Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Lyft comes to Canada, sans-moustache

The ridesharing service Lyft, an Uber alternative, is coming to Toronto, building on its success in 300+ U.S. cities, providing 1 million rides a day.

"Lyft's marketing strategy, which is geared toward the young and technologically savvy, draws a relaxed and friendly demographic." Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times

As a brand, Lyft became known for the large pink furry moustaches drivers attached to the front of their cars. While memorable, the furry moustaches were eventually dropped, to overcome the resistance of some riders to arrive at destinations, such as business meetings, in a car with a giant moustache.

The replacement was nicknamed the "Glowstache" (a small, glowing plastic dashboard moustache). The latest Lyft iteration is a new color-changing dashboard indicator called "Amp."

Lyft is designed to encourage interaction between riders and drivers. When launched, Lyft riders were encouraged to sit in the front seat and fist bump with drivers upon meeting.

"You feel like you're in the car with a friend, and that's no mistake... Whether it's bringing someone a sandwich for the ride or letting them choose the music in the car, Lyft drivers have their own budding community growing." Drew Olanoff, TechCrunch

Music preferences are just one of the personal details that both passengers and drivers are encouraged to add to their profiles, facilitating conversation.

"Lyft is a real community—with both the drivers and riders being inherently social—making real friendships and saving money." Scott Weiss, Andreessen Horowitz (venture capital investor)

How it works:

  • 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.
  • At the end of the ride, the passenger is given the opportunity to provide a gratuity to the driver, billed to the rider's payment method.
  • After a ride is completed, drivers and passengers are given the opportunity to rate each other on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Any driver averaging a low rating by users is dropped from the service. Lyft does not allow passengers to know their rating.

The 5 year old transportation network company is based in San Francisco, California. Canada is Lyft's first international operation.

Related content
Lyft Launches Toronto Expansion on Tuesday - CTV
CITY Q&A: Timothy Houghton, head of Lyft Toronto, on what it’s like to take on Uber - Toronto Life
Lyft Launches in Toronto with SickKids Donation - Betakit
Lyft plans to operate more than 100 vehicles in Hamilton - CBC
Lyft is Coming to Canada - Huffington Post

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