The Best Times to Drive for Lyft


Your income as a Lyft driver depends on a sound strategy, and knowing when to drive is a key part of any effective plan. You can use your common sense to guess at the most profitable hours for rideshare work; you could also consult with any number of sources that have their best estimates laid out for you.

Here we will cover these ways of choosing the best times to drive, and introduce you to the most powerful tool for knowing when the most profitable driving shifts are for you, right where you live.

Here's what we cover:

Best times to drive for Lyft: Opinions and speculations

Ask any driver and you’ll hear a different theory about the best times to drive. Lyft suggests that you check your app for their ride demand graph. This might clue you in on where there are a lot of riders, but does it give you all the information you need?

There are the usual peak times: rush hour(s), weekend evenings, brunch times, event start and let out times, late nights on weekends, and those hours when certain demographic groups, such as students or hospital workers might be moving around. It’s certainly possible to experiment with these driving times and discover how well they work for you, but who has time for that?

Are the best times to drive for Lyft always the same?

While all the ideas you hear might make a lot of sense, there are other things to consider. The peaks and valleys in customer demand are not the same in every locality. Plus, what good does it do you to focus on the usual peak times if your schedule doesn’t allow you to drive during those hours? 

People who live in highly concentrated urban areas are likely to have more variations in their busiest driving times than people who stay in the suburbs. Rush hour in an office-oriented city might differ from peak times where there are more stay-at-home workers. 

When it comes to events, suburban drivers may find more riders an hour or more before the rush begins because they’ll have to leave early to get to the big game or concert on time. Once back in the “burbs,” drivers may also experience earlier closing times for restaurants and bars than their urban counterparts. Working with a focus on rides to and from airports will also create different demand patterns. 

Even with Lyft’s ride demand graph, you may not come out ahead of the game. It’s possible that the place(s) they send you will be so crowded, you have to inch your way along and waste a huge chunk of your shift. And since you’re likely not the only one who will see the ride demand graph, you can bet a flood of other drivers will flock to the busy areas, and possibly gobble up all those passengers first.

As you’re starting to realize, it’s not always helpful to rely on what we might think are “normal patterns” in order to predict the best times to drive. You need real data based on the experience of actual drivers. Don’t worry. There’s help you can count on, and you can have it with you on every shift.

When to Drive from Gridwise: Accurate data that boosts your earnings

Gridwise is the tool you need to push your pay up to the levels you desire and deserve. The Gridwise When to Drive feature is specifically designed for drivers, by people who used to be drivers! They know exactly what you need, and deliver it in a form that’s easy to understand and put to good use.

Take the “maybe” factor out of rider demand patterns with actual data from real drivers who work in your area. With When to Drive, you’ll know right away what the best times to drive for Lyft are and get insight into how much you can make with other apps, too.

How to use Gridwise When to Drive features

Tap on the When to Drive card to discover the optimal times for driving and maximizing your earnings. At the bottom, you’ll find different data types to filter.

Gridwise has different statistics you can look at:

Earnings Per Hour – Shows you the median earnings drivers make per hour for each day of the week. This helps you identify the most profitable days.

Trips Per Hour* – Shows you can see the median number of trips drivers make per hour each day. This helps you understand the busiest days for drivers.

Earnings Per Trip* – This shows you the median earnings drivers make per trip per day. This helps you understand which days are best to earn more per trip.

*indicates a plus-only feature

Nationwide and Nearest Markets

When to Drive allows you to access both nationwide statistics and data from your preferred market.

To change the location, tap on the search icon in the upper right corner and enter a different city or select “nationwide”.

Filter by Service Type

You can also filter by the following service types to view the most relevant data:

  1. Rideshare
  2. Food
  3. Grocery
  4. Package

Gridwise also offers insights and updates on Events and Airports so you can pick the best times to drive for or around those times (depending on your strategy). Gridwise also allows you to set alerts.

Gridwise is the very best source for information about the best times to drive. Don’t miss out on this valuable resource!

Download the Gridwise App and get When to Drive, along with tons of other features to boost your earnings.

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