Lyft, a Cheaper Way to Get Around Town?

Young Rae Kim |

Cars sporting pink fluffy mustaches on their front grills are popping up with increasing frequency in major cities around the United States. Those pink mustachioed-cars are the trademark of Lyft, a mobile ride-sharing app that offer users with an alternative way of getting around town. 

Spo Lyft cars have pink mustaches. But how does the service work, and what sets it apart?

The Lyft mobile application allows anyone with a Facebook account and a credit card to book a ride with a nearby Lyft driver. Drivers receive notification of a customer’s location and access to their Facebook accounts and usually arrive in 5-10 minutes.

What makes Lyft unique is that drivers work solely off of donations. At the end of the ride customers decide how much they think the value of the ride was and pay with the credit linked to their account. Cash is not accepted. Drivers do not see how much they are paid until the end of the week.

Lyft drivers do not have worry about getting short-changed because they have the ability blacklist people who do not pay. In addition, the company guarantees a $15 per hour minimum for their drivers. People who attempt to hitch a free ride may receive a poor ranking preventing them from being picked up in the future.

Lyft is a much more social experience, unlike traditional services like taxis. Drivers are trained to be friendly and outgoing. In addition, many drivers will personalize their cars and ask their customers to sit up front. Snacks, goodies and food are commonly offered to the passengers.

While the company was first challenged by taxi services for operating illegally, on September 19, California officially approved Lyft and other ride-sharing services by installing regulations. California now requires training, background checks, and vehicle inspections for drivers. In addition, companies will have to implement a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.


(image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)





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