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Lyft Is Testing A Driver Hiring Freeze In Florida

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Lyft Is Testing A Driver Hiring Freeze In Florida
By Christian Perea • Issue #2 • View online
Happy Wednesday!
Lyft announced yesterday that it will now only accept vehicles that are 2017 or newer in Florida. This is expected to dampen the effects of ongoing driver saturation in what Lyft calls “a temporary change in Florida to help drivers maximize their earnings”.

Lyft to Florida Drivers: Vehicles Must Be 2017 Or Newer
Florida Drivers who already had vehicles setup to drive with Lyft before July 15th will still be allowed to drive their vehicles for Lyft without noticing the change.
However, ALL new ridehail vehicles added to Lyft in Florida after July 15th must be 2017 or newer. Regardless of your history or status as a driver with Lyft.
Lyft's In-App Message To Florida Drivers
Lyft's In-App Message To Florida Drivers
A Hiring Freeze?
Up until now, Lyft (and Uber) have done everything in their power to hire as many drivers, as quickly as possible to beat each other in flooding the streets to increase their network effects in an epic battle for market supremacy. Lyft deciding to not do that anymore and to run this experiment could represent a major shift.
Using A 2017 Car In Orlando Isn't Really Worth It
The cheapest 2017 Toyota Prius within 100 miles of Orlando on Autotrader is about $17,000 right now. That means anyone who wants to get a car to drive for Lyft in Florida will have to finance a new vehicle or use Lyft’s Express Drive program. Express Drive is a rental program from Lyft where drivers earn less and usually pay a lot more in taxes at the end of the year. Most people have trouble financing a $20,000 car using only their Lyft income.
Meanwhile, Lyft’s rates in Florida remain the same. Lyft charges passengers $0.79/mile and $0.13/minute in Orlando, paying drivers roughly $0.5925/mile and $0.0975/minute. Those who rent through Lyft’s Express Drive program only receive around $0.41/mile though.
Lyft's rate card for Orlando
Lyft's rate card for Orlando
The Depreciation Costs Of A 2017 Vehicle
According to Kelly Blue Book, the typical price of a 2017 Toyota Prius 2 with 37,000 miles on it is $20,939. The typical price of the same model vehicle, but a year older and with 50,000 more miles on it is $15,405. That represents a loss in value of $5,534 from a year of driving in Florida; or about $0.11/mile over the course of 50,000 miles of ridehail driving. That’s around 15% of per-mile pay.
Which is why this is the closest I have ever seen Lyft come to implementing a hiring freeze for drivers. You would have to be bonkers to use a 2017 vehicle for these rates!
Hold On To Your Old Car!
If you got in before the cutoff date of July 15th you can continue to use your car. I recommend doing everything you can to make sure it stays running now though since if it breaks down, Lyft will require a 2017 or newer vehicle.
Right now might also be a good time for anybody outside of Florida to make sure their car is setup on the Lyft platform. If Lyft rolls this out on a wide scale you may end up regretting not doing so.
Prepare For Having To Possibly Buy A Newer Car
Even if you managed to get in under the freeze in Florida, your car won’t last forever. So I suggest preparing for a world where you will have to drive a 2017 or newer vehicle in case your car breaks down.
Lyft Says The Freeze Is Temporary
Lyft characterized the new vehicles requirements as temporary and being put into place to help current drivers maximize their earnings. It’s still unknown how long this temporary freeze will last, or if how limited or broad this experiment will be.
Gig-companies usually test major changes in smaller markets before rolling them out nationwide. This has been seen with the way that New Surge, Primetime, and other promotions have appeared in places like Florida before being rolled out nationwide.
The existence of this test means that Lyft has begun to experiment with ways to cap or limit the amount of drivers on it’s platform in an effort to limit driver saturation. So if this change meets whatever goals Lyft has for this experiment, there’s a hefty chance it will be rolled to a market near us pretty soon.
Elsewhere In The News
Andrew Hawkins reports on McDonald’s decision to dump it’s exclusive partnership with UberEATS to partner up with DoorDash instead:
In April, Bloomberg reported that McDonald’s was chaffing under Uber Eats’ high fees and was thinking of turning to other delivery partners.
It was a big deal when Uber Eats and McDonalds’s first announced their partnership in early 2017. The fast food chain featured prominently in Uber’s S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission prior to its IPO. The filing contained a full two pages devoted to its partnership with McDonald’s.
John Paul Brammer writes about how poached eggs from Starbucks are an island of consistency and stability in a sea of uncertainty working in the gig-economy:
Starbucks offers an entirely standard experience no matter which location you find yourself in. The Egg Bites I eat here in Manhattan are the same ones I order when I’m visiting home in Oklahoma, where the nearest Starbucks is located inside a Target and where, yes, I have written articles on Chechnya and fidget spinners with a view of the ladies’ clothing section. Everything else is subject to change: how many pieces I’m working on and how much I’m being paid for them, the city I happen to be in, and my state of mind, whether I am in a fit of mania or deep in the throes of depression. Starbucks’ Egg Bites can’t relate. They are constant. They arrive, two perfectly packaged little cakes nestled side by side, as they always do, utterly anticipated, always delivering. They are stability incarnate. They are my god
Driving full-time, I used to find a similar level of comforting sameness from the mozzarella panini.
Nicole Karlis interviews Ken Jacobs, the about how Assembly Bill 5 and other gig-company regulations could spread to the rest of the country:
“What happens in California will be closely watched around the country,“ Ken Jacobs, the chair UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education Institute for Research on Labor and Employment told Salon. “As we have seen with paid sick leave, $15 minimum wages, and fair scheduling, policies that start in one state or locality often spread elsewhere.”
Got any questions, feedback, or tips?
Send them to Christian@hustleby.design!
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Christian Perea

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