Lyft, a new ride sharing service, launched in Cleveland this past weekend. The company, which debuted its new service with a parade of cars decorated in pink, fuzzy mustaches, connects users in the areas with drivers who are able to give them rides to their chosen destination. As the company says, “Lyft is your friend with a car.”
Users can download the Lyft app for free from the Apple and Android app stores, which will start them off with two weeks of free ride credits through Lyft’s Pioneer Program. Once they have the app, anyone in need of a ride is shown current cars available, and can choose the one nearest them. Before committing to a ride, the user gets to see a picture of both the driver and the car, and previous ratings of the driver.
Once the user picks a ride, they’re encouraged to hop in the front seat and make a friend while they’re heading to their destination. Although Lyft drivers are not professional drivers, the company does a full background check on every applicant.
Once the ride is over, both riders and drivers give a rating on their ride companion. This allows Lyft to remove bad drivers from the program. Similarly, the rider rating lets the company and the drivers know which customers are problematic and should be ousted from the service.
The cost of taking Lyft is relatively low. The pickup fee is $1.98, with an additional $1.80 per mile and 20 cents per minute. There is a minimum fare of $5.00. Users enter their credit card information directly into the app and pay electronically. Even tips are done through the app, so no cash is necessary.