How to Fix Lyft's Destination Filter

Dropking

Well-Known Member
The destination filters on Lyft and Uber can be a driver's best friend. They are excellent tools first thing in the morning to help get you into the earning zone in the city from your home in the deep suburbs, or to get you back home at the end of the day. But Lyft's destination filter is inferior to Uber's in important ways.



Fix #1: In Lyft, you cannot remove the destination filter while in route with a passenger. I typically set the destination filter to SFO from my home far away. When I've scored a passenger going to SFO, I would like to immediately remove the destination filter so that I can get my next ride as I'm approaching the dropoff point in the terminal. Because Uber allows this, I'm much more likely to start driving with Uber in the morning, using their destination filter rather than Lyft. As soon as an SFO-bound passenger is in the car, I immediately remove the destination filter on Uber so that I might score an airport ride request as I'm dropping off the last passenger.



Fix #2: Lyft is casting far too wide a net when the driver is in destination filter mode. Before the Bay Bridge approaches jam up at 2pm each workday, I typically park myself near a Bay Bridge entrance. I set a destination filter back home to Concord which is about 40 miles away. Most of the requests I get from Lyft would have me return a couple blocks toward downtown, and then drive someone six blocks laterally toward Mission Bay, taking me further from the bridge entrances. I've learned to call every single Lyft passenger while in destination mode to ask where they are going, and then cancel rides that are not crossing the bridge. This wastes the time of passengers, most of whom incidentally don't want to inconvenience a driver, and it wastes the time of drivers who learn to feel that Lyft does not respect their time and their wishes very well.


Uber's destination filter works much better for matching riders' actual destinations with the wishes of drivers. They will even match passengers with drivers who are a smidge further away than the nearest driver. Thus I tend to use Uber's destinatation filter to get home, depriving Lyft of a driver. But if Lyft really wants to keep such a wide net, there are possible solutions that seem obvious:


1) Don't send ride requests that are less than a chunk of miles, say 20%, of a driver's destination; or

2) Tell the driver how many miles the passenger will be going toward her destination, right up front when sending the request; or

3) Allow the driver to specify in the destination filter how many minimum miles she is willing to take a passenger toward her destination.


Any of these solutions would lead to happy, less inconvenienced, less annoyed passengers (and drivers too).




Fix #3: Fix the online doc, inform Lyft support staff of changes, and otherwise improve cross-team communication. Four weeks ago, Lyft allowed six destination filters each day. Suddenly they changed to three-only without bothering to tell anyone, including their drivers, support staff, and documentation team. I learned this the hard way while trying to get home one day. The support staff was clueless about any change, and referred me back to the doc which still read SIX. About a week later they got around to changing their doc to 3 destination filters per day. The funny thing is that this about the same time Uber increased their destination filters per day from two to six. Apparently in a competitive panic, a team with the power at Lyft set the variable back to SIX but again didn't bother to tell anyone!! It took Lyft two more weeks to correct their online documentation which now (as of today!) reads six again. This is not a good look for the company's cross-team culture.
 

Adieu

Well-Known Member
Lyft actually rolled out 6 *attempts* first (timeouts count as uses, app times out DFs with no hits aggressively, usually ran out of attempts for the day by 2am) weeks before the fuber change....but caught a storm of hatemail from guys like me, who much preferred the OLD version, and reverted it at some point.

Then fuber rolled out its own 6-use version, and Lyft relaunched its 6 filter thing too.... not sure if its uses or attempts atm, or how fast it times out, though.
 

Dropking

Well-Known Member
It works differently now. Attempts are not uses unless you complete a ride request, for both Lyft and Uber's destination filter. So you can set the destination filter and receive no requests, then remove it and you will still have six remaining uses. In fact, if you set a destination filter, accept a ride and then either you or the passenger cancels the ride, this is still not considered a usage of the six because a ride was not completed. This makes it important to call passengers when using the destination filter. Pre-screen them. Are they really going your way or is Lyft sending you in the wrong direction again? Cancel them if Lyft screwed up, because once you complete a ride you have now used up one of your precious destination filters. You can continue to give more rides on that same destination filter usage, but once you remove the destination filter you will have one less remaining.

About timing out:

Lyft's destination filter times out after 10-15 minutes if you have not given a ride. It will simply log you out and send a message that it couldn't match a rider. But that's okay. You have not completed a ride yet so it does not count as a "use." Just set it again. Once you have completed one ride using the destination filter, my experience is that it will never time out.

Uber's destination filter will ask you after 10-15 minutes if you want to stay online. Just click "yes" and you will remain in destination filter mode. If you have already given a ride, it appears to stay online forever in destination mode just like Lyft.
 
Last edited:

fairsailing

Well-Known Member
Lot's of good DF info in this thread. Here, DF has been 3 completed rides of any length, and you are done for the day. However yesterday it let me go to 4 without complaint, so perhaps the limit has been raised Nationwide as suggested above.

I use DF when working the airport, with Lyft, by avoiding the 4.7 riders and below I can usually avoid the shorties while on the filter. Calling to find destination and cancelling if not airport is a good way to get deactivated. Maybe you can get the pax to cancel, but I personally reserve those requests for unusal events, not normal rides.
 
Last edited:

DrivingForYou

Well-Known Member
It
About timing out:
Lyft's destination filter times out after 10-15 minutes if you have not given a ride. It will simply log you out and send a message that it couldn't match a rider. But that's okay. You have not completed a ride yet so it does not count as a "use." Just set it again. Once you have completed one ride using the destination filter, my experience is that it will never time out.

The 15 minute timer restarts when you complete the ride. I have had it timeout after a ride.
 

Dropking

Well-Known Member
However yesterday it let me go to 4 without complaint, so perhaps the limit has been raised Nationwide as suggested above.

The limit was raised back to six a week ago, as I mentioned. The doc reflects that change as of Friday. Lyft doc is always behind because their teams don't seem to communicate.

Calling to find destination and cancelling if not airport is a good way to get deactivated.

Nonsense. You should always pre-screen passengers when using the destination filter because Lyft is so bad at matching riders with drivers in destination mode. Not needed with Uber, usually. This is not a violation of the terms of service. You are not an employee but a contractor who gets to decide for yourself which rides to do despite their scaring drivers into believing otherwise. As someone who has completed 2000 Lyft rides and 3000 Uber rides, I've never worried about the few cancellations I do because Lyft screwed up. These cancellations count exactly the same as canceling an unaccompanied minor or toddler without a car seat. I hope that you don't worry about Lyft getting mad when you do that.
 

JFrancis

Active Member
RE Lyft DF, Something I would like to be able to do is taylor the route that the system picks, before turning it on. Say I want to go from A to B straight down a particular route. Usually the system devises a route that involves an expressway and other roads. I usually don't want to take the expressway or tollway, at the times I would also want to use DF.
 

Mark Campagna

Active Member
RE Lyft DF, Something I would like to be able to do is taylor the route that the system picks, before turning it on. Say I want to go from A to B straight down a particular route. Usually the system devises a route that involves an expressway and other roads. I usually don't want to take the expressway or tollway, at the times I would also want to use DF.
Don't worry about the route that Lyft draws out. I e gotten a fare using the DF and was not following its pre planned route.
 

Dropking

Well-Known Member
One thing I've noticed is that when there is a shortage or drivers for passenger demand, Lyft will especially hit-up drivers in destination mode for irrelevant rides. Again, just call the passenger after you accept the ride. Find out where they are going and if it isn't compatible with your needs explain that you have to get your kids in an hour and just can't do their 5-block, 25-minute ride through Downtown.

I did this TWICE today while parked under the Bay Bridge in SF. Both riders willingly canceled on their own because they don't want to inconvenience my kids. Pretty obvious I hope. On the 3rd ride request, Lyft finally sent an appropriate ride which took me 15 miles over the bridge and half-way home. Uber's destination filter got me all the way home from there, with just one rider cancellation on Uber for inconveniencing me.
 
Last edited:
Uber's destination filter will ask you after 10-15 minutes if you want to stay online. Just click "yes" and you will remain in destination filter mode. If you have already given a ride, it appears to stay online forever in destination mode just like Lyft.

Every time I get the question to stay online and I say yes it will still kick me off a minute later so now when I get that I immediately toggle offline and back online. It's stupid, if I didn't want to be online I wouldn't be. Also when in regular mode or DF I've got a chime with no explanation and a minute later it kicks me offline. This seems to happen only while driving not sitting in one spot. Only does it when you haven't had a ride in a while. Again this is stupid, not my fault I get a ping every hour or two because it's off season and there is too many drivers. We just went out of season and at the same time uber started advertising on local radio and FB for more drivers. [email protected]#$
 

Dropking

Well-Known Member
Logging you off from destination mode has everything to do with their insurance. They want you offline if there is little chance of actually taking a passenger. That's why Lyft logs you off automatically and Uber tries.
 
Logging you off from destination mode has everything to do with their insurance. They want you offline if there is little chance of actually taking a passenger. That's why Lyft logs you off automatically and Uber tries.

It does it in all trips mode too while moving.
 

DrivingForYou

Well-Known Member
Normally, I'd say the way to fix Lyft destination mode is to just use Ubers destination mode, LOL.

But

Yesterday I had an LAX run to Carlsbad (past Oceanside, 94 miles) I used destination mode to get back to LA, and had SEVEN rides taking me back to LA, and never timed out of destination mode. While one of those rides went "sort of the wrong way", the ride right after it was a 150% PT ride to Newport, over 23 miles.

I find Lyft destination mode often gets me some great rides where I need to go. If it doesn't, remember that Lyft has small market share and we frequently wait half an hour even with no destination mode set.

Don't worry about the route that Lyft draws out. I e gotten a fare using the DF and was not following its pre planned route.

Yesterday I was trying to get back up to LA after doing a trip to SD, and I wanted to take PCH, but the prep landed route on Lyft was the 5/405. At Laguna beach, I got a destination mode ride that went opposite the direction to LA, but brought me back to the 5 to the pre planned route on the app... :mad::mad::frown::eek:
 

ShinyAndChrome

Well-Known Member
It severely needs a timed option. Uber's introduction of that is magical for me. A couple times/week I am in a prime pickup area for two hours, but I absolutely have to be within that two hours window. I run lyft at the beginning only and then turn it off later.
 

Dropking

Well-Known Member
Dreamcrusher, yes it does it in all modes and I should mention they change this part of their algorithm frequently. For the first time in our SF market, over the weekend I was automatically logged off Uber while in destination mode after I had one successful ride while in destination mode. After about an hour of no further successful ride requests. And it wasn't the usual question of "do you want to stay online" but rather said "logging you off because no ride request lately" or some such. Meanwhile, quite recently Lyft is keeping me in destination mode for a longer period of time.

"I find Lyft destination mode often gets me some great rides where I need to go."
Absolutely agree. The problem is that more often it gives you crappy rides, something I equate with ping spam. So as presently constitutes, I would say use Lyft's destination filter with a huge grain of salt. Call every ride request to verify their destination, then cancel if incompatible, because once you've completed one of those spammy 3-block rides you will have used up a destination filter.

"Uber's introduction of that is magical for me. A couple times/week I am in a prime pickup area for two hours, but I absolutely have to be within that two hours window. I run lyft at the beginning only and then turn it off later."

That's about how I look at it. On the long destinations (using filter), Uber will match less often because it is matching better. Much more confidence in their destination filter.

The shame of this all is that Lyft's destination filter worked great until about 3 months ago. A year ago it was awful, then they fixed it brilliantly. Then some pointy headed knucklehead on their implementation team decided that driver needs do not matter to Lyft. This guy or gal who decided to screw with passengers and drivers alike (can't tell you how many passengers I've had to cancel in destination filter lately) needs to be retrained at Lyft.

 

Whistler

Active Member
Lyft's DF has sent me in the opposite direction in SF 2 of the 3 times I used it in SF. It has worked fine on long distances the couple times I used it out of SF, and got a ride from Lyft instead of Uber - 9/10 times I get an Uber first.

One thing I noted about the time out is that if you change the destination it starts the 15 minute clock again. I assume this happens because it logs you out when you change the destination, but better to control it while at a light than have it happen while driving.

The one good thing Lyft's DF has going for it - ok the only thing - is that it works at airports !
 
Top