Lyft launches a driver rewards program

Lyft is rolling out rewards for its drivers to give them access to things like cash bonuses, ride credits and free or discounted tax services. Initially, the rewards program will be available to drivers in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

Drivers earn points for every eligible dollar earned while they drive during their respective city’s busiest hours. From there, drivers can redeem the points for cash bonuses and Lyft rider credits.

For drivers with a 90% or higher acceptance rate who have a rating of at least 4.9 (Platinum or Gold), they have access to exclusive features. That includes the ability to see the estimated length of trip time and direction before they accept the ride.

Those who reach Platinum status can claim a monthly AT&T phone plan credit, a Lyft direct debit card with 5% cash back on all gas prices, free 24/7 roadside assistance from AllState and free Turbo Tax for self-employed workers.

5 Hero 3up white bg

In November, Uber launched a rider loyalty program. That same month, Uber unveiled Uber Pro, a rewards program for drivers in 10 cities. Since then, Uber has rolled out Pro nationwide.*

This comes shortly after gig worker bill AB-5 was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

AB-5 will help to ensure gig economy workers are entitled to minimum wage, workers’ compensation and other benefits by requiring employers to apply the ABC test. The bill, first introduced in December 2018, aims to codify the ruling established in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v Superior Court of Los Angeles. In that case, the court applied the ABC test and decided Dynamex wrongfully classified its workers as independent contractors.

According to the ABC test, in order for a hiring entity to legally classify a worker as an independent contractor, it must prove the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity, performs work outside the scope of the entity’s business and is regularly engaged in work of some independently established trade or other similar business.

Clearly, Lyft is trying to do what it can to make its drivers happy and perhaps minimize the potential of future labor-related lawsuits.

Already, Lyft has put in $30 million toward a campaign initiative to ensure it can continue to classify its drivers as independent contractors. Uber, similarly, has also put in $30 million toward that same initiative.

*An earlier version of this story said Uber Pro was live in 20 markets. We apologize for the error.