1. Home
  2. policy
  3. economy
  4. news
  5. Lyft's CEO faces pushback after driving for the app and posting about how great it was

Lyft's CEO faces pushback after driving for the app and posting about how great it was

Alex Bitter   

Lyft's CEO faces pushback after driving for the app and posting about how great it was
  • Lyft CEO David Risher drove customers around Napa Valley, California, for the ride-hailing service.
  • Risher completed three trips in 90 minutes, a rate that some commenters said isn't typical for Lyft.

Some Lyft drivers are deriding a LinkedIn post by the company's CEO after he spent an hour and a half shuttling customers around Napa Valley over the weekend.

The CEO, David Risher, posted on Monday about a series of rides he completed in California's wine county. Risher said he spent the time behind the wheel to learn more about what working for Lyft as an independent contractor is like.

Risher ended up taking three rides between wineries in the region.

In one case, he made an unscheduled stop at a supermarket so that a customer could pick up something to alleviate his allergies. Risher said that on two of the rides, passengers indicated that they chose Lyft after having bad experiences with Uber.

Together, the rides cost $48.05. Risher said he got $29.10 of that, plus $13.54 in tips, while Lyft got $7.96.

"This was a surgical strike: I only had 90 minutes, and was lucky enough to get three rides nearly back-to-back," he wrote.

"Obviously I drive to learn, not to earn, and your mileage may vary," Risher added. "But I came away with even more appreciation for the driving experience."

Some comments on the post lauded the CEO for seeing what the job that keeps his company running is actually like. "So much to applaud about this, but I especially appreciate the breakdown of what your driver vs Lyft is earning," one commenter wrote.

But not everyone in the comments liked what they read.

"I appreciate your willingness to get in the field, but I don't think Napa Valley is representative of what most of your drivers experience daily," another comment said. "I just drove 30 mins across town from Gilbert AZ, to Tempe AZ at 8:30am and did not receive a single ride request. Getting 3 rides in 90 mins here is basically unheard of."

Another commenter took issue with Risher's depiction of Lyft as providing better customer service than Uber.

"As a driver, I have both Uber and Lyft stickers on my car," the commenter wrote. "Some people claim that Lyft drivers are friendlier, but that's a misconception since most of us drive for both companies."

A Lyft spokesperson told Business Insider that Risher completed the rides without a status boost under the Lyft Rewards program. Drivers can earn statuses such as Elite depending on their performance.

Risher has also driven for Lyft before, mainly in San Francisco, the spokesperson said.

"We understand that every market will be different, so we're continually looking for ways to improve driver pay and transparency across the board, the spokesperson said, pointing to an announcement in May that said Lyft drivers would receive "70% or more of rider fares each week."

Risher's experience isn't the first time the CEO of a ride-hailing company has spent time behind the wheel.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has driven passengers and delivered food for his company before. He's described agreeing to deliver an order with a large tip only to see the tip yanked away after delivering the food — a practice known as tip baiting.

Khosrowshahi said his experiences made him realize some of the problems that drivers face. Afterward, he even held a staff meeting titled "Why We Suck."

Do you work for Lyft, Uber, Instacart, or another ride-hailing or delivery service and have a story idea to share? Reach out to this reporter at