January 31, 2023


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Sundance Film Festival: Lyft drivers say they’re being ripped off

3 min read

Bob* has lived in Park City his entire life and enjoys the hustle and bustle that comes to town during the annual Sundance Film Festival. After he retired, he started driving for Lyft six years ago. During the 10-day festival, she likes to chat with industry people while running to catch cocktails and screenings. But a recent topic of conversation has been troubling.

“People ask me all the time what drivers do, and I’m always happy to tell them,” he said. “But since the festival started this year, it seems they’ve flipped a switch and we’re getting less. All my passengers are saying, ‘Why am I paying $40 for this ride and you’re only getting $8? How is that fair?’

diversity Lyft spoke with several drivers in both Park City and Salt Lake City, who claimed their pay-per-rides dropped as the festival began on Jan. 19. Additionally, they said many of the “bonuses” that are usually offered to drivers have dried up during the festive season. Lyft defines “bonus” as supplemental earnings “that are typically offered at the busiest times at the busiest locations.”

According to Lyft’s official website, a driver’s pay is calculated by “how long you drive during a ride (time), how far you drive during the ride (distance), 100% of what passengers tip you (tips), and the bonus you earn. (bonus) ) The bulk of your earnings will come from the time and distance driven with your passenger in the car, plus you’ll get all your tips and bonuses.”

Yet drivers say that once the festivities begin, their take-home pay drops to about half of what they used to.

Joe, a Salt Lake City-based driver who wanted to spend most of the day riding in Park City through the festival’s Jan. 29 deadline, decided to change his plans to a two-day festival.

“They’re not paying enough, they were paying better,” Joe said. “It’s not worth it enough to come here – it’s a lot of miles, traffic and time. The pay is good in Salt Lake City.”

Eric, a Park City native, says he’s looking for a rental, and they shot during the festival, but he’s no longer getting paid to ferry people around town.

“Prices keep going up on rides, but there is less money for me,” he said. “Tell me how the math works.”

Lyft is also an official partner of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, with its logo emblazoned across much of the promotional material adorning the mountain community. Additionally, riders looking to head to Park City’s bustling Main Street, where many media studios and installations are taking place, are automatically routed to a Lyft-branded drop-off point adjacent to their destination.

Lyft prepared drivers for the event with a Jan. 12 post on “The Driver Blog” on their website, breaking down festival dates, potential rider arrivals and a map of drop-off points. The rideshare company also wrote that “we’ll be reaching out to local drivers with more pro tips on how to get the most out of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.” None of the drivers diversity Reported receiving additional messages from Lyft.

When asked about the drivers’ demands, a Lyft spokesperson released a statement diversity, said, “We are aware of the high demand at the Sundance Film Festival where Lyft is the official rideshare partner. We have worked hard to create an enjoyable rider and driver experience at the festival and average driver earnings have remained stable during the festival.”

diversity Sundance has also been reached for comment.

The ultimate sting? Despite the cost of attending Sundance, Bob admits that most of this year’s festival-goers aren’t great tippers.

“It’s tough for everybody right now, but come on – tip your driver,” Bob said.

*Driver’s name has been changed to protect their livelihood.

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