Please see ongoing updates at the end of this post.
Rideshare drivers are abuzz. It appears that ridesharing operator Lyft did not pay their drivers this morning via their normal weekly direct deposit.
Drivers for services like Uber and Lyft operate as independent contractors, with all their ride profits from the previous week direct deposited into their bank accounts the following week.
Lyft normally pays on Wednesdays (ahead of Uber who pays on Thursdays). Today Lyft drivers in several US cities are reporting on social media that they were not paid and that no statement has been issued as of yet from the company. Some are using the social media hashtag #lyftnopay to spread the word.
Speculation on some rideshare driver forums is that Lyft financial woes have returned despite another infusion of venture capital funding.
Compounding rumors is the news today that Lyft has notified its Kansas City drivers that it will no longer operate in that market as of Friday at noon.
In some cities, both Lyft and UberX have cut passenger fares as well as driver pay in efforts to compete with one another, in some cases leading to driver turnover as some of the earliest drivers for the fledgling companies have left both due to lowered pay.
There continue to be many woes for ridesharing, despite some victories such as the announcement Monday that San Francisco International Airport would begin allowing rideshare drivers to pick up there, a move that many cities do not allow. Still, both companies are continuing to fight legal and regulatory battles in major US cities as those markets seek to regulate the services on the basis of public safety.
Its fairly common in some cities for drivers to contract with both Lyft and Uber, so I wouldn’t expect a shortage of drivers – yet. But in the currently volatile world of ridesharing, this may push a few current drivers over the edge. Fewer drivers coupled with growing demand to me means more surge fares and pricing increases on the horizon.
Full disclosure – I DO drive for Uber, I don’t drive for Lyft (despite several Uber drivers trying to recruit me to do both) – a pink mustache isn’t my thing.
Update Wednesday at 12 pm CT – one driver I talked to has now received an individual reply from Lyft on their pay inquiry with the company. Lyft reports initiating the ACH transaction yesterday as normal and said that it is likely a banking institution issue that would delay payment until Thursday or Friday.
Update Wednesday at 1 pm CT – another driver has shared a response from Lyft encouraging drivers to think of Friday as their payday, but noting “we will have the ability to payout earlier in the week when possible, however, it will always deposit by Fridays”. This after some drivers reported checking with their banks to find that no ACH was pending yet. (editorial note – that certainly sounds as if it this was a Lyft financial decision, not a bank financial issue)
Update Wednesday at 3:45 pm CT – a representative from Lyft has reached out directly to Jetsetter’s Homestead to state the following: “Drivers always receive payment by the end of each week, though many individuals will receive theirs earlier in the week depending on their bank. All drivers have always been paid through our system so funds will appear in their accounts by the end of the week as usual.”
Update Thursday at 7:30 am CT – many Lyft drivers are reporting this morning (via social media, driver forums, and email) that their direct deposit appeared overnight