New App Allows Drivers to Work for Uber and Lyft at the Same Time
When drivers are working for a ride sharing service in a minimally populated area, they’re not guaranteed consistent business. Drivers can sit around, wasting their time while they wait for ride requests to come through. Naturally, in order to make the most money possible with their time, approximately 2 out of 3 ride sharing drivers work for more than one service.
However, driving for two services simultaneously can be a bit messy; juggling two devices and both apps at the same time is a huge pain, not to mention it’s a dangerous distraction behind the wheel. And if drivers are already giving someone a ride and forget to shut down the other service, their ratings could plummet because they’re ignoring ride requests.
Herb Coakley, a ride sharing driver, saw a gap in the market for a new app: Mystro.
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Mystro connects the two largest ride sharing services in the industry. Uber and Lyft requests filter in through the app for drivers to manage from one place. Within Mystro, drivers can set ride preferences including distance, the size of the group, and the rider’s rating within each app. “Drivers feel like they don’t have a lot of control,” said Coakley. “We give some [of it] back.” If a ride request meets those requirements, and the driver is available, the request is automatically accepted so drivers won’t even have to take their hands off the wheel.
Here’s the best part about Mystro: When the app accepts one ride request, it pauses the operation of the competitor’s requests. That way, the driver won’t miss out on ride requests and hurt their ratings on either service.
Mystro makes ambitious claims through its marketing strategy, guaranteeing its users a 30% growth in earnings. The app itself is not free – users pay $11.95 per month or $99.95 per year to use Mystro’s management tool. This charge includes tech support in the event of any issues.
The app went through a two year development process before hitting the Android App Store. Coakley received $120,000 in funding and an $100,000 investment from one of his riders; the rider happened to be a Google employee that was interested in his idea and wanted to help make it a reality.
While the app does feed ride requests from Uber and Lyft, the three companies have not technically partnered up. In fact, the app’s lengthy development process was due in part to Coakley’s inability to access the two companies’ servers. Thankfully, after partnering with his co-founder, Matt Rajcok, they were able to get it going. However, the two refuse to reveal their secret, only assuring the public that they are not in violation of either company’s privacy policies.
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Still, Coakley has hope that Uber and Lyft will come around, working together to improve the companies’ relationships with their drivers. “We can help Uber and Lyft with retention problems,” explained Coakley. Ride sharing services are notoriously bad with employee retention; Uber has even taken steps like adding a tipping feature, behind Lyft, to improve employee-company relationships.
It’s unlikely Uber and Lyft will partner up on any endeavor, considering they’re competitors, but you never know. “We’re all friends here,” Coakley said, optimistic. “We’re all just trying to make our community safer and more efficient.” While that is a likely priority for Uber and Lyft, they are more likely they’re interested in profits – and working with their competition is a risk to their revenue.
Overall, this does look like a step in the right direction for the happiness of ride sharing drivers. But, unsurprisingly, it didn’t come from the ride sharing companies themselves.