Last week we asked you to send your top questions for John Zimmer, Lyft co-founder and president. Today he's back with answers and a video selfie to keep the conversation going.
Why is it required that we drive during peak hours to earn a Power Driver Bonus?
Kalila — Pittsburgh, CA
Hi Kalila - The purpose of requiring peak hours to earn a Power Driver bonus is to help encourage drivers to be on the road when the most rides are being requested (commuter hours and weekend evenings). In order to ensure repeat passenger usage, it’s important that passengers always find drivers when they open the app. I’m happy to share that since we added the peak hour requirement, we’ve seen a 50% increase in driver availability during those peak times. Passengers are enjoying a more reliable service, and in turn taking more rides.
It's hard to get replies to my emails. Why is that?
Ahmed — San Francisco, CA
Hi Ahmed - We’ve worked really hard to improve support response time this year and scale up our team. We’ve still got more work to do, but here are the results:
- Our average response time was ~5 days back in October and is now down to under 10 hours
- We have have grown from a Support team of 20 in January to 200 today
- We’ve redesigned our Help Center at lyft.com/drive/help and on Nov. 24 added a Q&A section where you can browse trending discussion topics and submit your questions
I’m going to email you personally to get more info on your specific experience to make sure we’re addressing everything we can.
I wanted to ask about additional advertising or promotions that will be happening in the NJ/NYC area.
Joe — Wayne, NJ
Hi Joe - I don’t want to ruin the surprise for any specific promotions coming up, but we have lots in store on the marketing front over the next couple months from HQ as well as a new local team. The best news is that we’ve brought on an incredible Chief Marketing Officer, Kira Wampler. Here are a few more details about Kira from our recent Lyft blog post:
Kira brings more than 20 years of marketing and product leadership, building great consumer experiences and accelerating business growth across a wide variety of industries. Most recently as CMO at Trulia, Kira launched the company’s first-ever national marketing campaign and led all consumer product and marketing efforts. Prior to Trulia, she served as VP of Marketing at Lytro, where she headed up marketing, product, sales, and international growth, while building a new category from the ground up. She also spent six years at Intuit in a variety of brand, performance marketing, and leadership positions. In her new role, Kira will lead Lyft’s brand strategy, growth, communications and consumer engagement efforts.
Are the reductions in fares permanent?
Cris — Ohama, NE
Hi Cris - It's important that we keep our prices competitive, since passengers have multiple options to request a ride, but we also want to maximize earnings for our drivers and reward those that continue to go above and beyond. We've recently implemented three big changes that have accounted for a 10% increase in driver earnings:
- Improved our Prime Time logic to make sure you’re earning the most during our busiest hours,
- Added decimals to ride payments (no more rounding), and
- Redesigned the pay screen to make tipping more intuitive.
We'll continue working on new ways to raise earnings while remaining the top choice for the passengers you take great care of.
I wish more Lyft events could be held in Orange County instead of Los Angeles.
Dee — Irvine, CA
Hi Dee - Be sure to check the Events page at http://thehub.lyft.com/events-1/ to see upcoming events in your city — it looks like we have a holiday party planned this week in Orange County on Dec. 12th. You can also use the Events page to plan a party of your own. Create a customized Splash invitation and we’ll promote your event to all the drivers in your city in the community digest.
When is Lyft Line coming to other markets?
Matt — Denver, CO
Hi Matt - We’re excited about Lyft Line. It's been going well in San Francisco and LA, and we're just scratching the surface for its full potential. We'll keep you informed about Lyft Line expansion and in the meantime, we'll keep testing and improving the experience. I can’t tell you when we’ll be bringing Line to new markets, because launches have the biggest impact when they’re kept under wraps :)
What is Lyft doing to ensure that the servers don't go down on New Year's Eve like they did for Halloween?
Travis — Los Angeles, CA
Hi Travis - Our engineers conducted an exhaustive analysis of the server issues on Halloween. This is what happened, per our Chief Technical Officer, Chris Lambert:
The connection issues that drivers experienced on Halloween were due to an unexpected interaction between Amazon's load balancers and Lyft's application servers. Lyft's engineering team has taken a number of steps to ensure this type of issue never happens again, including having Amazon make updates to the way their load balancers serve requests.
We have a designated team called DevOps that owns Lyft’s scalability. We’ve tested scaling the API up to 10x what we normally see such that we limit the possibility for any issues on New Year’s.
If you'd like to submit your question for our next video, please use the Ask JZ form.