Drivers are the lifeblood of Lyft. We’ve always listened carefully to drivers to keep improving their experience. In our early days, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer listened to drivers over lunch and we organized informal driver meetups.
In 2016, John flew seven drivers to San Francisco to brainstorm how we can bring the driver community together and strengthen communications with Lyft leadership. Ariana, a Detroit driver pitched the idea for the Driver Advisory Council (DAC), a group of Lyft drivers, each representing drivers in different regions of the country. Drivers communicate concerns, problems, and ideas to their regional DAC member, who then shares the top issues and ideas to Lyft senior management.
John loved the idea of a bridge between HQ and the driver community and having another channel to help inform HQ’s decision making. The DAC was born and Ariana became a founding member. Today, the DAC continues to play an instrumental role in voicing drivers’ perspectives and informing key business decisions. The founding DAC worked to gain support for a “top 100” list of programs, product features and policy changes that would benefit drivers. Out of those 100 requests, 20 have been completed and 41 are currently being designed, tested, or coded!
“The DAC has been such an asset to Lyft,” says Polly, a Technical Manager at Lyft with our driver beta testing program. “They have asked tough questions, pushed us to work harder and deliver better solutions when we haven't met their needs, and influenced our apps in myriad ways. When there is a question about what drivers will think of a new feature, they are the first place I go. I value their honesty, passion for Lyft, and most of all, their passion for their own driver community. They have left a lasting legacy on Lyft, and we are so grateful!”
We’ve learned a lot since 2016 and have taken steps to improve the program. In fall 2017, we offered a new group of drivers the opportunity to join the DAC with a new application process. We also launched a pilot program for local DACs in Las Vegas and other cities, and are testing a possible program expansion so we can represent even more driver voices.
The new DAC members started in January 2018. As a group, they have given more than 32,000 rides and have an average 4.9 driver rating. They have tested new features in our beta program and already have met virtually with 12 different Lyft teams, from engineers and product managers to our brand team and the head of Lyft’s Social Impact team.
We’ll keep you looped in with monthly DAC updates on The Hub, telling you the top three pieces of feedback we’ve heard from drivers and what we’re doing about it. The hot topics this month are long pickups, scheduled rides, and unaccompanied minors/car seats.
March DAC Updates
You told the DAC: Long pickups are frustrating and a waste of our time
- “Our area is a string of several small towns that are about five miles apart. I get a lot of requests that are more than 15 minutes to pick the passenger up. Seventeen minute pickups for under $5 rides is ridiculous because for the most part, these rides are to a place further away from the population [than] would generate the next feasible ride.” – John, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- “We are frustrated with not being compensated for long pickups, sometimes exceeding 30 minutes. If that wasn't bad enough, 20-25 minutes into some of these and Lyft cancels us because a closer driver comes online.” – Mary, Lakeland, Florida
What we’re doing about it
We understand your frustration. We are exploring strategies to address this challenge and will be in touch once we have more updates.
You told the DAC: The scheduled rides feature isn’t driver-friendly
- “Fix the scheduled rides!!! Getting bumped for someone closer or a passenger cancelling after you have accepted a scheduled ride needs to be fixed.” – Eric, Cleveland, Ohio
- “I stopped picking up scheduled rides because every time, the trip changes after I’ve already started the original trip. That’s very frustrating. This last time, it changed to a trip that was 18 minutes away and the person cancelled because of that, so I left the house for nothing.” – Louis, Tampa, Florida
What we’re doing about it
The DAC is meeting with the scheduled rides team in May to talk about how the scheduled rides feature can be improved.
You told the DAC: Unaccompanied minors and passengers without car seats are hard to deal with
- “I am a mother of young children and have received an exorbitant amount of ride requests [from] parents with children that are under the legal weight, height, and age to ride without appropriate car seats.” – Rita, Los Angeles, California
- “If [Lyft] quit scheduling streak bonuses between 2-3 PM when school lets out that would be a huge help! I mean we're not supposed to pick up unaccompanied minors but you offer a bonus when there is an explosion of unaccompanied minors looking for a ride.” – Mike, Baltimore, Maryland
What we’re doing about it
The DAC met with Lyft’s Driver Experience team engineers to discuss solutions.
- We published a console card within the app and a Driver Digest email, reminding drivers about our policies for unaccompanied minors and passengers without car seats.
- We also published community guidelines to educate passengers about our rules.
- In November 2017 we launched ratings protection, a feature that protects drivers’ ratings from things outside of your control.
Have feedback for the Driver Advisory Council? Write to them here and stay tuned for more updates next month.