My journey as a rideshare driver started with Lyft. Their website and app comes off a lot more fun and flirty with their pink backgrounds compared to Uber, which has a much more serious tone. I enjoyed driving for Lyft; I got to meet new people, see parts of my city that I never knew existed, and make some money all at the same time. The problem that I noticed after a few weeks of driving was that there was occasional down time. If I'm going to be out and about driving I want as many passengers as possible, so I decided to check out Uber.
They offered me $100 dollars if I got my car inspected at one of their sites as opposed to my own mechanic, and an additional $500 for proving that I was already a Lyft driver. $600 for doing nothing? Sounds good to me. Then I started driving for Uber.
Once I began driving, my first impression was, "why do I have to press so many buttons when I pick up a passenger?" I have to tap the screen to navigate to the passenger, I have to tap a button to arrive, I have to tap a button to begin the fare, then I have to tap another button that asks if I'm sure I want to begin the fare. The last thing I want to do when I'm in the middle of a busy street in the driver's seat of my car is tapping a bunch of buttons on my phone. With Lyft, the app automatically enters navigation once you accept a ride, then you have to tap to arrive and tap to confirm your arrival. That's pressing two buttons for Lyft versus pressing four buttons for Uber after accepting a ride. Sure it doesn't sound like a lot, but again, when your driving a car around town, you want to minimize the time spent looking at your phone.
Lyft has a great feature in their driver app that, when turned on, puts a floating button on your phone that you can use to enter in and out of driver mode no matter what app may be open and it's a much bigger target than the button in the Lyft app, which makes it easier to switch in and out of driver mode while driving. This is nice because it allows you to have other apps open, like Google Maps or even Uber. Lyft's app makes it easier to be a rideshare driver, while Uber's app does not. If you've accepted a ride with Uber, then the app will automatically make a floating button on the left side of the screen. The problem? It's tiny. I sometimes find myself pushing the button multiple times without being taken to the Uber app once I've reached a passengers destination because the button is too small and my finger doesn't land perfectly on it.
Another problem with the Uber app is that it automatically removes the driver from driver mode if they do not have the app open for 5 minutes. It's silly. Lyft doesn't do this; if you're in driver mode on Lyft, then you remain in driver mode until you decide to exit. This coupled with Lyft's floating button, makes it very easy to navigate your phone while remaining active, whereas the Uber app makes it a point to keep you from leaving their app.
The only place where I will concede Uber is better is the ability to view your trips in the app and tally your earnings for the night. Lyft has no such option, but instead briefly shows your total earnings for the night after completing a ride.
In short, Lyft focuses on driver functionality, while Uber focuses on keeping drivers in their app. Between this and Uber's price cuts, I'm sticking with Lyft.