Apps like Uber and Lyft could improve public transportation instead of undercutting it

Public transit ridership has declined nationwide over the last five years, but the number of miles travelled in cars is rising and traffic congestion is getting worse. While ride-hailing threatens public transit, it is also key to its future success – but only with smart policies and the right price signals, according to three UC Davis transportation and energy scholars in The Conversation. 
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Lyft acquires Citi Bike’s parent company

The Big Apple’s blue bikes are going pink. Ride-share app Lyft announced Monday that it’s buying Citi Bike’s parent company, Motivate. The cab company, known for its eye-catching pink logo, didn’t reveal how much it paid for Motivate — which also operates bike-rental programs in Boston, Washington, DC, and Chicago — but prior reports of…
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Lyft and United Way Are Giving Free Rides to 2-1-1 Callers in 12 Cities


Not having access to a set of wheels is the worst — especially if you live in a transportation desert or when you don’t have the financial means to hail a ride from an app.

No one wants to cancel a doctor’s appointment or job interview due to lack of transportation.

To help solve the problem, Lyft has partnered with United Way to provide free rides to residents in need in 12 cities. Transportation seekers just need to contact 2-1-1, a free, confidential help line operated by United Way that gives referrals and information 24/7 to people needing essential services.

The free Lyft rides are now available to residents in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco.

The service is made possible through the ride-hailing company’s Lyft Relief Rides program, which provides free rides to people in crisis. Free transportation will be available on a one-time basis to get people to and from nonemergency medical appointments, veterans services, job interviews and other employment-related stops.

Mary Sellers, the U.S. president for United Way Worldwide, told The Penny Hoarder 2-1-1 would do its best to accommodate those who need transportation on repeated occasions. However, the free Lyft ride service is not designed for those who need transportation on a regular or everyday basis.

Sellers said transportation assistance is among the top unmet needs for the help line. Last year, 20% of the more than 250,000 transportation requests 2-1-1 received could not be met with existing resources.

“By partnering with Lyft, we’re better able to meet community needs by helping individuals get the services they require,” Sellers said in a news release.

Lyft recently committed $ 1.5 million to its Lyft Relief Rides program.

According to United Way, the partnership with Lyft may expand to additional cities if the program is successful in the 12 pilot cities.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Doctors need patients to keep their appointments. Uber and Lyft want to help make that happen

Lyft and Uber are making a business shuttling patients to their doctors' appointments. But it could be a gamble.
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Lyft reportedly plans to buy Citi Bike

Lyft plans to purchase the company that operates Citi Bike, a new report says. The ride-share app is moving to purchase Motivate, which runs Citi Bike and other bike-share programs in several cities. Including New York City, it also operates in Boston, Washington, DC, and Chicago, according to the tech site The Information. The purchase…
Business | New York Post

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Uber, Lyft will let customers take sexual assault claims to court

Ride-share apps Uber and Lyft will no longer bar customers from taking them to court over sex-assault claims, the companies announced Tuesday. Customers previously waived many of their rights when signing up for the services. In addition to only being able to pursue claims against the firms through internal arbitration, riders weren’t allowed to even…
Business | New York Post

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Carl Icahn has big plans for Uber and Lyft

Carl Icahn is planning to get into the used-car business — and he’s eyeing Uber and Lyft as prospective clients. The hard-charging Wall Street titan — who has shelled out more than $ 2 billion to build a US auto-parts empire that includes Pep Boys, Auto Plus and the Aamco chain of car-repair shops — has…
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Lyft Business partnerships keep growing, but Uber still dominates for business travelers

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The rivalry between Lyft and Uber isn’t letting up anytime soon. 

The two ride-hailing apps keep a close eye on new product features and growth into new industries: when Uber started a commuter benefits program, Lyft was right behind them. Same with a variety of carpool programs, and more recently healthcare partnerships providing rides for medical patients.

On Tuesday, Lyft announced big growth for its business and partnership arm. With an expected $ 1 billion run-rate by the end of the year, the company has seen an impressive number of partnerships most noticeably in healthcare transportation. The top five largest health systems partner with Lyft. Read more…

More about Business, Uber, Lyft, Partners, and Tech


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Lyft is beta testing an all-access monthly subscription plan

Lyft Subscription

If you use Lyft to get around town on a regular basis, you might be able to take advantage of a new pilot program that lets heavy users of the service sign up for a monthly subscription service. Put simply, imagine Netflix for ridesharing.

According to The Verge, Lyft’s subscription service began popping up as an option for some users late last week. As far as the details go surrounding payment, users willing to pay $ 200 per month can receive upwards of 30 rides, an offer which breaks down to about $ 6.66 per ride. All in all, that’s a pretty good deal assuming that you’re not prone to using Lyft Line which can sometimes be as cheap as $ 3.50 per ride. Other riders, meanwhile, are being offered 7 rides in exchange for an upfront payment of $ 50.

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Lyft is beta testing an all-access monthly subscription plan originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 18 Mar 2018 at 23:28:09 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Lyft and Allscripts want to make it easier to get people to the doctor’s office

Lyft and Allscripts are partnering to schedule rides for medical appointments.
Health Care

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This Chicago News Anchor Quit His Job to Drive for Lyft and Start a Podcast

Everyone has a story.

That’s something journalists learn quickly. Everybody’s got a story to tell.

Ultimately, that’s why Anthony Ponce quit his job as a Chicago TV news anchor and reporter last year to pursue his passion project.

Now he drives for the ride-sharing service Lyft and interviews his passengers about their lives, producing a podcast called Backseat Rider. His passengers tell him things — crazy, real, profound, thoughtful, unexpected and true things.

“Everybody’s an expert on their own life,” says Ponce, 39. “So-called ordinary people have some of the most interesting stories that exist. I like being the one that’s pulling this oral history out of them.”

Oral Histories of Everyday People

Ponce spent 13 years in TV news, much of it as a reporter and weekend anchor for an NBC station in Chicago.

He grew disillusioned with it. In secret, he’d started to drive for Lyft in his spare time, testing out his idea: “I wanted to make sure people would talk to me on tape.”

And talk to him they do. “You’d be surprised how many people say yes.”

Ponce was inspired by hit podcasts like “Serial” and “This American Life,” and by the legacy of Studs Terkel, a Chicago author and broadcaster known for his oral histories of everyday Americans.

So in July 2016, he left his TV job to launch his new venture. It was only four months after the birth of his son, Theo. But his wife, Maggie, gave him her blessing to take the risk.

Nowadays, Ponce tools around Chicago in a Subaru Forester compact SUV, picking up Lyft passengers and ferrying them to and fro.

Not everyone wants to talk. Some are fixated on their phones or off in their own world.

“I just start chatting, making small talk,” he says. “That gives you a good gauge of whether a person’s interested in speaking to you.”

If they seem open to it, Ponce gives them his little spiel about how he’s also a journalist who does a storytelling podcast. There are also little signs in the car explaining what Backseat Rider is.

Sometimes he’ll prompt them by asking his “question of the week.”

What is your most valued possession?

Have you ever feared for your life?

Have you ever witnessed anything paranormal?

What motivates you in tough times?

Do you have any rituals?

Is there a single day that changed your life forever?

What keeps you up at night?

The back seat of the Subaru functions as a miniature recording studio. Ponce keeps his eyes on the road, his hands on the wheel. He listens carefully and keeps the conversation going.

His passengers — business execs, bartenders, students, strippers — can be stunningly candid, especially since Ponce doesn’t use their faces or names.

He recently wrapped up his 53rd podcast.

Making It Work Financially

The financial part of this gets a little tricky. Following your dream is great, but Ponce walked away from a well-paying job, and Chicago’s not a cheap place to raise a family.

Here’s how he and his wife are making it work, for now.

They moved out of their house and into the second floor of his parents’ house, also in Chicago. That’s supposed to be temporary. They’re renting out their old house, so they get income from that.

Ponce works two days a week for Morning Dose, a syndicated morning news show that runs in a half-dozen major TV markets.

And of course, he drives for Lyft, which allows him to set his own hours.

“I drive two or three days a week,” he explains. “If I drive all day, it usually comes out to about 100 bucks, give or take. That’s five longer rides or 15 shorter rides.”

“I’ll usually call it a day after 100 bucks. I get fatigued because I’m multitasking. I’m really aggressively listening to these people.”

The trickiest part has been figuring out the business of podcasting, a growing industry. He produces one episode of Backseat Rider per week. He’s earning some advertising money from it, and he’s trying to build on that.

“Between all those things, I’m able to make it work,” he said. “We don’t want to stay with my parents for more than a year, so the pressure is on to grow the podcast audience.”

“I consider myself an entrepreneur. I’m really fortunate to have a wife and parents who believe in this project.”

A Little Advice

Photo courtesy of Anthony Ponce

Ponce’s advice for anyone who’s thinking about starting a podcast: “Focus on the quality of the show before anything else. Find your voice. Advertising and promotion should come after creating a quality show.”

Ponce’s advice for anyone who’s thinking about driving for Lyft: “On your first day, don’t start in rush hour or at night. Get to know the app, get into a groove. Start in the off hours.”

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. His favorite Backseat Rider podcast is the super crazy one where the passenger turned out to be going on a drug run — all of it caught on tape.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Lyft is expanding beyond the US for the first time with service in Toronto

The ride-hailing war between Uber and Lyft is moving north of the border.
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Softbank CEO hasn’t decided whether to back Uber or Lyft

SoftBank, a prolific investor in global technology startups, reported a sharp rise in quarterly profits and said it would be interested in parking funds in ride-hailing firms Uber or Lyft in the future. This is the first time Softbank has publicly indicated an interest in Uber, after having so far put funds into its rival…
Business | New York Post

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Lyft drivers pissed about messy Taco Bell partnership

Lyft drivers are in Taco Hell. The ride-sharing company and Taco Bell have teamed up for “Taco Mode” – allowing for passengers in Orange County, California, to enjoy a “ride-thru” stop at their local Taco Bell between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. But Lyft drivers are fuming that the late-night double chalupa runs will leave…
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Lyft announces its own fleet of driverless cars

There may be no need to tip you Lyft driver in Boston later this year — because there may no be a driver. The ride-hailing company said Friday it will introduce driverless cars to its Beantown fleet later this year — before expanding the program to other cities. Lyft had announced in June that it…
Tech | New York Post

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