lyft toronto driver outage

Riders hit with astronomically high Lyft prices after huge driver outage in Toronto

Rideshare service Lyft has grown to become a popular alternative to Uber and licenced taxi services in Toronto, but riders relying on the app to get around on Friday night were met with prices so high, you could have just as easily made a monthly car lease payment.

Outspoken rideshare driver and advocate for Uber/Lyft operator rights, Earla Phillips, shared screenshots of sky-high Lyft prices in the city, claiming that the spike in fares was the result of a mass suspension suddenly restricting most driver accounts operating in the city.

Phillips tells blogTO that she "noticed in the Lyft app that, around 10:20 p.m., [I] was not able to go online. The app said I was not approved to drive, but I am licenced by the City."

Phillips said that she attempted to contact Lyft Support, but support "just kept saying that I didn't have a PTC (Private Transportation Companies) licence."

After investigating a bit further, she noticed that she was not the only driver receiving the same type of message, discovering that "other drivers were starting to post on social media" with similar accounts of the glitch

Wondering how the sudden forced departure of countless drivers was impacting passenger fares, Phillips says she "went into the passenger app and saw that rates for rides were skyrocketing, and that the map showed NO vehicles on the road."

"I told Lyft Support that they must have a tech glitch as there are no drivers on the road, but they kept giving me the 'you don't have a PTC license copy and paste BS.'"

"Around 1:46 a.m., the app changed messages and said my vehicle was not approved..... I also noticed other drivers had multiple versions. I knew this was a glitch in the app."

Phillips says that her driver service was finally restored at 2:28 a.m., after hours of potential lost revenue.

But while things are back to normal on her end (Lyft sent an email the following morning claiming the issue was resolved and apologizing for the inconvenience), Phillips says that, even days later, "there are still many drivers reporting the problem."

A Lyft spokesperson confirmed to blogTO that "Over the weekend, many Toronto drivers were not able to get onto the Lyft platform due to a processing error."

"We're currently working with our City partners to confirm that everything has been corrected and all valid drivers can access the platform. We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused drivers and riders."

Lead photo by

Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash/Earla Phillips


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