Lyft News

How Lyft Works: 6 Things to Know Before Your First Ride

Rosie Bubb - Jun 9, 2016
A Lyft driver smiling and speaking with passengers in the car.

If you’ve never tried ridesharing, there’s no need to worry—using Lyft is much simpler than you may think.

So how does Lyft work, exactly? Here are answers to six FAQs:

What is Ridesharing, Anyway?

Ridesharing matches you with a nearby driver who will pick you up and take you where you want to go. Lyft is the app you use to get a ride in minutes. Just tap request and a driver’s there. By taking Lyft, you can help your community reduce traffic and take cars off the road.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Lyft Ride?

After just a few taps in the Lyft app, a carefully-screened driver will be on their way to you — just set your pickup point. You’ll see a photo of your driver and the car, as well as their ETA. You can even watch as they approach on a map and call your driver if something changes, like if it starts to rain and you want to head down the block to take cover. Once the driver arrives, confirm your name and destination, get in, and you’re off.

Do I Have to Sit Up Front, or Can I Chill in the Back?

It’s your ride, so set the tone depending on how you feel. If you want to hop in the backseat, put on your headphones, and not say a word, that’s no big deal — there’s no need to sit in the front seat and chat. But you can always ride shotgun and ask your Lyft driver for advice about the date you’re about to go on, too!

How Much Does a Lyft Ride Cost?

Depends on where you’re headed and when. There is a base charge and a cost per mile and per minute, with extra added on when your pickup point is in Prime Time, which happens during higher-than-normal demand to encourage drivers to get on the road. For price estimates of rides in your city, check out the Lyft city page. Oh, and never worry about carrying cash — payment happens seamlessly through the app.

Can I Tip My Driver?

Yes! The Lyft app lets you tip your driver when you pay at the end of the ride, but don’t feel like you have to. If you don’t want to or simply can’t afford a tip, don’t sweat it.

What’s the Rating System for Drivers and Passengers?

When your ride ends, you can rate your driver on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. You can also write a comment, which is shared anonymously with the driver.

If you’re satisfied with your ride, there’s no reason not to give your driver a 5-star rating. A 4-star rating or less means that you were somehow dissatisfied, so reserve those for if, say, a driver gets lost. You can explain your rating in the comments to help the driver improve.

Passengers can see a driver’s overall star rating, so giving a driver a 1-star rating for no reason does impact the driver. And it’s a two-way street. Drivers rate their passengers after every ride, so make sure you act with respect.

Ready to take your first ride? Download the Lyft app and hit the road today.