Uber was the original, but since then, other alternatives have made their way onto the market, one of which is Lyft, and many people trust Lyft to supply their transportation needs. However, there is a catch with these sorts of services: price surges, which typically occur during prime-time usage and when demand is high, so how do we avoid this?
To avoid the prime-time for Lyft, I recommend the following:
1. Preschedule your rides with Lyft
2. Be patient or walk a block or two to get out of the surge zone
3. Try alternative apps
4. Carpool with Lyft Line
5. Download the driver app to see surge areas
6. Look at the ride-hailing tab in Google Maps
If you plan appropriately and follow the tips I recommend below, you should be able to beat the prime-time prices of Lyft and avoid paying exorbitant fees for a ride that would usually come at a fair price. It is highly frustrating, I know, and even if you know the price in advance, it is still unpleasant. So, I have compiled a helpful list of tips to get you to avoid the peak times.
1 – Schedule Your Rides With Lyft In Advance
One brilliant thing about Lyft and some of its competitors is the feature that allows passengers to preschedule their trips. The great thing about Lyft is that if you are savvy enough to preplan, you can benefit from the fact that Lyft locks in the price for the scheduled lift. This is something that their competitors mainly do not make allowance for, and prices change regardless.
However, this is why I say that planning is important; you need to book your ride at least thirty minutes or up to seven days before your pickup. This is a massive time window, and obviously, the nearer to the time you book, the higher the price is likely to be if I were looking to book for a ride during prime-time.
2 – Be Patient Or Walk A Block Or Two And Try Hailing Lyft Again
Your next best option is simply to wait it out; alternatively, you could walk a few blocks until you are out of the zone where the prime-time prices are in effect. If you have the time to wait a while, you will likely find that the increase in price does not last forever, but instead is restricted to a certain period.
You need to be made aware that areas are divided into surge spots, and if you are currently in one of those, you will incur higher fees. However, if you simply move out of the zone, you will be able to get a ride for cheaper. I will discuss the methods of finding this information shortly, as you do not want to walk deeper into the zone.
Another point that will also be discussed in greater detail is to be aware of what is happening around you. If you are in an area where an event is taking place or need a lift after work during rush hour, you will be able to predict the price surge.
3 – Take A Look At An Alternative App To Lyft
Another method you can use, which means downloading and signing up for more than one app, is seeking alternatives to the Lyft service. Usually, though, the thing is that Lyft is the alternative which people go to; however, nowadays, there are so many other options that it may well be worth scouring the market and seeing what the competing companies are charging.
This is particularly true for newer companies that are not as well established within the market, as they may well be trying to entice people to use them over their bigger and more prominent competitors.
4 – Make Use Of Lyft Line To Avoid Paying Too Much Extra
Carpooling is something worth considering, which may not sound like much fun, but it could mean that you do not have to pay as much for the service. It does mean that your journey is likely to take longer than it usually would, but if it is prime-time, traffic is likely to be congested in any case. If you do not mind this or driving with strangers, then this is a viable option.
5 – Download Lyft's Driver App To See Where The Prime Rates Are
One slightly sneakier way around the prime-time soaring fees is downloading the Lyft driver app. This means that you will need to apply to drive for Lyft, which means extra effort on your part. However, extra effort could lead to you saving more than a penny. As I mentioned before, you will find that the areas are divided into zones and are displayed to the drivers as “heat-maps”.
These maps allow the drivers to see a visual representation of where the demand is the highest at any given time. This means that the fares will rise for a certain period, and they will be able to earn more for the same job.
One downside to gaining the driver app is that you will have to offer even more of your personal information than you already are, but they know so much as is, such as your card number, location, and general traveling habits – so does it really matter?
6 – Take A Look At The Ride-hailing Tab In Google Maps
Another case of a large conglomerate knowing way more about you than you are probably aware, is Google; however, it has become an integral component in many of our lives, and they do offer many great services. One of which is the integration of Lyft and other taxi-hailing apps to Maps. So, you can make use of Google Maps to help in the estimation of the fare range.
What is fantastic about this feature they added back in 2014 and now works with nine different ride-hailing apps is that you do not need to open up each app individually, as I mentioned in tip number three. Instead, all that information is centralized.
Telling When Lyft Will Be More Expensive Is Tricky
It is not always easy to tell when it will be prime-time for Lyft; however, if you are aware of your surroundings and the general goings-on, you should be able to factor these things in and surmise when the prices will increase. Once your ride is complete, a pre-determined percentage of the base fare is added to make up your total fare.
The percentage is dependent on supply and demand, and if the demand is higher than the number of available drivers, then reason only dictates that the price will go up. The negative side to this is that you will not know how much the fares are increased until it comes time to order your ride.
You Will Be Informed Via A Prime Time Notification
You will not be caught completely off guard, though, as an indicator shows you that it is indeed prime-time, which is shown to you before ordering the Lyft. You will be notified of the increased fee, so thankfully, you will know what you are getting into before ordering the ride.
It is sometimes impossible to avoid Lyft prime-time; however, there are ways around it, and you can also use logical deduction to surmise when these periods will be. For instance, if there is a big sporting event ending when you need a Lyft, then the prices will be higher. So, plan and be sure to follow the tips I have discussed to help you avoid the extra costs as best as possible.