Share My Ride – let friends/family track your trip in real-time

2-way ratings – keeps drivers and riders accountable for good behavior

With background-checked drivers and in-app safety features, Lyft maintains highly rated safety standards.

Saving Money on Lyft Rides

Want to trim down your Lyft spending? Here are money-saving tips:

Time it right

Avoid peak hours like rush hour mornings and evenings when fares surge due to high demand. Late nights on weekends can spike too.

Share the ride using Lyft‘s carpool option for discounted split fares.

Use memberships

Lyft Pink offers 15% off all rides, priority airport pickups, relaxed cancellations, and more for a monthly fee. Worth it for frequent users.

Subscription plans give you a set number of discounted rides per month. Great if you take the same trips regularly.

Don‘t forget to tip!

Drivers depend on tips so throw in a few extra bucks if you had great service. Or round up with Lyft‘s in-app tipping.

Being a Good Lyft Passenger

To keep those 5-star ratings shining, every rider should know Lyft etiquette basics:

  • Be ready when your driver arrives, don‘t keep them waiting
  • Provide clear pick-up details to avoid confusion
  • Be kind and respectful, refrain from eating smelly foods
  • Confirm the name & vehicle details before entering a car
  • Keep calls/music low out of courtesy
  • Remember drivers rate you too! 5 stars = bigger tips

It‘s easy to be a model Lyft rider. Minding these rideshare manners makes every trip better.

Accessibility for Wheelchairs and More

Lyft aims to provide inclusive transit options for all riders:

Wheelchair access – Reserve Lyft Access rides requiring wheelchair ramps or lifts

Car seat assistance – Drivers helpparents properly secure car seats, or provide booster seats

Service animals – Service dogs can accompany disabled riders

Speak up about any accessibility needs when reserving your ride!

Fun Lyft Facts and Stats

Beyond getting you from point A to B, Lyft delivers smiles along the way:

  • Lyft was named after its first ride when the founders "lifted" a giant Lyftfur pink mustache on the car grille! The mustache became their iconic branding.

  • Over $3 million has been donated to charitiesfor disaster relief efforts via the in-app tipping/donation feature.

  • Roughly 90% of Lyft drivers use it as a side business while studying or supplementing income from a full-time job.

  • Tech companies like Facebook, Netflix and Google used to book Lyft shuttle routes as employee transportation before running their own private bus systems.

Lyft‘s business is driving, but they sure spread lots of good vibes across communities too!

Lyft vs. Uber: How Do They Compare?

The two heavyweight rideshare leaders in North America always get compared. At a high level:

  • Uber dominates the overall US market with ~70% share while Lyft holds steady at 29%.

  • Both have the same standard ride types but Uber offers more premium options like yachts and helicopter transportation.

  • Uber operates worldwide covering over 10,000 cities globally whereas Lyft just operates in the US and Canada.

  • Lyft tends to focus more on community ties and partnerships for events and city transportation deals.

While Uber may be the bigger brother, Lyft does carve out a nice niche with its loyal customer base across North America.

Ready, Set, Ride

We‘ve covered ride types, driver pay, safety features, pricing tips, accessibility, fun facts, and how Lyft sizes up to Uber.

You now have all the tools to master Lyft ridesharing! Stay safe on every trip and don‘t hesitate to leverage their accessibility options when traveling with elderly family members or those needing assistance.

Hop in a car and put this Lyft knowledge to work on your next cross-town lift.

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