How To Increase Your Income With Lyft Prime Time

The introduction of ride-sharing services changed the face of public transportation. Lyft and Uber each created a platform that allows passengers to commute daily. They both do this without the stress associated with using public transportation. Each platform also offers drivers a golden opportunity to work at their convenience and earn a decent income.

Lyft has recently introduced Prime Time, a service that allows drivers on its fleet to earn more.

What Is Lyft Prime Time?

Prime Time refers to the extra amount of money added to a passenger’s fare for a ride. This is usually a percentage of the base ride amount. For instance, if the base price is $10 and a 50% increment is added, the added percentage is the Prime Time.

The Prime Time calculation is usually done before other extra charges such as airport fees, Trust and Safety fees, and tolls are included.

Prime Time happens when there are more passengers on the road than Lyft drivers. This usually occurs during a few special hours of the day such as rush hours. Prime Time usually occurs in the morning, when people are going to work or later in the evening when workers are returning home.

Some special events also attract more passengers than drivers. During holidays, special events, sporting events, carnivals, and the likes, many people are usually out of their homes. They may need a ride to take them to the events and back. Most people will likely leave a carnival or sporting events close to the same time. This means there will be a huge demand for drivers.

Most people may not wish to drive, leading to higher demand for ride-sharing service. Another period of time you can expect higher requests are on weekends. This is when people visit parks, clubs, attend functions, or engage in other activities that take them away from home.

Many people will likely want to head home at night during weekends after having fun. That’s another peak period when you can bring Prime Time into play. You can attend to increasing demand for your service.

The traffic may trigger more demand for Lyft drivers than are currently available. So, passengers will have to pay more for the services of the few drivers on hands.

While the drivers make more money, passengers are not stranded without a way out. It is Lyft’s plan to ensure people’s demands are met, even if they have to pay more due to the existing circumstances. In some cases, the high demand for Lyft may increase riding fare by 1.5x or more of the regular price.

How To Determine Prime Time

How do you know when it is Prime Time? The Lyft Driver’s app helps you out. It contains a heat map that shows drivers the specific location where there is a high demand for rides. So, drivers can seize the opportunity to increase their charges and earn more than they would with a regular drive.

You will be notified of Prime Time via email, text message, or even in the Driver’s app.

There are several ways you can see Prime Time. Before you start a ride, check your app. Check the Heat Map for Prime Time. If a pickup location has a pink square around it, your service is needed and you can apply Prime Time. It is important to note that the riding fee is determined by the pickup location. It is not determined by the specific location of the driver when they get the ride request.

You can also check it after receiving a ride request, check the “Accept Screen.” From the screen, you can see whether you should apply Prime Time or not. You can also see Prime Time once you have dropped off your passenger. Check the “Ride History” section to verify Prime Time.

If there are some areas with  a large demand for a ride, the app may display these areas on a banner in the app. the banner will provide some information, such as the estimated Prime Time amount that passengers are paying. Although this doesn’t give you a guarantee that you can charge the same amount, it gives you a clue into what you should expect.

You can also take advantage of circumstances and current events. There are increased chances that the demand for a ride will be higher on holidays. Many people are averse to driving in bad weather such as snow or heavy rain. Those who may normally walk may not want to take chances with bad weather and may need a ride. These situations are a good time to take advantage of prime time.

To maximize the opportunity offered by Prime Time, you need to be aware of your environment. Look out for signs that there will be a mass movement of people and cash in on it.

Understanding how Prime Time works and how to take advantage of it as a Lyft driver will make a huge difference in your earnings. This will help you choose pickup locations where there is a high demand to increase your driver earnings.

Heat Maps

The heat maps in the app plays a major role. It enables you to see where your services are needed most when there is a high demand for rides. The areas where Prime Time is possible are usually shaded. Look at these places in your app and take advantage of that.

There is a clause, though. A driver won’t know the actual prime time percentage until they have dropped off their passenger. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Why Should You Use Prime Time?

There are several benefits of using Prime Time. Below are a few of them:

  1. It enables you to increase your performance. You can easily outperform other drivers if you pay attention to Prime Time notifications and act swiftly.
  2. If you take advantage of the feature, you can increase your income.
  3. If you wish, you may restrict your working hours to prime times. This enables you to get enough rest daily while still earning a decent income.

Lyft Prime Time Tracking App

Being abreast of Prime Time is a surefire way to increase your chances of getting requests during peak hours. Lyft has made this easier for its drivers through its tracking app. This app is a must-have for drivers who want to maximize the opportunities in the special feature.

Some of the outstanding benefits of using this app are:

1. Location monitoring

The app enables you to monitor up to 10 locations in the United States. You will find this information helpful if you operate in any of these locations or want to try them out.

Prime time data is available for all locations. The data is presented in an easy-to-read format. The color-coded system allows you to check peak hours at a glance.

2. Timely notifications

You will receive time notifications with the app. You will be notified when a prime time starts. If there are changes, you will get notified promptly, too. You also won’t be wasting your time waiting for ride requests when prime time ends. The app will notify you immediately.

Notifications are customized to meet your needs. Locations are customized according to a few factors. These factors include location, smallest prime time percentage, and product.

3. Access to real time information

Prime Time is designed to update automatically every minute. The goal is to ensure that drivers always have the most relevant data that will help them keep track of peak hours.

4. No login required

You don’t need to log in into your app before you receive notifications. Once you download the app, you will receive notifications when there is a prime time.

It is important to note that some of these features are only available for Premium drivers.

The Prime Time app is available for download in the AppStore for Android and Apple devices.

Stand Out With Prime Time Premium

The Prime Time app is a great tool for drivers. But, you can get better results using the app if you are a member of its Premium plan. Membership of this special plan offers you some benefits you won’t get as a regular member.

As a Premium member, you will have access to information about multiple locations. The Basic plan gives you access to a single location, limiting your options. With the Premium plan, you can choose from up to 10 different locations.

Background monitoring is another feature of the Premium plan. The background monitoring allows Primetime to track your locations in real time. It then generates relevant notifications when there is a surge in requests in a particular location close to you.

Prime Time is a work in progress. Premium members will get updates, new features, and other improvements to the platform. This privileged position gives them an edge over Basic members.

Premium membership comes at a price. It requires a subscription. Although, basic members use the feature free of charge.

A comparison between the Basic and Premium plans will highlight the differences between the two.


The Basic plan has the following features:

  • Can track current position and location.
  • You have access to graphs of data.
  • Regular updating every minute.
  • Background monitoring.
  • History of Prime Time data.


Premium’s outstanding features are:

  • A monthly subscription fee of $4.99.
  • Tracks current position and location.
  • Notifications.
  • Access to information on 10 locations.

What about Uber Surge? How does Prime Time compare with the same service from Uber?

Uber Surge

Uber has a Surge service that is like Lyft’s Prime Time. It notifies its drivers of peak hours and location that offers them the opportunity to increase their income.

Are you are a driver working for the two ride-sharing services or contemplating on doing so? You may wish to compare both services to realize which is more rewarding.

Unlike Prime Time, that doesn’t give an idea of the total charge in advance, Surge notifies drivers of the exact amount as soon as the driver starts the ride. A driver can decline a surge amount for a better offer if available.

Coverage wise, Uber Surge is designed to cover a larger area of the city. Its primary focus is on the center of attraction where the demand is higher. The surrounding area can provide smaller increased need for ride-sharing vehicles.

Prime Time used to be capped at 200%. This implies that the company will charge up to 200% above the normal fee. Although the cap has been removed since 2016, the company rarely exceeds that range. But, Uber can go as high as 4.5x the normal price if there is a huge demand for rides.

Uber customers have an estimated price once they request a ride. They will also get a multiplier that gives them an idea of their total fare once the ride is over.

Useful Tips to Help You Maximize Prime Time

Whether you are an Uber or a Lyft driver, some practical tips can help you to increase your income. Below are some of the tips you should consider implementing:

1. Know when to be online and when not

You can personally drive up your fare if you log in at the right time. Log out a few minutes before a regular surge reduces the number of available drivers. Once you are close to the time, log in and take advantage of the increased ride request. If you are on shortly before a known time for a surge, you may get a ride request that may deny you an opportunity to take advantage of a surge.

2. Be patient

Patience is a virtue for a ride-share driver. It is important that you are patient during a Surge/Prime Time. Know when to make a move and when not to. Understand your local market and traffic laws as well. It takes a reasonable amount of time and effort to learn all these but these are important things you need to learn.

3. Be friendly

Friendliness is an attribute you must cultivate. If your passenger is in the mood for a chat, go ahead and engage them in meaningful conversation. Otherwise, let them enjoy their quiet time. Always try to show to your passengers that you care about them. Doing this will help you get good ratings.

4. Take a break when necessary

It may be quite tempting to drive for a long period of time during a Surge/Prime Time. But, you will do yourself a lot of harm if you drive for long hours without taking a break. While you may want to seize the opportunity to make more money, learn to take a break at intervals.

You can turn off the app and go for a short walk. If you wish, grab a snack. This will give you enough energy to work longer without suffering burnout.

5. Know local restrooms

During a drive, your passenger may want to use the restroom. If you don’t know where you can find a restroom in the neighborhood, you may waste your time looking for one.

6. Plan ahead

To maximize the opportunity offered by Uber Surge and Lyft Prime Time, it is important that you plan ahead. You must understand when surges in demand will likely occur. Prepare to make the best use of the opportunity.

For instance, keep a tab on your heat map for surges. When you notice a surge, you can make a written note about it. Focus on when the surge occurred, its duration, what caused it, and other relevant information.

Do this for a period of time and analyze the results. You can do this on an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier. If there is a surge around a club around 11pm on Friday, there is the likelihood that this is a routine. If you keep note of it and check the following Friday and there is a surge around the same time, you’ve got something to work on.

7. Don’t chase the surge

This is another important tip. Although it may sound confusing, it doesn’t have to be. When you don’t chase the surge, you have better chances of knowing the prime time than when you are fully focused on just finding it.

For instance, there’s a surge somewhere 10 miles away from you. If you start driving in that direction, the stranded passengers, who need a ride, may be picked up by drivers nearby before you get there. Before you come back, there may have been increased demand for drivers where you left a couple of minutes ago. You may end up missing out on both ends.

In that case, planning ahead will come handy. If you already know where there is a high probability of an increase, you may stay in that area until the appropriate time. That allows you to move in as soon as there is increased demand for drivers. You will also save money on gas, increasing your overall income significantly.

Prime Time is a great feature you can take advantage of to earn more as a ride-sharing driver. Use these tips to stand out from the pack and earn more, even if you are an Uber driver, it applies to Surge too.

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