Lyft Drivers MUST accommodate people with service animals

Lyft's New Service Animal Policy

According to Lyft’s new service animal policy, all Lyft Drivers are required to accommodate people with service animals, regardless if the driver has allergic reaction to animals, have religious or cultural objections, or even if they fear them. 

The Lyft Driver MUST accept the ride request and allow the service animal to ride, or if they refuse they will be immediately and permanently terminated from “driving for Lyft”. Now here is why I think this is just the craziest thing… But firstly, I just want to say that I am an animal lover, and as a former Lyft driver I would be one that would happily accommodate any individual with a service animal.

But the reason I think this is crazy is because they “force” this policy upon all Lyft drivers, not giving them a choice in the matter. When the reason some Lyft drivers may have to refuse a ride request involving a service animal may be for a very good reason. I understand that as the law stands in most states, a business cannot refuse a customer from entering because they have a service animal. But this is very different when Lyft drivers own their own vehicle and is uses it for both business and personal use.

Is it Really “Safe” to Drive if the Driver Has an Allergic Reaction While Driving?

If there’s one thing, Lyft always brag about how their rider and driver safety is a huge importance to their business. Which is great, but if a driver that has an allergy of dogs… using dogs for example because they are the most common service animal. Is it considered safe and in the best interest of both their driver and rider, if the driver has a bad allergic reaction with eyes swelling (hindering vision) and breakout in hives because he/she was forced to accept this ride request with the threat of being terminated? Anyone with common sense would see that this is totally NOT safe for either the passenger or driver. 

I am not a guru of the law, but I am sure that public or employer safety laws should outweigh any state laws regarding a business not being able to refuse a customer with a service animal. But regardless of where the law stands, Lyft can easily fix this by simply routing any ride request from individuals that have a service animal only to the Lyft drivers who have no objections to animals. In the same manner they route ride requests for passengers with more than 4 passengers, (Lyft Plus Driver) who has a vehicle that can hold at least 6 passengers. And that way as a business, they are in compliance with the law of accommodating people with their service animals, while at the same time not putting some of their drivers at risk or in an uncomfortable situation.

Other Issues with Lyft’s Service Animal Policy

As I mentioned, Lyft can easily fix this… but seems they are so competitive about business and winning over more customers than to consider how their drivers (driving force of the company) feel about it. Also this can be abused by passengers who are simply hauling pets, claiming they are service animals. Because there’s no way to know if a rider’s animal is a legitimate service animal, or just a pet.

Now it’s ironic because most people who decide to drive for companies like Lyft and Uber not only do it for the extra cash, but many do it full time as their main source of income. And many have chosen to be a “Lyft or Uber Driver” for the independence and lack of having a boss over your shoulder all day, unlike at a traditional job. 

But when they are putting all of these unnecessary restrictive control parameters in place, it makes it more like a traditional job with control. And as a Lyft driver, you own/pay for your vehicle, you pay for your own gas, you still have to pay your own auto insurance (which is increased when using your car for business), you are responsible for cleaning, maintenance and repairing your vehicle…. therefore, YOU should get ultimate say what can/can’t go on in YOUR VEHICLE.

Otherwise it is no different than being a traditional employee who works for a taxi cab company. Aside from being able to control when/how often you work. And let’s not get on the subject of pay. Lyft claims to pay up to $35/hr, when in reality with all the personal expenses and you providing the vehicle, it’s actually less than minimum wage for most drivers. To get paid a rate that most would consider really worth it requires working late nights through early morning. So if you like starting your day at 11pm and working through 4am, then maybe you can earn more than minimum wage as a Lyft driver. And the only other way to get paid a decent wage driving for Lyft is during their surge zones. It’s called “Lyft Prime Time”. This is when they increase their fares and overcharge their customers. This usually happens when there’s a crowded event and there are more ride requests than drivers in the area. Although they pay their drivers a little more during their surges, most of the profits go into Lyft’s pockets.

Making Money Independently (Earn a True Living)

I mentioned briefly above that I am a former Lyft and Uber driver. I initially joined both companies because I wanted to earn extra money, and needed a way to make money independently without having a boss over my shoulder. But if you are either a Lyft or Uber driver, then I am sure you can relate that it’s not quite the dream we initially imagined. It seemed we would make a lot of extra money effortlessly, just by driving.

But then you realize that it’s actually costing you more money to drive than you are earning. With the wear and tear on your vehicle from both driving and accommodating passengers, increased mileage and all maintenance and repairs left to you pay…. so who’s really getting the benefit of making all the money? The company of course.

So I stopped driving, and my next new adventure was to earn a living working from home online. It was a challenge at first until I learned what I was doing, and now have been very successful making money independently online for several years now. In fact, I have earned over multiple 6 figures without putting wear tear on my vehicles or driving anyone anywhere. You want to know how I do this? 

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