https://qz.com/1291573/cheap-rides-are-making-lyft-less-reliable/Super-cheap rides are making Lyft less reliable
On the way back, I asked Aliaskar if he knew why the two other drivers had failed to pick me up. He said everyone was headed toward Greenpoint, another neighborhood in Brooklyn, where rates were much higher, and that drivers probably weren’t interested in my cheap Lyft Line fare. It wasn’t a problem for him, though, he added, kindly.
Stories like this are a dime a dozen, but they hint at a bigger problem: When ride-hailing fares are too cheap, the service is less reliable.
A more extreme version of my experience in Brooklyn happened to an airline pilot named Darryl, who in April ordered a Lyft from Hermosa Beach, California, to Los Angeles International Airport. The first driver Lyft connected Darryl with was 15 minutes away and canceled. The second driver accepted the fare and drove from LAX to pick up Darryl. Then, about halfway through the ride, the driver abandoned Darryl in a parking lot, reportedly concluding he would only make about $6 for a trip that was going to take an hour from dispatch to dropoff.
At the time Darryl’s story was reported in the local press, many people blamed the driver, but I’d argue the real fault lay with Lyft. Drivers don’t get a lot of choice about their rides and passengers, after all, and it was Lyft that dispatched a trip that ended up not being worth the driver’s while. You could say the same of my recent trip through Brooklyn. It’s great for me, as a consumer, that Lyft will offer a ride for $4.53, but it’s less great if the pay for that ride is so low that no driver wants to accept the fare. Lyft didn’t respond to requests for a comment.