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How Your Pay Is Calculated

There shouldn’t be any surprises about what you’re making with Lyft, so we’re here to help you understand exactly what you’re earning and why.



Base rate: This is what you’re paid to start the ride.

Time rate: This is what you earn per minute in the region where your ride starts. Get more details about when pay starts here.

Distance rate: This is what you earn per mile in the region where your ride starts.

These rates differ and are determined by the location where a ride begins. You can view rates for each ride under your Earnings Breakdown. View rate by city



Tips: We built tipping into the Lyft app to make it easy for passengers to say thanks, and because we know it’s important to our drivers. You keep 100% of the tips passengers choose to give you.

Bonuses: Lyft offers a variety of bonuses to help boost your earnings. Bonuses are typically offered during peak hours, when you'll earn more and are likely to get more ride requests. You can see what’s available in your Lyft Driver app.




Fares: While you’re paid based on time and distance rates that are always consistent, passenger fares will vary. This is necessary to maximize the number of ride requests and ensure you’re consistently earning. For example, we may increase the passenger’s fare when demand is high, or discount the fare when demand is low. 

A note on fares calculated before or after the ride: If the passenger has added their destination up front, they will pay a fare that is estimated before the ride begins. If they do not enter their destination before the ride, the fare will be calculated at the end of the ride.

Passenger time and distance rates are based on the rates displayed on the Cities page.*

Any additional fees: Certain airports charge a pickup or drop-off fee. Passengers also cover other applicable fees or taxes that Lyft is required to collect. Any airport fees, and other applicable fees or taxes are reflected in the "Others Received" section of your Earnings Breakdown.

Applicable tolls: While you pay tolls up front, we’ll charge passengers on your behalf for tolls incurred during the ride and add it to your earnings. These will show up in your driver summaries and Earnings Breakdown. Get the details.

Any cancellation fees: We may charge passengers a cancellation fee on your behalf if they cancel a ride in violation of our policy. The amounts you can earn for these cancellations are listed on the ‘Rate Card’ section in your Driver Dashboard, and will appear on your weekly driver summaries. For Lyft Line, you’re only eligible to receive a cancellation fee if your first passenger cancels. If any additional passengers cancel, you'll still be paid for the time and distance of your Line route, but Lyft will retain any additional cancellation charges. All cancellation charges are subject to the Lyft Platform Fee.



The Lyft Platform Fee: This reflects the difference between what the passenger paid and your earnings, tips, tolls, and other charges like the Service Fee and airport fees.

  • If the total is positive, it goes toward growing the Lyft business and increasing demand for your rides.

  • If it’s negative, we’re covering the difference between your earnings and what your passenger paid.


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You’ll see this in your Earnings Breakdown as the “Lyft Platform Fee.” The Lyft Platform Fee does not include the Service Fee (see more on that next).

The Service Fee: This helps finance a range of operational costs, including safeguards that help keep Lyft passengers and drivers protected, like insurance and background checks. The Service Fee does not impact the amount you receive for each ride.


Your Gross Earnings as reported in your end-of-year tax documents are now calculated based on what passengers pay plus the Lyft platform fees and service fees on every ride.

We’re always here if you need us

We want to protect your long-term earnings and stay as transparent as possible with you. If we ever have to change rates, which may happen occasionally to stay competitive, we'll be sure to give you a heads-up. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.