Being a rideshare driver can be tough. Sometimes you have to deal with drunk, obnoxious passengers. Other times you’ll be sitting in awkward silence with a single passenger as the time creeps slowly by. And anyone who has ever taken a long road trip will agree that being behind the wheel for extended periods of time can be hard on your back. At the end of the day, though, it’s a career that offers excellent flexibility as well as earnings potential.
To balance out the challenges of being a rideshare driver, our goal at Gridwise is to provide you with the best resources, insights, and advice to help make your time on the road more efficient and less stressful. In addition to the unique features offered through the Gridwise app, we want to help you understand which TNCs provide the most driver friendly features. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of driver features provided by Via, Uber, and Lyft.
Via is one of the few rideshare services that is actually about sharing rides. Drivers find Via appealing due to their guaranteed hourly rates. Plus, Via only operates in spaces where there is a lot of driver demand, which means fewer miles on your vehicle and no long-distance trips. But does this TNC provide driver friendly features?
The Via app has standard driver features, such as the ability to set a pickup location, rider feedback, and GPS. But where Via really shines is their live support team available by phone or text. The Rideshare Guy explains that if you ever come across a problem on the road, contacting their support team will get you a live person who works for Via in real-time. This driver friendly feature is unique to Via; most other TNCs only provide support through email.
As you might expect, the Uber app has the most features available for both passengers and drivers out of all TNCs. Since its inception in 2009, Uber has come a long way in regard to the features it provides. The Ridesharing Driver has an entire article explaining all of the driver features in detail, but it seems as though they aren’t all driver friendly features.
For example, one Uber feature for drivers is a map that shows your location along with where the surge areas are. Those that drive for Uber don’t consider this a driver friendly feature because it fails to show the location of other drivers. This is important to know because if you head toward a surge area and there is already a cluster of drivers in the area, it could turn into a nightmare.
Another feature that Uber offers its drivers is the destination filter, which allows you to set an address and only get ride requests that are heading towards that destination. Sounds like a pretty useful driver friendly feature, right? Yes, but there’s a catch: Uber limits you to only using this feature two times per day.
The features that drivers seem to like the most are all of the information the Uber driver app provides about your earnings. Upon opening the earnings tab, the main feature is a bar graph that shows you how much you have earned each day of the week. You can tap each bar in the graph to see how much you earned that day, and if you tap the number above the graph, you’ll get a detailed breakdown of the day. At the bottom of the graph is an estimated payout for the week.
The Ridesharing Driver concludes that while the Uber driver app is an impressively comprehensive resource with tons of features, it isn’t very well organized. Even though Uber has the most driver features out of all of the TNCs, they aren’t necessarily features that are going to make your rides more efficient and less stressful.
Lastly, Uber offers a driver friendly feature called Earnings Boost, which guarantees surge pricing on fares that originate from a certain area at a certain time while charging the passenger regular prices. In order to take advantage of this feature, look for an email or alert in the app that will convey the times when Uber Earnings Boost will be available. According to The Rideshare Guy, Earnings Boosts are typically offered during the times when they’re trying to incentivize drivers to get out on the road: rush hour/commuting hours and Friday/Saturday night party hours. Additionally, the boost amounts are higher during the times of higher demand.
The Lyft app is pretty straightforward, but this TNC does not provide as many features as Uber. The app is limited when it comes to viewing details on your pay, your profile, and your vehicle. All of these detailed reports and features are available on Lyft.com, but not through the app.
However, the company recently released a new app (Lyft Driver) which is solely dedicated to drivers. Lyft is still in the process of adding resources and other driver friendly features, but a recent blog post from Lyft assures drivers to “stay tuned” and that they will be gradually introducing drivers to the app over the summer.
Under the home tab in the Lyft app you’ll see the GPS service, which also shows Prime Time surge areas. Similar to Uber Earnings Boost, Prime Time is one of the best driver friendly features that Lyft offers. According to the Lyft website, guaranteed Prime Time is a way for drivers to boost earnings while providing rides for passengers during the busiest times, such as major holidays, promotions, or events in certain markets. During these times, rides will include Prime Time earnings at or above the promotional amount. For example, drivers will receive either a text message or email that during a time range (i.e. 8AM to 11AM) driving in a specific area will allow them to receive a multiplier of their earnings (i.e. 1.5x). The Lyft GPS feature will color code the Prime Time areas: the darker the pink color, the higher the Prime Time rate is.
As a rideshare driver, which TNC do you think provides the most driver friendly features? Is Uber at the top of your list or does an underdog take the win? Share your thoughts in the comments below!