Lyft is an on-demand transportation company based in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets, and operates the Lyft car transportation mobile app. Launched in June 2012, Lyft operates in approximately 300 U.S. cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and provides over 1 million rides per day. The company was valued at US$15.1 billion as of June 2018 and has raised a total of US$5.1 billion in funding. Lyft expanded into Canada in December 2017 as a competitor to the already established Uber.SIGN UP
Riders must download the Lyft mobile app to their iOS or Android-based phone, sign up, enter a valid phone number, and enter a valid form of payment (either a credit card, or link to an Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or PayPal account). Passengers can then request a ride from a nearby driver. Once confirmed, the app shows the driver’s name, ratings by past passengers, and photos of the driver and car. Drivers and passengers can add personal information to their profiles about their hometown, music preferences, and other details to encourage drivers and passengers to converse during the ride. After the ride is over, the rider is given the opportunity to provide a gratuity to the driver, which is also billed to the rider’s payment method.
Lyft offers five types of rides within the app:
- Shared Ride, which is not available in all cities, is the cheapest option and will match passengers with other riders if they are going in the same direction.
- Lyft is the basic and most popular offering that matches passengers with nearby drivers.
- Lyft XL matches passengers with a vehicle that can seat at least 6 passengers.
- Lux matches passengers with a luxury vehicle that seats at least 4 passengers.
- Lux Black matches passengers with a luxury black exterior vehicle ride that seats at least four passengers.
- Lux Black XL matches passengers with a black exterior luxury car that seats up to 6. (i.e.: SUVs with highly rated drivers).
One tenet of Lyft’s platform is establishing trust among its users. All drivers undergo the following screening processes:
- Department of Motor Vehicle, sex offender registries in the United States, and personnel-type criminal background checks. The criminal background check goes back seven years and includes national and county-level databases, as well as national sex offender registries.
- Drivers must be 21 years or older and have had a driver’s license for more than one year.
- Zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.
After a ride is completed, drivers and passengers are given the opportunity to rate each other on a scale of one to five stars. Any driver averaging a low rating by users is dropped from the service. Lyft does not allow passengers to know their rating.
Although Lyft drivers are classified as independent contractors, Lyft also insures each driver with a US$1 million commercial liability policy that is primary to a driver’s personal policy. Additional coverage includes:
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to $50,000 with a $2,500 deductible. (Applies from the time a driver accepts a ride request until the time the ride is ended in the app.)
- Contingent liability coverage up to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$25,000 property damage. (Applies from the time when a driver flips into driver mode until the driver accepts a ride request.)
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage up to $1 million. (Applies from the time a driver accepts a ride request in the app until the time the ride is ended in the app.)
In March 2018, Lyft announced that it was teaming up with electronic health records company Allscripts to create a platform allowing healthcare providers to arrange rides for patients who lack transportation to appointments. This new deal would be available to 2,500 hospitals, 180,000 physicians, and approximately 7 million patients.SIGN UP
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