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Lyft hopes to convince drivers it is better than Uber with scheduled rides

If ever there were a time for Lyft to strike, this would be it. Between a maelstrom of bad PR around Uber’s CEO and some questionable business practices as they relate to drivers, Lyft has something of a golden opportunity to rise above the din. And it looks like it is grabbing that opportunity with both hands. On Friday, the transportation company made life easier for its drivers, allowing passengers to schedule rides in advance that drivers can accept hours or even days beforehand, essentially helping them set a schedule.

“It gives the drivers to control their schedule and think about what they’re going to do,” Tali Rapaport, Lyft’s VP of Product, told Business Insider. “We can now give certainty.”

This is the first time that a major player in the transportation space has offered such a feature to its workforce. Sure, a flexible schedule has always been heralded as something of a benefit of being a driver, but this new feature also allows for some order and regularity.

That is not the only new thing Lyft is offering. There is also a brand new driver app and “power zones” that promise bonuses on each and every trip. These power zones, as the name implies, are areas that will boost drivers’ earnings, because how many people really want to be driving around in Times Square in midday?

“…It helps us get drivers on the road when passengers really need them,” Rapaport said. “It kind of gives drivers control over what they’re making.”

Ultimately, Rapaport noted, “There isn’t going to be one silver bullet to make the experience better for drivers.” Rather, Lyft is hoping that a confluence of features will help convince drivers to have a preference working for the company.

Of course, these updates are good for the rider, too. Thanks to the new scheduled pickups, you can have drivers book your ride up to seven days in advance. And the power zones ought to send more drivers to areas that you are most eager to leave (or in some cases, get to).

The entirety of the new feature suite is expected to roll out to Lyft drivers over the summer.

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