Last Updated on: June 21st, 2016
When LYFT offers a premium rate to drivers, it is because the demand for drivers is higher in a specific region. Uber call this “Surge.”
The LYFT app refers to this as PRIME TIME and marks the zones in which the premium is charged in red or pink. LYFT advises drivers they can make more money by driving towards the red zones. However, this has not been the case in any newbie driver experience.
What appears to occur frequently is a red zone or less hot pink zone will appear and disappear faster than anyone could possibly get there if they were not already there. It also appears and disappears faster than just about anyone could request a ride. The passenger is warned about the premium, and if they desire, they can pass until the red zone clears, which is frequently.
Fleeting red zones do not allow drivers to meet the need, because they have become like crying wolf. It appears inevitable, as one drives towards any red zone, the red zone suddenly disappears as though a mirage.
Drivers waste time and fuel chasing these phantom red zones, and do not get rewarded for it. Just being in a busy area is most often best. Hunting for the red zones is like chasing your tail. You never reach it.
If Lyft wants drivers to be available in the red zones, a red zone should remain active, not disappear as fast as it appears. What Lyft seems to do is flash the red zone, and if any driver enters the area, it is no longer a red zone because a driver is available. That algorithm would definitely explain a driver’s ‘primetime/redzone’ experiences.
It appears best if a red zone occurs near by to sit tight. You may get a ride in the red zone because you are close. Driving into it may just nullify the red zone making it a worthless exercise that serves only the whims of the application’s algorithm.