Based in San Francisco, California, Lyft matches people who have cars with people who need rides. These days, about 80 percent of seats on the road are empty, but many still have a hard time getting around. Lyft addresses both problems by connecting drivers and passengers through its mobile app.
You can request an affordable ride with the tap of a button and Lyft will automatically locate and match you with a background-checked driver within minutes. The app lets you track your driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, as well as provides you with a photo of your driver and their car. It’s hard to miss a Lyft car, though, as they all sport a bright pink mustache. Drivers and passengers are encouraged to greet each other with “a friendly fistbump.” Lyft charges your saved credit card when the ride ends, so there’s no need to carry cash.
To keep the community safe, Lyft provides a $1 million liability insurance and runs in-person driver screenings and vehicle inspections. Passengers and drivers also rate each other after every ride. If you rate someone 3 stars or below, you won’t get matched with them again. If a driver’s average drops below 4.5 stars, they get the boot. Lyft has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy as well and users can report anyone violating this rule.
Lyft is currently available in Phoenix, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Lexington, Kentucky; Bakersfield, California; San Francisco, California; Orange County, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Salt Lake City, Utah; Honolulu, Hawaii; Madison, Wisconsin; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and more cities across the US.
Celebrities who have tried to service include Conan O’Brien, Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, and Ty Lawson. Lyft has been featured in major media outlets such as Wired, Mashable, CNET, USA Today, The Economist, and Ad Age.