Lyft driver reveals what she actually makes as a 5-star gold driver after a 90-minute ride

@madam.pond/TikTok Diego Thomazini/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘They charged my passengers $52’: Lyft driver reveals what she actually makes as a five-star gold driver after a 90-minute ride

'And it’s actually less than that if you file and pay taxes'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Dec 24, 2023   Updated on Dec 24, 2023, 2:25 pm CST

In a viral TikTok, a Lyft driver called out the company for taking more than half of the earnings from one of her recent rides.

In the 30-second clip, which is nearing a million views, @madam.pond explained that she just had a long, 90-minute drive on a Friday night, taking passengers to an Atlanta stadium. Those who’ve used rideshare apps can almost immediately assume that it’s going to be a pricey ride. However, @madam.pond said she only got paid $21 for the lengthy trip that charged the passengers $52.

“So Lyft took 60% of what they are charging for their rides,” @madam.pond said. She added that she does Lyft full-time and has a five-star rating on the app, yet “Lyft feels I only deserve 40% of the pay.”

While Lyft has a page called “The Driver’s Guide to Pay,” it does not explicitly state what percentage of each ride goes to the driver versus the company. It says that drivers see how much they’ll make before each ride before accepting it and that all tips go to the driver.

“Upfront pay is based on a number of factors which may include estimated time and distance to complete the ride, your travel to the pickup point, demand for rides in your area, and other market factors,” the site states.

In a 2022 article, Slate journalist Timothy B. Lee drove Lyft to get a first-hand experience at the economics of being a Lyft driver. He found that after doing 100 rides in 46 hours, he earned $1,111 while customers paid $2,139.73 for his services. That means the split between Lyft and the driver was about 50/50. Lee did the same experiment in 2014, but back then, he could keep 80% of what customers paid. This 50/50 split is a significant deviation from that, meaning drivers have to work more hours for less pay.

@madam.pond I guess I’m only worth 40% of the work I do #lyft #uber #lyftdriver #solidarity ♬ original sound – Madam Pond

The video has amassed more than 1 million views and over 4,200 comments since Dec. 8. In the comments, many people are upset by the pay breakdown the driver shared.

“And it’s actually less than that if you file and pay taxes,” a top comment pointed out.

“No way Lyft or Uber should get more than half of the fee. 20% would be more reasonable,” a person said.

“so with gas, and taxes you basically break even/are in the negative,” another wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to @madam.pond for comment via TikTok direct message and to Lyft via email.

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*First Published: Dec 24, 2023, 7:00 pm CST