Lyft, Inc. is a transportation network company (TNC) based in San Francisco, California and operating in 640 cities in the United States and 9 cities in Canada.It develops, markets, and operates the Lyft mobile app, offering car rides, scooters, and a bicycle-sharing system.
Lyft is the second-largest TNC with a 30% market share in the United States, according to Second Measure.
Most jurisdictions regulate TNCs and TNCs are banned from operating in some jurisdictions. For more information, see Legality of TNCs by jurisdiction.
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). Once the trip is completed, funds are debited from the funding source.
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)
Green had the inspiration for Zimride after sharing rides from the University of California, Santa Barbara campus to visit his girlfriend in Los Angeles. He had used Craigslist’s ride boards but wanted to eliminate the anxiety of not knowing the passenger or driver. When Facebook opened its API to third-party developers, Green said he thought “Here’s the missing ingredient.” Zimride linked drivers and passengers through the Facebook Connect application.. By using Facebook profile information, student drivers and passengers could learn about each other. Zimride eventually became the largest carpool company in the United States. Green was introduced to John Zimmer through a mutual friend and the pair initially met on Facebook. The company name came from the country Zimbabwe, where, during a trip in 2005, Green observed locals sharing minivan taxis. Zimride launched at Cornell University, where, after six months, the service had signed up 20% of the campus.
In May 2013, the company officially changed its name from Zimride to Lyft. The change from Zimride to Lyft was the result of a hackathon that sought a means of daily engagement with its users, instead of once or twice a year.
In July 2013, Lyft sold Zimride to Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to enable the company to focus exclusively on the growth of Lyft.
Whereas Zimride was focused on college campuses, Lyft launched as a TNC for shorter trips within cities.
Lyft became known for the large pink furry mustaches drivers attached to the front of their cars. Riders were also encouraged to sit in the front seat and fist bump with drivers upon meeting. In November 2014, the company distanced itself from the fist bump.
In January 2015, Lyft introduced a small, glowing plastic dashboard mustache it called a “glowstache” as an alternative to the large fuzzy mustaches on the front of cars. The transition was to help overcome the resistance of some riders to arrive at destinations, such as business meetings, in a car with a giant mustache.
In December 2016, Lyft introduced a color-changing dashboard indicator called “Amp.”
In 2013, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proclaimed July 13 as Lyft Day.
In April 2014, Lyft launched in 24 new U.S. cities in 24 hours, bringing its total to 60 U.S. cities.
In April 2014, Lyft hired two lobbying firms, TwinLogic Strategies and Jochum Shore & Trossevin, to address the regulatory barriers and opposition it had received since its launch.
Due to regulatory hurdles in New York City, the company altered its business model when establishing Lyft on the East Coast of the United States. Lyft’s launch in New York City occurred on the evening of July 25, 2014 and, in accordance with the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and the approval of the Manhattan Supreme Court, only drivers registered with the TLC were permitted to drive Lyft-branded vehicles in New York City.
In August 2014, the company introduced a shared ride concept, which provides cheaper fares.
In September 2015, Lyft announced a relocation of its customer service operations to Nashville and mentioned that a full relocation would be possible in the future from San Francisco.
In December 2015, Lyft became the first TNC allowed to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.
In May 2016, Lyft began offering a service to let clients schedule rides up to 24-hours in advance.
In November 2016, Lyft began offering riders the ability to make multiple stops during a trip.
In January 2017, the company announced its 160 millionth ride.
In January 2017, Lyft announced it would add 100 U.S. cities, bringing its total to 300 U.S. cities served.
In July 2017, the company announced that the Walt Disney World Resort “Minnie Van” service will be powered by Lyft. Users staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels are given the option to hail a “Minnie Van” via the Lyft app. A Minnie Van, a Chevrolet Traverse with Minnie Mouse inspired exterior theming, driven by a Walt Disney World Cast Member can take guests to and from any destination within the Walt Disney World Resort for a flat fee of $20 per ride. Lyft Founder John Zimmer said of the partnership “Playing a part in a family’s experience at the most magical place on earth is a dream come true.
In March 2018, Lyft partnered with Allscripts to create a platform allowing healthcare providers to arrange rides for patients who lack transportation to appointments. The service would be available to 2,500 hospitals, 180,000 physicians, and approximately 7 million patients.
On September 6, 2018, Lyft launched a fleet of electric scooters in Denver.
In November 2018, Lyft acquired Motivate, a bicycle-sharing system and the operator of Capital Bikeshare and Citi Bike. The company also announced plans to add 28,000 Citi Bikes and expand its service.
In December 2018, Lyft launched additional scooter fleets in Arlington County, Virginia, Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tennessee, San Diego, Santa Monica, California and Washington, D.C..
On March 28, 2019, the company became a public company via an initial public offering. The company set aside some shares to be given to long time drivers.
Lyft is set to report first-quarter earnings after hours on May 7,
Lyft To Announce First Quarter 2019 Financial Results
SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lyft, Inc. (Nasdaq:LYFT) (the “Company” or “Lyft”), today announced that it will release financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2019 after the close of the market on Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
On the same day, Lyft will host a conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss these financial results and business highlights. To listen to a live audio webcast, please visit the Company’s Investor Relations page at https://investor.lyft.com/.
The archived webcast will be available on the Company’s Investor Relations page shortly after the call.
Lyft intends to use its Investor Relations website as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.
Lyft is singularly focused on improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. We are committed to creating positive change for our cities by redesigning the way consumers access transportation, reducing carbon emissions from the transportation system and making transportation inclusive and accessible for all riders.
Adrian Durbin / Alexandra LaManna
Will lyft be a good long term investment?