Peer-to-peer ridesharing service
launched in Baltimore this month.
Users download the Lyft app on their iPhone or Android device and select their pickup location. They request an available driver and get a "lyft" where they need to go. After the ride is finished, users rate drivers on the app and give them a donation. The donations are collected through the app itself, and drivers keep about 80 percent of their take.
Co-founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in San Francisco last year, Lyft is an offshoot of Zimride
, a digital ridesharing community that came to be in 2007.
Lyft was founded in San Francisco and currently operates in a total of 16 cities. An influx of $60 million in Series C funding
in May, led by Andreessen Horowitz, has allowed Lyft to scale. Lyft's Boston operation launched in May and marked the first East Coast location for the business; D.C. was the second East Coast city and launched in August.
Drivers must be at least 23 years old and drive a car with a model year of 2000 or newer. They must pass various screening interviews, criminal background checks and DMV checks, and their vehicle must past inspection. Lyft also carries heftly liability insurance on its drivers--$1 million per occurrence. These factors should make users feel secure in requesting a ride from a pink-mustachioed car.
Sean Mandell, a top-tier driver for Lyft in San Francisco, has been giving riders "lyfts" for eight months. "It has been a great experience and has provided great stories, new friends and great networking," Mandell says. "[Lyft] has revolutionized transportation needs in San Francisco."
Writer: Alyson Jacob
A version of this story first appeared in sister publication Elevation DC