Driver Advisory Council 2018 Summit Recap

Lyft's COO Jon McNeill chatting with the DAC

Last week in San Francisco, your Driver Advisory Council met with more than 70 Lyft employees — from our President, John Zimmer and COO, Jon McNeill to the Product Managers, designers, and engineers who set the strategy and write the code for the Lyft Driver app. The goal of the DAC Summit was to amplify driver voices and ensure your interests are heard at HQ. Thank you to everyone who shared questions for Lyft’s CEO. We received thousands — stay tuned for a note from Lyft leadership soon about the most commonly asked questions.

DAC meeting with Lyft Co-founder / President John Zimmer

Driver Advisory Council with Lyft Co-Founders Logan (CEO) and John (President)

To recap, the following are some of the meetings the DAC participated in during the Summit:

  • Ran Makavy, Executive Vice President of Rideshare Technology and Tali Rapaport, VP of Product to discuss improvements to the Lyft Driver app. The DAC brought your point of view directly to HQ on topics like: long pickups, insurance, carseats, cancellations, and what to do when passengers request rides for unaccompanied minors

  • Ashwin Raj, VP of Payments to discuss fuel prices and other rising costs drivers face on the road

  • Mary Winfield, VP of Customer Support to discuss deactivations, the customer support experience, and safety on the platform

  • Laura Copeland, Head of Driver Communications to discuss improvements to the way Lyft informs drivers about news and changes to products and programs

The DAC on stage presenting at Lyft's all-hands company meeting

The DAC on stage presenting at Lyft's all-hands company meeting

Summit Highlights: Self-Driving Vehicles + In-App Cancellation Reasons


The highlight of the DAC’s visit to Lyft’s San Francisco headquarters was a candid, 90-minute discussion about the challenges and opportunities that will come with self-driving vehicles. The DAC received a comprehensive overview of Lyft’s vision and goals for self-driving, including saving lives and reducing congestion and emissions. The DAC shared their honest perspectives and concerns about self-driving vehicles, specifically asking questions about expected deployment timelines, what self-driving means for Lyft drivers, and opportunities for earnings on the platform as self-driving grows.

One exciting update from the DAC Summit focuses on driver and passenger safety. Check out the screenshots of new in-app cancellation reasons that give drivers a clearer way to report issues like unaccompanied minors, no carseats, and open containers — while protecting your acceptance rating. These updates are still being tested and the DAC is giving their feedback to ensure we’re taking driver concerns into consideration in the design and rollout of the feature.


Check out some photos from the DAC's breakfast meeting with executives and their presentation at the all-hands company meeting. Stay tuned for more news from the Driver Advisory Council, including details on how you can join the DAC (applications open in August).

DAC member, Dianne chats with Lyft executives who lead the Product, Design, and Engineering teams

Ramadan Recap: Community Iftar Connections


Last month, we invited Lyft's entire driver community to join us for community iftars at mosques in 10 cities: Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Oakland, Washington DC, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver. In LA, we partnered with the University of Southern California's Muslim Student Association and received the following statement from Zaynab, an undergraduate business student and Vice President of the MSA:

Ramadan is the one of the most significant times of the year for Muslims globally. It is a time for us to practice patience and strengthen our connection with God and with people all over the world, especially the less fortunate who may be suffering from a lack of resources, famine, war, etc. Ramadan is also a social time: eating with the community and meeting others in your area during Iftar is an important part of the month!
Our Iftars would not have been possible without the help of your company. We greatly appreciate your help and generosity and are very impressed with the initiative that Lyft has taken. Through sponsoring these Iftars, we know that inclusion and diversity is of great importance to Lyft, and USC’s Muslim community is extremely excited to continue to use Lyft regularly and continue to work with the company in the future. Thank you for making this all possible!

During the month of Ramadan, we sponsored 24 community iftars directly impacting more than 5,000 people in 10 cities. A big thanks to all of you for sharing meals with us. We’re looking forward to more events like this in the future to celebrate the diversity of our driver community. Check out some of the photo highlights, and thank you to everyone who participated all across the USA and Canada. 

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Supporting Lyft Parents Who Inspire Us

Our driver community is filled with inspiring parents like Paloma. This month, we’re honoring a few Lyft moms - Belinda in Minnesota, Nirali in New Jersey, Michelle in Florida and Martha in Nevada - by sharing their stories and sponsoring the cost of their kids’ summer activities. Father's Day is also on the horizon and we want to show love to Lyft dads as well. If you're a Lyft driver dad who wants to share your story of how fatherhood has shaped you, send your story and a photo to: for a chance at a special swag bag and other goodies from Lyft HQ.

Belinda from Minneapolis


Belinda became a Lyft driver after deciding that she wanted more freedom and more time to spend with her daughters. “I can honestly say I have figured out work-life balance and I have Lyft to thank for offering such a great platform. It brings me joy to know that what I’m doing offers such a great service to others. I’ve also noticed that 7 out of 10 of my passengers are women and my belief is that they feel a sense of relief when they see that I’m a woman too."


Belinda - pictured above with her two daughters - shared a touching story of human connection:

One time, I picked up a woman who had a number of bags with her. During the drive, she told me she was moving to a facility for women recovering from drugs/alcohol.  She was very open with me and wanted to share her story. When we arrived, she was worried because this was her first time there, so she asked me to wait to make sure she got inside.  I waited until someone finally came to the door which was after 10 minutes of her knocking. I helped bring her bags to the door. She looked at me and thanked me for helping her. She tipped me $10 which I told her she didn’t have to do, and she said I usually don’t tip but I want to tip you, you helped me when I really needed it. We both smiled and I wished her the best of luck.  I was brought to tears as I left because I knew in my heart that she was grateful to have someone who was willing to help her in such a time of need.

Martha from Las Vegas


Martha is a new Lyft driver in Las Vegas who rents a vehicle through our Express Drive program. She is a single mother of three, and she drives with Lyft to earn money to care for her children, including one child who is disabled. She joined the Express Drive program because it gives her the flexibility to spend time with her kids, and the vehicle she can utilize for both Lyft, and her family’s needs. Martha's three children - Hailey, Shane, and Mason are pictured below!


Michelle from Orlando

Meet Michelle a single mom of three amazing girls. She is also a Navy veteran and a cancer survivor.  When sharing her story of perseverance, Michelle told us:


I am on the other side of this and I have found so much bliss, peace and love for myself. One of the reasons I drive for Lyft (besides earning money) is to show other people that even with a disability, all is possible and you can adapt and be self sufficient. I spread this message to all my passengers as I see every ride as an opportunity to genuinely connect with people. I watch them leave my car with a sense of marvel and invincibility because I show them that if I can, they certainly can."


Nirali from New Jersey


Nirali is a New Jersey Lyft driver and mom of a young son. She joined Lyft after losing her job unexpectedly. “Little did I know when I joined the Lyft family 10 months ago that driving for Lyft was the best decision I have ever made in my life. My son was three years old and it was very tough for me to find him a babysitter and get a job that saves me any money that would help me pay bills. By driving for Lyft, I managed my own hours, while I asked my friends and family members to look after my son in their convenient time. Thank you Lyft, for providing so many opportunities to people like me.”


Your Driving Green Cities $1K Winners

Earlier this year, we committed to making every Lyft ride carbon neutral. To celebrate the drivers who go the extra mile for the environment, we awarded $1K to a few of them. We’re excited for you to meet your Driving Green Cities contest winners.

Thu Tran
Houston, Texas

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Thu first found her passion for environmental sustainability when working at a family-owned-and-operated Farmer’s Cooperative in New Orleans. She’s been dedicated to reducing her carbon footprint ever since.

In addition to recycling, composting, and gardening, Thu is a full-time doctoral candidate studying Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She even makes her own all natural teas and tinctures, which she offers to the community through a collective apothecary and healing studio: Trans’ Formations. In her own words:

“My commitment to environmental justice is rooted in both the spirit of pride and humility, knowing that I can continue to expand my impact while inspiring others to do their part too.”

Daniel Cruger
Westerly, Rhode Island

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From reusing lawn clippings to hand-making static cling balls for the dryer, Daniel and his partner run a sustainable household, top to bottom. When they moved from New York City to suburban Rhode Island, they made sustainability a huge priority — they even bought a compost system before a grill.

Owning a car is a necessity for Daniel, and he goes the extra mile to reduce the carbon footprint that comes with car ownership by “buying biodegradable car soap, rinsing off the car on our gravel driveway rather than letting the soap go right into the street, and using cleaning cloths with natural fibers.”

These days, Daniel’s known around his friends as a go-to resource for composting and gardening advice. He’s already planning his next sustainable addition to his home: a native plant garden, complete with a rain collecting system.

Demetria Chaney
Milwaukee, WI

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Demetria has been making small decisions to reduce her carbon footprint for nearly 40 years. She started small: taking shorter showers. Over the years, her contributions have added up.

Today, every aspect of Demetria’s household is a little bit greener, thanks to her commitment to sustainability — using canvas bags instead of plastic, washing the laundry in cold water, lighting the house with LED bulbs, and switching to paperless banking. In her own words:

“This has been an adventure for me because of all the changes to endure with going green. It has made a tremendous impact on my life. Not everyone has the same thoughts of the future of America, but one by one we can make a statement about what we believe in.”

Terry Likness
Aberdeen, South Dakota

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“I started going toward a “greener” life after attending a music festival in Northern California. I saw a gentleman dressed in all of the plastic grocery bags he received in a year’s span.  After that I decided to cut those out of my life,” says Terry.

In addition to the small choices Terry makes to live a greener life (buying food from the bulk bins, avoiding plastic water bottles), Terry is an advocate for the environment in his community. Terry works as a buyer for a natural food cooperative, where he purchases 95% organic food and has led a transition from styrofoam and plastic to compostable and reusable containers and utensils.

Sara Milleson
Austin, Texas 

Whenever Sara has the chance, she takes environmental sustainability into her own hands. In her own words:

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“Instead of creating trash, we look to repurpose anything that is no longer working or useful. Our couch was worn out and the material was disintegrating. Rather than throwing it out and filling up a landfill,  my husband and I took out all of the filling and made new pillows and built the base out of wood.”


Glen Caswell
Ottawa, Canada

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Glen is one of Ottawa’s biggest advocates for sustainable driving options. He’s even shared his green driving experience in front of Parliament, where he was invited to speak by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. On his beloved Chevy Volt, Sparky II:

“Almost every Lyft rider has a question on the car, such as: ‘where do you charge it?’, ‘how to you charge it?’, ‘how far can you go on a charge?’, etc…. It’s been six years of eco-passion that keeps the answers coming.”

Thank you to everyone who shared their story. If you weren't selected this time, keep an eye out for our next contest — to be announced in June or July.