How Your Lyft Ride Earnings are Calculated

Posted by: RideGuru Team Oct 12, 2021
Updated Oct 12, 2021


Lyft driver earnings

Ever curious exactly how Lyft calculates your earnings? Sometimes it seems like Lyft (and Uber!) just make up “driver earnings” by pulling a number out of a hat, especially when it comes to getting paid fairly on surge rides! We dug into Lyft’s help articles to learn exactly how they claim to calculate your earnings. Here is what we learned!

According to Lyft, your ride earnings are calculated based on your city’s rate card, which includes the base fare, time, and distance charges. Your earnings will also include any tips or bonuses.

Your earning calculation doesn’t start until one minute after you tap ‘Arrive’ in your app. However, if you pick up a passenger within one minute of arriving, the calculation will start as soon as you tap ‘Pick up.’ Subsequently, your earnings calculation ends as soon as you cancel or drop off your rider. If you accidentally cancel or end a ride early, you should ask your passenger to request a new ride to ensure you are getting paid correctly!

As for tips, you will receive 100% of the tips from your passengers. Also, Lyft sometimes has eligible bonuses such as streak bonuses or personal power zones to help you earn a little bit of extra cash. You will always see your bonuses outlined separately in your earnings. To see your ride earnings, go to the “Driving History” tab in your app.  

While the above breakdown is pretty simple there are some instances in which the amount you expect to earn will be different from what you actually earn. 

The first exception is Lyft’s minimum and maximum earning amounts. For every ride there is a minimum and maximum fare limit which in turn will impact your earnings.

The minimum fare is the lowest amount you can earn for a ride. If a trip is very short, your earnings will be rounded up to this amount.

The maximum fare is the highest amount you can earn for a ride. The Lyft app prevents passengers from requesting a ride if it would exceed the maximum fare.

The second exception is “subregion rates”. Some cities have something called “subregions” with different rates. If you pick up a ride in a subregion, your ride earnings will be based on those rates instead of the city rates you may be accustomed to. You can check to see if you city has subregion rates by checking out your Rate Card.

Each week, Lyft will pay out your earnings starting on Tuesday and depending on your bank it will take 1-3 days for the funds to appear. Have questions on how your earnings are calculated still? Ask our community of drivers in the forum

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