How much drivers can make working for Lyft and Uber has long been a topic of conversation and third-party studies. Now, Lyft is providing some more clarity around how much people can make driving for its platform.
“Understandably, we’ve seen a few external groups take their own guesses at what Lyft drivers make, usually as an hourly average across the country,” Lyft Head of Driver Communications and Community Laura Copeland wrote on Medium. “This is an important topic, so we want to help set the record straight, and then shed some light on our approach to helping drivers earn the most with us.”
Wages, of course, depend on a variety of factors, like the market, number of trip requests accepted, time of day, length of trip, whether it’s surging and so on. On an hourly basis, Lyft says it’s most certain about how much money drivers make once they’ve accepted and completed a ride (periods two and three). In this type of scenario, Lyft says median earnings are $29.47 per hour, nationwide. In Lyft’s top 25 markets, that’s $31.18 per hour.
But when you factor in the amount of time spent online (period one), when drivers are waiting for rides, that comes out to $18.83 per hour nationwide and $21.08 per hour in Lyft’s top 25 markets.
Of course, this is not the final takeaway amount for drivers, when you factor in taxes, gas, car maintenance and all of that good stuff. Lyft points to The Rideshare Guy’s estimate of expenses of $3 to $5 per hour.
Last month, Uber provided some clarity about what people can make driving for the company:
For example, a study we conducted with Alan Krueger of Princeton found that drivers across 20 of Uber’s largest US markets earned an average of $19.04 per hour, in October 2015. A more recent study with Stanford professors estimated gross hourly earnings of $21.07¹ for all US drivers between January 2015 and March 2017.
You can check out Uber’s full analysis here.