How can you know if a lyft or uber driver is available in an area?
The Guru Take
Check the app and look for 1) Vehicles on Map, and 2) Wait time
The best way is to open your Lyft or Uber app and check for a few things:
1) Available at all?
Try entering a destination, any destination close by. Do any of the Uber or Lyft services show up on the screen? UberX? Uber Black? If they do, that means the service is available in your city and there are drivers who are servicing your area. (at that point in time.)
2) Vehicles on the Map?
Now take a look at the map. Do you see any small car icons nearby? If not, try zooming out. Do you see any now? The map shows you the closest drivers (usually 6 closest) around you. How fare are they?
3) Wait time or Arrivel time?
Once you have chosen a destination, take a look at below the service icon, such as the UberX Icon. Do you see the waittime (i.e. how long it takes to get to you) or an estimated arrival time (i.e. the time it will arrive). That's also a way to see how long a driver may take to get to you.
(These arrival times are not always accurate, primarily because Uber or Lyft doesn't know which driver will end up being assigned to you or accept your request.)