The other day I was trying to get a Lyft ride and they kept getting cancelled left and right.
I didn’t know if it was a glitch or if Lyft drivers were declining my rides. But that begs the question, can Lyft drivers decline rides? We looked into it and this is what we found..
Can Lyft Drivers Decline Rides?
Lyft drivers are allowed to decline rider requests at any time. However, declined requests affect the driver’s acceptance rate. When driving for the Lyft rideshare company, a driver’s acceptance rate is used to determine eligibility for certain features (except in California) and their suitability for the platform.
This article takes a look at the Lyft driver’s acceptance rate: what it is, what it means, and how a driver’s schedule habits influence the rating.
What Happens When A Lyft Driver Declines A Ride?
Lyft drivers are allowed to decline rides. There are definitely circumstances in which a Lyft driver can reasonably decline a ride. However, when drivers make a habit of declining ride requests for no apparent reason, then the Lyft Acceptance Rate policy will come into play.
Lyft uses cancel and no-show fees to make sure their drivers are paid for their time and effort. This means that drivers are paid a minimum cancel fee (or earn) based on the time and distance they drive – whichever is greater. Drivers can see this information on their rate cards.
This is because passenger do make cancellations, and this is something that is completely out of the driver’s control. In these cases, drivers get a cancellation fee when the passenger cancels the ride and all of the following requirements are met:
- The passenger’s cancellation window has passed
- The driver was already heading to the passenger’s pickup location
- The driver is clearly going to make the estimated arrival time
Drivers also receive a no-show fee when a passenger isn’t at their pickup location. When this happens, drivers need to:
- Tap to arrive at the pickup location.
- Wait for the timer to count down to 0:00 without moving from the pickup location.
- Contact the passenger or respond to the passenger contacting you.
- Cancel the ride by tapping ‘Passenger is no-show’ and then tap ‘Confirm no-show.’
However, drivers will not receive a no-show fee if they’re:
- Too far from the pickup location
- More than five minutes late
Drivers can make any cancellation for health safety reasons – in other words if passengers are not complying with Lyft’s Health Safety Commitment, which follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rideshare guidelines and local regulations.
This may be, for example, that everyone in the ride must wear a face covering and leave the front passenger seat of the vehicle empty.
If a passenger isn’t following the commitment, a driver can cancel the ride without penalty. However, passengers can also cancel the ride if the driver isn’t following the same commitment.
What Does Lyft’s Acceptance Rate Mean For A Driver?
So, when Lyft drivers decline a ride, the declined request will count toward their total ride requests for their acceptance rate. But if the passenger cancels the ride, the driver’s acceptance rate is not affected.
Acceptance rates are based on the percentage of ride requests a driver accepts and completes. Lyft uses these acceptance rates to determine eligibility for certain features, which can all be viewed in the Driver app dashboard.
The driver acceptance rate is based on the number of ride requests accepted and completed, and this includes when a passenger is dropped off or if the passenger is submitted as a no-show.
Therefore, 50 rides completed with two missed requests and one ride cancellation will yield an acceptance rate of 94% (or, 50 completed rides out of 53 total requests).
The acceptance rate is calculated by dividing the 50 completed rides by 53 total ride requests, which comes to 94%
Acceptance rates are lowered when drivers miss requests or cancel them. When rides are missed (because of technical or connectivity issues that are beyond driver control), Lyft doesn’t count them toward driver acceptance rates. But rides which are missed or cancelled for no acceptable reason definitely influence the driver acceptance rate.
Any driver who reports feeling uncomfortable participating in Lyft services such as shared rides (only available in certain cities) can decline shared ride requests without penalty.
This is because when drivers take a Lyft Shared ride, they may may pick up and drop off other riders that are headed in the same direction. Riders generally pay less for shared rides than for standard Lyft rides, and it’s important that drivers feel confident to manage the service.
Can Lyft Fire You For A Low Acceptance Rate?
Lyft don’t explicitly state that a driver can be deactivated for a low acceptance rate. However, a persistent low acceptance rate, and/or consistently poor driver ratings can prompt the company to scrutinize driving habits and deactivate drivers from the platform if necessary.
This is because the constant cancellation of ride requests reflects badly on the company. Therefore, Lyft is constantly sifting through poor performing drivers and replacing them with better drivers who can offer a ‘better service’.
Lyft have clear company guidelines on their driver safety and have advised drivers that it is always acceptable to cancel or decline rides in certain circumstances. These include:
- A driver needs to attend to a personal emergency
- A passenger verbally or physically threatens the driver
- The driver doesn’t feel safe for any reason whatsoever
- The driver is unable to find or contact their passenger
It is always best, if a passenger contacts the driver and says they no longer need the ride, to ask the passenger to cancel the ride in their app. This way, the cancellation originates with the rider rather than the driver.
It’s perfectly ok for Lyft drivers to decline rides. In fact, there are a number of circumstances when the company advise their drivers to do so.
These include when driver safety is compromised, when passengers cancel or miss rides for their own reasons, when drivers have personal emergencies to attend to, and when passengers refuse to conform to company, local, or state health and safety guidelines.
When Lyft drivers decide to decline rides for reasons others than the ones approved, the action is recorded and applied to driver acceptance rate data.
This data is a driver electronic work record, and as such, indicates driver consistency, willingness, and commitment!