The ride sharing service known for its cars festooned with fuzzy, pink mustaches launched in 24 new urban markets including Lexington and Louisville April 24.
Lyft, a service that allows customers to request taxi-like rides through an app on either iOS or Android, is expanding rapidly along with its competitors like the perhaps better known Uber.
Pricing for Lyft’s ride sharing is also far more accessible than say Uber’s. That company has been dinged repeatedly for its “surge pricing” model that some have argued is the equivalent of price gouging, although Uber strongly protests such characterizations.
Lyft, however, is the first to enter the Lexington market and, as such, is celebrating its launch by offering free rides for the first two weeks. The company has even taken the time to compile a list of cultural events during that window to encourage residents to get out and about.
“The 24 cities Lyft launched on April 24 – including Lexington – all have strong community roots and local hometown pride that make them great fits for Lyft,” says Lyft spokesperson Katie Dally. “Many residents of these cities rely heavily on their own cars to get around town, and we wanted them to have an opportunity to leave their cars at home – or to give rides to their neighbors and put their empty seats to new use.”
“Lexington’s traditions of progressivism, friendliness and Southern hospitality make it an especially great city for Lyft, which helps connect and strengthen the local community while offering a new transportation option for residents,” Dally continued.
As part of the two-week launch window, Lyft will also be matching trip prices and donating them to The Nest—Center for Women, Children and Families. Lizzy Haynes, special events coordinator for The Nest was enthusiastic with her support, “Lyft is such a unique concept and we are more than thrilled and appreciative that Lyft has chosen to support The Nest and the Lexington community!”
If you’re not familiar with how services like Lyft work—here’s the lowdown.
As with everything these days, it’s all about the app. That means that every interaction with the service goes through either its iOS or Android applications. There’s no calling drivers, cash, or fiddling with slow credit card machines.
When you first download the app and launch it, Lyft will ask for your user personal information including your credit card number. With that entered, the app locates you using GPS and with the tap of one button the nearest free Lyft driver will be notified of your location and soon be on his or her way to pick you up (you’ll get a text letting you know they’re on the way).
Once at your destination, the Lyft app calculates your fare and charges the card saved to your account. The only thing left for you—dear customer—is to tip and rate the driver, which is also completed in the app.
Lexingtonians looking to take advantage of Lyft can expect to pay $1.90 per mile plus another $0.30 per minute. On top of that, the service also charges users $1.20 for pickup, a $1.00 fee for “Trust & Safety,” and the current minimum charge for a ride is $5.00 (the same price it costs to cancel a ride).
Users in Lexington can request rides 24/7 but while the service does cover most of Lexington, it doesn’t cover all of Fayette County.
This article also appears on page 5 of the May 2014 issue of Ace.
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