This post contains affiliate links.

Lyft is a wonderful ride share service, providing you with a driver and a car whenever you are in need of one. You can download the Lyft app and request or schedule a ride from a friendly driver in a matter of minutes. Does Lyft pay for long pickups?

Lyft pays its drivers once they have the passenger, not for long pickups. Lyft has rules to consider for its drivers. They set the limits by price and distance, and it's different for each city. Usually, they will limit their trips to 100 miles and $200. After this, you need to request another ride.

Lyft has some ways to calculate its driver's earnings, and when it comes to extended pickups, it changes things up a little. Continue reading with us as I discuss how these earnings are calculated for drivers and how this influences customers' payments!

How Lyft Calculates Their Drivers' Ride Earnings

As a Lyft driver, if you want to view your ride earnings for a specific ride, click on the “Driving History” tab in your Dashboard. 

Your total ride earnings are calculated and based on your Rate Card, including the base fare, distance, and time. 

The base fare is the amount you will earn for accepting and starting a ride. This excludes the time and distance a driver spends traveling to the pickup location. 

The distance is the amount you will make for every mile you drive during the ride. This is only logical, as a longer distance will require you to get paid more. 

The time is the total amount you will earn for every minute you spend driving. A driver could have used the extra time to accept and travel to a new ride, it is spent on a longer ride, so it is only fair that the driver is compensated.

Your entire ride earnings also include all the bonuses or tips for the ride. 

All the tips you receive will come from passengers. Passengers can tip the driver in their Lyft app after their ride has ended. It is also acceptable if passengers tip with cash.

When it comes to bonuses, some of them are added directly to your ride earnings for some rides, such as Personal Power Zones and streak bonuses. The Lyft app will know when and if you are eligible for a bonus. Remember to follow the instructions on your Lyft app to get the bonus.

These rates for each ride are based on the region where the passenger needs to be picked up and the ride mode.

The calculation of your earnings will start the minute after you tap “Arrive” in the Lyft app. If you pick up a passenger in the same minute of arriving, the calculation will start when you tap “Pick up.” 

After you have canceled or dropped off your passenger, Lyft no longer tracks the distance or time of your trip. If you have clicked on “Cancel” by mistake or ended a ride too early, you need to ask your passenger to request a ride again.

The Payment Of Lyft Rides

Lyft charges its customers a price upfront for their rides. The amount is based on the estimated distance and time of the ride, excluding any applicable tolls. 

This upfront price also includes any third-party fees and Lyft's fees. 

These costs will not impact the amount drivers earn and won't be reflected in the “Driving History” tab. Passengers may also be charged with a cancellation and no-show fee.

Maximum And Minimum Lyft Fees

There is a maximum and minimum fee limit for each ride. These limits are solely based on the rate card for the specific city or region you pick up your passenger. 

The maximum fare is the highest amount a driver can earn for a ride. Passengers are advised to choose another form of transportation for long-distance travel, such as trains or buses. 

Although the Lyft app prevents passengers from requesting a ride if it exceeds the maximum fare, some long rides may be subject to review.

The minimum fare is the lowest amount a Lyft driver can earn for the ride. A driver's earnings will be rounded up to an amount if the trip is very short in order to take them into consideration as well.

How Are The Long Lyft Pickup Premiums Calculated?

Long Pickup Premiums allow some drivers to start earning more. Currently, Long Pickup Premiums are available in only limited cities in the US. 

It would be best for you as a driver to check the “Fares” section of their Driver Dashboard to check if this feature is available in their cities.

How Does Long Lyft Pickup Premiums Work?

Premiums are paid on those trips where the driver's time traveling to the pickup location exceeds a predetermined “Long Pickup” threshold. 

This can be found in the “Fares” section of the “Driver Dashboard.” As a customer, you will be eligible to earn a “Long Pickup Premium” when you exceed the “Long Pickup” threshold. 

For example, if your “Long Pickup” threshold is ten minutes, you will start accruing the standard distance and time rates after ten minutes of driving to the pickup location. 

The maximum payment for the Long Pickup Premiums in all cities is $20, and they are calculated as part of the minimum fare. 

As a driver, a Long Pickup Premium may be reduced or canceled if it is determined that you have not made enough progress towards your pickup destination at a reasonable route or pace. This can complicate things, as it could result in some drivers losing time and money, especially new or inexperienced drivers.

It would be good to note that Lyft reserves the right to reduce, withhold, or even deduct the amount of any Long Pickup Premiums if they determine or believe it was illegal, paid in error, fraudulent, or if it violates the Driver Terms.


Now that you know that Lyft only pays for extended pickups once the passenger has climbed into the vehicle, it may influence your decision on extended pickups as a Lyft driver. 

Extended Pickups might not be worth it for the drivers, but many people use this feature, as they prefer driving in a private car, rather than using public transport, such as trains or busses.