Lyft Peak Hours: When is The Best Time to Book Lyft?

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Lyft, like every other rideshare apps, has times when the demand is greater. And this can be because of several factors.

As a driver, it is important for you to know when Lyft’s peak hours are, as it can greatly improve your finances.

Also, peak hours are the busiest for Lyft drivers. Because, this is when passengers request rides the most, and when drivers get the highest number of pickups.

As a matter of fact, Lyft sometimes struggles to have enough drivers on the road to satisfy high demand.

So, if you want to know when Lyft peak hours occur, continue reading this article.

What Are Lyft Peak Hours?

Lyft peak hours are points where there is a high demand for Lyft drivers. Lyft takes pride in staying on top of local events, ‘special happenings’, and high-demand events in each particular region. For this reason, peak hours occur frequently.

For example, large sports events are held at venues such as Madison Square Garden in NYC, or at the Rose Bowl even on a Sunday night.

When this occurs, it drives up demand for Lyft drivers significantly. Then, Lyft will immediately institute “Peak Hours.”

When Do Lyft Peak Hours Occur?

Generally, Lyft peak hours start when the demand is higher when more people are traveling overall.

This means that there will be a peak during the morning and evening rush hours as people head to and from work between 7 am–9 am and 5 pm–7 pm during workdays.

Also, peak hours occur when people are out in large numbers but can’t or don’t drive. This happens in the evening on Friday and Saturday night when people are heading out to bars and clubs.

On the other side, it happens when people are returning from bars and clubs.

Typically, this happens more during weekends.

As a Lyft driver, you can see the peak hours in your city from the Lyft app. The hours tend to stay consistent each week, though special events can alter them. Lyft keeps a close eye on this, and they update the hours that appear in the driver app.

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How do Lyft Peak Hours Work?

Peak hours vary by region. Each city has different rush hours, different events, and different levels of demand for Lyft drivers.

Due to this difference, peak hours are not the same in every region. In fact, they may not be the same in every section of a large city.

For example, peak hours may increase in the downtown area of a larger city on weekends, whereas the suburbs of the same city may not have an increase in price.

More so, the downtown core would most likely not have peak hours at the same time during a weekday.

How to Predict Lyft Demand

Typically, its very easy to predict when a Lyft peak hour will occur, especially when there are large games or events happening.

But, its important to know that Lyft peak hours can also vary dynamically based on weather conditions, sporting events, concerts, holidays, and other factors that cause people to use Lyft instead of driving themselves.

As a Lyft driver, you can easily know when there is high demand.  If you’re in driver mode, you can see a heat map of your city that shows the demand using shades of light to dark pink. The darker the area, the higher the demand (and the higher the potential increase in prices).

Also, you can just stay aware of current events and conditions. If it’s a holiday, then it’s a good day to drive. If there’s bad weather, then its equally a good time to drive, as people who normally walk will decide to take Lyft.

If there’s a conference in town, then most people will likely need a ride when they are done for the day.

On the other side, Lyft riders don’t have access to the same tools that drivers use for checking demand. But you can still use the tools of logic and awareness to determine the trends in your city.

If you know there’s a concert going on downtown, make sure you travel before or after it. Don’t decide to go out right when the concert is ending, or you might end up paying a hefty premium.

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When is the Cheapest time of a day to get a Lyft Ride?

The cheapest time of the day to get a Lyft ride is when there are no surges. Surges here refer to the time

Typically, the price of taking a Lyft does not change throughout the day.  The base fare is primarily based on distance and duration, and the rate is set for each service type (e.g. Lyft Plus) and for each city.

Depending on how busy the drivers are, surge pricing can apply, and it is referred to as “Prime Time.”

During these Prime Times, your fare can be applied to a multiplier that can increase what you pay. The Lyft app will warn you of this before you begin the trip.

If you are curious about the “cheapest time of day”, you may want to avoid these times where surges are possible.

They typically happen during unexpectedly busy times, and they often happen during commute times, during events, Friday and Saturday nights when people are out, etc. 

Ways to avoid surge pricing on Lyft due to Peak Hours

If you’re going to need a ride during peak hours, schedule a Lyft in advance. Lyft’s advance scheduling feature locks in a price for you.

It might be a little lower or higher depending on what Lyft assumes the demand will be like at that time, and in that location.

But if you know you’re going to be heading out during surge time and the schedule ahead feature is available in your city, you’ll probably save a few bucks by locking in your rate well before the ride.

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#1. Use the other app

If there’s a peak hour price increase on Lyft, you can consider using other apps. There are two ways this can end. You may be able to get a cheaper rate on other apps, or you may get an expensive cost.

Eitherway, compare with other apps before requesting a ride.

#2. Try carpooling

Carpooling involves sharing a ride with strangers. Although it’d take longer than normal, it can still be a good way to avoid paying the huge fees that come with peak hours.

Lyft Line allow you to see exactly what you’ll be paying before you request a car, and while surge pricing applies, it’s not quite as costly as it would be if you requested your own car.

#3. Walk

Sometimes, increased prices are concentrated on a very specific area. So, if you walk a bit, you can get a lower fare.

While walking, check which area gives you a cheaper rate and order your ride from there.

#4. Wait

Some surge pricing happens suddenly and doesn’t last long. If a concert is getting out nearby, prices might surge for a half hour or so until all the concert-goers have dispersed. Waiting a bit and checking again can give more cheaper options.

#5. Refer a friend and get a free ride

If you have a friend who hasn’t downloaded Lyft, you can refer them with your personalized offer code, and the both of you will get a free ride.

Things to Know Before Becoming a Lyft Driver

While the desire for money is a major reason to start driving for Lyft, here are major things you should know before you start.

#1. Your actual earnings may be less than advertised

A 2016 NerdWallet study of 14 of the largest Lyft markets found that in order to achieve an annual income of $50,000, Lyft drivers need to offer 84 rides.

The amount of money you’ll make depends largely, on how many hours you put in behind the wheel. 

But regardless of how much you work, you need to take into account the expenses you’ll incur — maintenance, gasoline, repairs, insurance, and taxes — and the commission Lyft will take. Lyft takes between 20 to 25 percent of drivers’ fares.

See how you can make extra as a Lyft driver here How To Make Money Driving For Lyft | 2022 Guide

#2. It may be worth it to drive for Lyft

Many drivers do so because they find that sometimes one service offers better rates than the other.

The New York Times recently wrote that Lyft had “cultivated a reputation for being more driver-friendly” than Uber.

#3. Be familiar with “peak” hours in your area

Knowing when peak hours are in your area will help you earn more, because Lyft raises its rate for customers then.

Lyft calls it “Prime Time” and it tends to be late at night or early in the morning.

Sometimes very late at night or very early in the morning especially during concerts, sporting events, festivals, conventions, trade shows, and such.

#4. Keep your car clean

As a driver, you should consider keeping your car clean inside and out, at all times. This could mean weekly detailing and daily trips to the car wash.

#5. Join a local Facebook group

Another thing to do as a Lyft driver is to join local Facebook groups for Lyft drivers. If there is such a group, you can get a lot of good information about where and when to earn the most as a driver.

#6. Make sure you can endure the rigors of the job.

Part of the problems of being a driver is the stiffness in the legs and back that comes with driving for so long.

So, if you have underlying health issues, this may not be a good job for you.

#7. You have time

Being a Lyft driver gives you time to do other stuff that matters. It allows for a lot of flexibility since you are your own boss.

So, its all up to you to have a good, healthy and balanced life.

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#8. Know your area

As a Lyft driver, one of the important things you can do is to know your area well. Get to know if it’s an area that will be affected by “Peak Hours” or not.

Also, if it’s a small city, don’t expect a lot of money during events like festivals. So, it’s up to you to determine how you can make money in your area.

#9. Lyft builds customers tips into its app

#10. Don’t become a Lyft driver if you can’t relate properly to people.

Become a Lyft Driver

To enjoy the extra cash that comes with Lyft peak hours, sign up to become a driver.

More so, you’d get a cash bonus.

Click the button below to get started.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a Lyft driver or rider, or both, knowing when peak hours are and how they work can make a big difference in your finances.

This post highlights all you need to know about Lyft peak hours.

I hope it helps you.

All the best!

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