The holidays can be stressful. Travel can be long, shopping overwhelming, and cooking chaotic.
But your Lyft ride to and from the airport should be stress-free and comfortable. That’s why Lyft recently introduced Extra Comfort, which lets riders set preferences for their ride, like requesting (1) a warm or cool temperature, (2) a quiet ride, and/or (3) help with their bags.
With the holidays nearly upon us, we looked into how customers optimize their ride preferences. It turns out, it varies depending on location, season, and time of day.
In 2022, an average of 20% of passengers requested a preferred temperature if offered, with 16% picking cool and only 4% selecting warm. In other words, no matter the time of year, riders are more likely to request a colder car than a warmer one — but this behavior does vary greatly by month, with more than 20% of passengers requesting cool temperatures in the summer months and twice as many requesting warm in winter months.
It also varies by gender. Female riders are almost twice as likely to request a warm car (3.9% vs. 2.0%). This preference aligns with research finding that women generally feel the cold more than men.
The holidays can be overwhelming. One hour you may feel jolly, eager to chat, and the next you may feel melancholy, hoping for a ride in peace.
As shown in the figure below, quiet rides are preferred during the holidays: From November to December last year, over 25% of riders requested a quiet journey, up from an average of 20% in other months.
With only 13% of riders requesting quiet, Louisiana tops the list of chattiest states. Meanwhile, riders in Iowa are the least talkative: 44% of them took the opportunity to request a quiet ride. Such a superlative is not unsupported: A study by the analytics firm Marchex analyzed phone calls between consumers and businesses from 2013 and 2015 and found that Iowa is among the five least-chatty states.
The chart below demonstrates how major cities compare on the conversation front. Cities at the top represent the keenest conversationalists (New Orleans, Phoenix, Las Vegas), and cities at the bottom represent the quieter crew (Philadelphia, New York City, Silicon Valley). Apparently, appetite for quiet varies within states too: Los Angeles riders are chattier than San Francisco riders, Miami is chattier than Orlando, and Austin and Dallas are chattier than Houston.
Beyond regional differences, riders prefer to chat at different times of the day. As the graph below shows, requests for quiet rides peak around midnight — perhaps when the passenger is sneaking in some backseat z’s — while they are lowest between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., when the sun is out (and many have likely just had their first cup of coffee).
Last but never least, comes luggage. People seem to need help with their bags most in the winter months, as shown in the figure below.
Zooming in on the spike, holidays (and, presumably, those heavy holiday gifts) are responsible, with over a quarter of riders requesting help with luggage around Thanksgiving and Christmas.