If you go on Lyft’s website right now, it says drivers can make $35 per hour. Is that realistic? A few weeks ago, I spent a week
driving for Lyft to find out. All right, it is 12:30, and I’m logging in to my Lyft App
to start my first Lyft job of the day. Driver mode is on.
And, so far nothing is happening. I drove for 50 hours. I had 54 passengers. And I made just under $600,
which works out to about 12 bucks an hour. And that’s before subtracting the cost of gas. A big reason for my low earnings
was that I spent a lot of time waiting around. So with the traditional salaried position,
you work your 40 hours. And it’s a company’s job to make sure that you have enough work for it to be worth your salary. With this kind of business,
I, as an independent contractor, am on my own. I sit here for the next 5 or 6 or 7 hours,
and nobody wants a taxi ride, I’m just out of money. Like on Tuesday morning, I drove for about three hours and didn’t get a single passenger, and so that was pretty frustrating. So the day that one best was on Saturday.
I worked about 10 hours, and I made 163 dollars, after gas, it was about 14 dollars an hour. Why Saturday was my best day? For one thing, I had passengers in my car
35% of the time, a higher percentage than any other day. Second, four of my 14 rides had prime time bonuses, where passengers are charged
a premium of 25% – 100%. Still, $14 an hour isn’t great.
And it’s a lot less than the $35 Lyft is promoting. The fundamental issue is that right now at least,
the roads are crowded with people offering rides. Now that I’m looking around, I’m noticing
that I have a lot of competitors around me. That’s partly because both Lyft and Uber
are aggressively recruiting drivers. While I only earned about $600 from customers, Lyft was running a promotion in November
that guaranteed divers would make at least $30 an hour. So Lyft paid me another $900 out of their own pocket. As Uber and Lyft throw a lot of money at drivers to drive, it’s expanding the number of drivers in the market. That means the drivers spend more time sitting around, and so, they actually make less. They need to grow quickly in order to compete with Uber, and so, I think they’re spending a ton of money. They both have raised hundreds of
millions of dollars in venture capital, and they’re spending that
to build out their networks as quickly as possible, and so, they’re willing to spend a lot of money
in the short run to make sure that they’re large as Uber, somebody who needs a steady paycheck, this is probably not a good choice for you because we really don’t know what the long-term future is gonna be, and it’s hard to predict from week to week. This isn’t just something that people,
do as a full-time job. There are a lot of people that do it
as a supplement to some other job. It can give employees a lot more freedom because if I feel like, you know, not working later today
I can just take the day off and nobody cares. this model isn’t for everyone, but for some people,
it’s a great opportunity.