August 3, 2013
Lyft: Cars With Pink Mustaches?
First of all, what is Lyft? Lyft is an on demand ride service with regular people using their own vehicles, placing a pink mustache on the nose of their car and offering rides to people. It’s a different kind of taxi service. The person wanting a ride uses the Zimride app to request a ride from one point to another.
Currently the service is available in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angles, and Seattle, but John Zimmer, cofounder of Lyft, wants to expand to other cities.
The average ride cost about $10. However, the drivers are encouraged to express themselves; some drivers have artwork drawn on their vehicles. Also, they are urged to join twitter, and offer their passengers a little something extra, like candy, fruit, or drinks, non-alcoholic, of course.
“We really want everyone to have this opportunity to explore their creativity with Lyft,” said Zimmer.
All the Lyft cars have an assortment of smartphone chargers, but the drivers do more than just give rides.
Grant Gordon, one of the Lyft drivers, decorated his car with checkerboard paint and has scribbles and drawings from his passengers and passerby’s. Some cars have games for their passengers, and the poetry car keeps a Tumblr of rider’s poems. One driver in Los Angeles dresses up like Batman while giving his rides.
Driver Chris Biggs takes the giving of treats a step further. He bakes two batches of cookies and places them in Tupperware, lets the riders taste each kind and vote for their favorite. He takes the winning cookie, announces it on twitter and adds it to the next days’ flavors.
“Lyft is all about being the friend with the car, treating that person as if they were a friend of yours,” said Zimmer.
Drivers are trained to fist bump when they greet the rider, a way of breaking the ice, so to speak. Passengers are also asked to sit in the front seat as a friendlier ride and to engage in conversations.
Vehicles the Lyft drivers have range from compact Honda Civics, to high-end cars like Jaguar and Tesla. The app doesn’t let the rider choose the car to ride in, but they can choose how much to pay the driver after their ride is over. They can raise the suggested fee if they have a great ride experience, or lower it, depending on how they felt about the ride.
Image Credit: Lyft