Lyft let me be an artist.

How I Finally Made Time to Be an Artist Working for Lyft

How Lyft Let Me Be An Artist

Trying to survive as an actress or artist in Los Angeles is tough, so waiting tables has been the go-to for covering rent until Lyft came along. Rideshare companies have changed the economy, and offer the freedom to set your own schedule.

For me, this means I can have time to actually pursue a passion, not just a paycheck.

It’s never been odd to me to work side gigs while trying to find my way as an artist. The hours have been long, unpredictable, and on more than one occasion, left me short on rent.

For all the creatives without steady hours, a side hustle is pretty much a necessity. For me, rideshare driving with Lyft is a natural fit. It’s the best way to put food on the table, without having to serve food to a guest’s table.

Lyft Beats Serving Tables

If you’ve worked in a restaurant, you know the struggle. There are no money-making guarantees when you walk in the door. You can literally spend hours waiting for guests to arrive and leave with barely enough to cover the bus ride home.

Waitress getting bad tip

Lyft not only provides the time needed to create my work, but incentives like Prime Time let me make more cash during specific work hours. And Lyft’s weekly bonuses allow me to increase my overall earnings. The benefits of being a Lyft driver mean boxing up someone’s leftover Rigatoni Bolognese is a thing of the past.

The Pay

As an independent contractor, Lyft drivers aren’t paid an hourly wage. I get paid by distance and driving time, but the big payoff for me is the tips: 100% of tips from passengers go to me. Add in the occasional weekly cash bonus (and sign-on bonus when you start driving), and I bring in around $20 an hour on average, sometimes a bit more.

The Schedule

No more closing the restaurant and getting home at 2 a.m. Choosing my own hours lets me book shows or festivals and still make art my concentration. I sign on four or five days a week, and even though traffic can be horrendous, working through the high volume hours can bring in more cash. Prime Time hours – which tend to happen during holidays, promotions, or events – are the best. Any time I get a notification from Lyft that it’s busy out, I tend to log on.

The Balance

Since I choose my own hours, I also get to choose what I do in my downtime. Finding the time to be in the studio or work with other L.A. creatives nearly never happened when I waited tables. Now I can rearrange my hours to make sure events that matter to me (like the Rose Bowl Flea Market) take priority.

The People

If you’re not a people person, Lyft may not be your ideal side gig (maybe try Doordash or Caviar instead), but the conversations sure beat what you’ll have serving at any restaurant. From wedding parties to job interviews, I’ve been a part (even if just a small one) of so many different phases of life, and it’s awesome. Seeing people at their best, or just being a listening ear when one is needed, is really one of the best parts of this job.

Tips for Driving With Lyft

Whether you’re attempting to make it on Broadway or just need one gallery owner to hang your work, I’ll share the secrets I’ve learned about making the Lyft side hustle work for you.

  • Be your own boss: Being self-employed carries a lot of responsibilities, risks, and rewards. There’s no paid time off for sick days or vacation time, so be prepared to work extra hours to make up the missed cash.
  • Discipline: The light bill still has to be paid when it’s cold or rainy, so if you don’t have the self-discipline to work through the elements (or skip the marathon of “Sex and the City” reruns) stick with a 9-to-5.
  • Know the city: Driving for Lyft works out best when you can take the back way around traffic and major highways. Understanding how secondary roads connect will help you respond faster to waiting riders, ultimately putting more cash in your pocket.
  • Check your insurance: If you’re like me and you’re just trying to make enough to get groceries for the next few days, car insurance probably isn’t top of mind. But if you’re in an accident, it becomes desperately important. Lyft provides insurance coverage for while you’re driving, but you should still consider adding rideshare coverage to your policy. Companies like Allstate, State Farm, and Geico now offer insurance specially designed for rideshare drivers at a low cost.
  • Take advantage of incentives: Prime Time hits when the number of available drivers goes down and demand for rides goes up. The rate increases and you can make more cash. What you’ll find is that a number of other drivers have the same idea, so your best bet is to take advantage of Prime Time in the area you’re already driving. Don’t bother racing to an area ten minutes away to catch a Prime Time ride. Generally, Prime Time only lasts a few minutes.
  • Stay in the city: I will do anything possible to stay on the West side or the North valley while I’m driving. Venturing into the suburbs means fewer riders and more time getting back into the hustle and bustle. Stick with the crowds for the most cash. Use the Lyft destination setting to keep yourself in a particular area.
  • Offer an extra: I didn’t get the idea to offer riders a phone charger as an extra until a few people asked if I had one. Once I realized how often people needed to boost their device, I grabbed a couple of chargers (one Android, one Apple). Once I added charges for rider cell phones, tips went up a bit.
  • Track it all: Even though Lyft may just be my side gig, I keep records of everything. From tolls to miles driven while I’m logged in, I keep it all together for tax time so I can itemize my work costs. Using a mileage tracker helps. I use Quickbooks Self Employed to track my expenses and mileage, but many drivers have started using Hurdlr and love it.

I’m a part of L.A.’s new creative underclass, the group that needs a way to make cash for rent to follow a passion. That’s where Lyft comes in. When I’m not elbow-deep in Abstract Expressionist-inspired artwork, I’m scanning a digital map, waiting on the next rider. And when paintings sit longer than they sell, I drive. I listen to the stories, and best of all, I don’t wait tables.

Lyft business Uber for business

Lyft, Uber, And The Battle for Business and Enterprise Customers

Lyft Vs. Uber: The Battle for Business and Enterprise Customers

Uber and Lyft, which once functioned mostly as rides to the airport or safe ways to get home after a night out, have expanded into other major markets. The need for transportation has always existed. But with today’s technology, Lyft and Uber are being utilized by other companies to grow revenue and create more efficient communities.

Now, rideshare companies want to take you to the doctor and help businesses manage their travel logistics and expenses. As the two industry giants plant their logos on the windshields of more drivers’ cars, they go head-to-head for partnerships with health insurance providers and major corporations.

Uber and Lyft Look to Make Business Travel Better

Uber and Lyft both allow separate rider business profiles to make travel less stressful, and expenses easier to track. But transporting business professionals from the airport to the conference space is certainly not where these ride-hailing companies stop. Each platform offers customized options for businesses, their employees, and customers to help create a more enjoyable, efficient experience.

Lyft business traveler leaving airport.

While Uber for Business and Lyft Business carry out their ongoing battle for the corporate travel market share, expense management software company Certify reports that Uber was the most expensed brand in 2017, with 9 percent of all expenses from 50 million expense reports from U.S. workers. Starbucks was second.

Lyft’s business platform has grown seventeenfold since the start of 2016, thanks to partnerships with the likes of Coach, Blue Cross and schools like the University of Southern California. However, Uber is still the market leader with joint ventures with large cities like San Francisco, where they develop new ride programs fairly often for rides to local landmarks, like baseball, football, and basketball stadiums.

Lyft Business Accounts

Lyft allows all riders to create personal and business profiles. This lets people keep their recreational rides separate from work-related trips and track their business expenses. They’ve also recently launched a rewards program that awards $5 in ride credits for every five business rides taken. Riders can receive up to $100 in ride credits every three months!

However, Lyft Business is separate from all that. It allows businesses to provide and manage rides for employees and customers. Thousands of organizations currently partner with Lyft Business, including Airbnb, Disney, and Hertz.

Lyft has even recently integrated Lyft Concierge into their Lyft Business program. The company started Lyft Concierge in 2016 to allow health care providers to schedule rides for their patients. Now, all businesses can use Lyft Concierge for their organization. This allows business managers to monitor employees in the field and keep better track of travel expenses.

Together, Lyft Business and Lyft Concierge allows for:

  • Easy expensing: Save your people time and sanity with automatic expensing tools.
  • Policy development: Lyft reports allow managers to take note of travel habits amongst employees and design travel guidelines based on what works best for the team.
  • Payment Management: Businesses can control who has access to company charge accounts and simplify the payments through Lyft Business.
  • Business efficiency: Run your business more efficiently by knowing when your travelers are on the road and when they’ll be available for meetings or other projects.
Lyft Business Dashboard

Uber for Business

Uber for Business is simlar to Lyft Business. It allows organizations to set up rides for employees or clients, view all of your trip activity, and manage billing with the Uber for Business platform.

  • Easier billing: Instead of having a pile of Uber receipts on your desk, Uber for Business allows managers to handle all rides in one place. Select the payment method that best fits the company’s needs and never deal with individual expensing and paper trails again.
  • Big-picture view: From the Uber platform, you can see all ride features, like trip times, vehicle styles, and total expenses. Generate reports and monitor the company’s travel activity from one dashboard.
  • Set guidelines: Add your team members to the Uber business account and manage the settings to avoid out-of-policy rides. You can customize rules to specify the vehicle class allowed and spending allowance.
Uber for business

While Uber has the majority of the business traveler market, holding on to 74 percent of the overall market compared with Lyft’s 19 percent and 7 percent for taxis, research shows Lyft is growing in popularity.

According to a new study by Certify, which tracks business expenses, Lyft gained 8 percent in market share in the second quarter of 2018. Certify looked at 10 million business travel receipts and expenses in North America. In that same time, Uber dwindled by 3 percent and taxi-hailing dropped 5 percent.

Lyft hopes to keep the momentum going. However, Lyft’s growth must also overcome the higher tabs raked in by Uber. Business travelers spend more money per ride on Uber than on Lyft. In Q2 of this year, the average Uber tab was $26 compared to the $22.37 spent with Lyft.

Feeling Ill? Call Uber or Lyft

The next time you need a ride to the doctor, Uber and Lyft will both be vying for your trip. The ridesharing companies have delved into the healthcare business, attempting to derive revenue from the 3.6 million people who miss medical appointments each year. Instead of a medical transport van or taxi, non-emergency patients may be offered a Lyft or Uber ride provided by the health facility.

This push into the health industry is one of the latest ways the two rideshare giants are attempting to integrate into pre-existing transportation routes. And health care professionals are buying in. The affordable, direct transport of patients through Uber or Lyft allows medical facilities to track a patient’s route in real-time. In 2013, Medicare and Medicaid spent $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, for non-emergency health care transportation, with many regions expecting medical transport costs to rise. Utilizing rideshare companies offers a lower cost option for getting patients to the facilities.

Benefits to Health Care Facilities Utilizing Uber or Lyft

  • Rideshare platforms reduce medical fraud and waste since the tracking is more precise than traditional paper receipts.
  • They also help reduce no-show rates, which vary depending on the specialty, but run at roughly 20 percent for primary care.
  • There is also less emergency room crowding, as more patients have access to preventative care with a primary doctor.

The healthcare industry’s use of Uber and Lyft doesn’t stop with treatment facilities. Blue Cross announced earlier this year that participating Blue Cross plans would offer a “no cost” ride for patients to pick up medication. Lyft’s partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS Health allows customers in certain markets to get a Lyft ride to the pharmacy.

Both companies operate under the mindset that transportation shouldn’t be the obstacle that stops someone from seeing the doctor.

How Does Uber Health Work?

Uber Health is HIPAA compliant and aimed specifically at healthcare providers — clinics, hospitals, and rehab centers — that need to assign rides for their patients and decrease missed appointments. Because the rideshare venture is often focused in rural communities, the rider doesn’t need the Uber app, or even a smartphone, to get a ride. Through a simple web dashboard:

  1. The healthcare manager inputs the client’s name, number, and pick-up and drop-off locations.
  2. The facility chooses a vehicle type from Uber’s ride options.
  3. The patient receives a text message confirming the facility has booked a ride for them.
  4. The patient can click the link to see who will pick them up, a contact number, and a map to view the Uber driver’s location.

How Does Lyft Healthcare Work?

Lyft Healthcare is HIPAA compliant and offered through the rideshare company’s Lyft Concierge platform. Medical providers can schedule or call rides for clients. The riders do not even have to have the app or a smartphone to get a ride to or from the doctor. Using the Lyft Concierge dashboard:

  • Healthcare organizations integrate the Lyft Concierge into their own systems.
  • Organizations develop custom pickup and drop-off zones for large hospital campuses and medical offices (through a new partnership with American Logistics Company).
  • The healthcare manager can schedule individual rides for patients.
  • The patient receives a text message confirming the facility has booked a ride for them.

Typically, the healthcare organization covers the cost of the ride or the expense is billed to Medicaid or Medicare.

As Lyft and Uber explore new avenues in healthcare and corporate travel, the demand for more convenient, on-demand forms of transportation continues to grow. Both companies offer services and innovation many find superior to that of alternative transportation options, making them the go-to for many businesses, at least for the immediate future.