What Is lyft?

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House, Abshier House

Lyft launched the original concept of rideshare in 2012. So what is a rideshare? The idea behind lyft and other rideshare companies is to provide a more technically advanced, cheaper alternative to taxi services, as well as make the ride more personal by enabling you to know who it is you will be trusting to drive you from point A to point B.

Have you ever wondered what those funny pink mustaches mean that are attached to the front of some cars you see driving around town? The pink mustache or grill-stache was the original branding for lyft cars so that riders would be able to identify the car when it arrives to pick them up. The grill-stache has since been retired and replaced by a smaller, glow in the dark, pink dash-stache.

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What makes lyft different from other rideshares is that lyft provides detailed profile information on the driver and encourages you to make a social connection with them before, during, and even after your trip across town.

How to use lyft

To use lyft simply locate, download, and install the mobile application on any Android and iOS device from the Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store.

Sadly, lyft has not yet been developed to work on Mac, PC, Blackberry and Windows Phone platforms.

When you first launch of the application lyft will ask you to create an account with your current telephone number, email, and credit or debit card information. Enter all information accordingly and follow lyft’s verification process to complete account setup.

Make sure your information is correct since the lyft application will verify everything you entered before the account can be finalized, and you can start getting your rides from lyft.

After you have successfully created your account, launch the application and follow these easy steps to complete your first ride using lyft:

  • On the home screen you will be presented with a map of your area.

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  • In the box just below the map, enter your desired destination and the map will populate drivers in your area that are going in that direction once you have tapped the “Request Lyft” button.

  • Tap on one of the cars to view the car type, the distance the car is from you, the driver’s profile (rating, photos, and basic information) as well as the fare for the ride.

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  • After you have found a driver of your liking, tap the Call Driver button on the bottom of the screen.

  • After you reach your destination, the app will automatically move to the pay/rate screen and allow you to adjust the tip amount as well as rate the driver for his services.

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  • Tap “Submit” to process your payment and complete your ride using lyft.

How to become a lyft driver

Becoming a lyft driver is not as easy as it is with other companies, such as Uber. The following criteria must be met in order for you to qualify as a lyft driver — No Exceptions:

  • All potential drivers are screened by the Department of Motor Vehicles, National Sex Offender Registry, and undergo a criminal background check.

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older.

  • Drivers must have a valid driver’s license for more than one year.

  • Applicant must perform several interviews with current lyft drivers in the area.

  • Applicant’s car must have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage up to $1 million USD.

The driver’s rating determines whether or not lyft will keep you as a driver for the rideshare service. If a driver’s rating drops below 2 stars, the company will disqualify the driver from being visible to lyft customers, and they will contact the driver with the reason of their decision.

If you are still interested in becoming a lyft driver and sporting one of those funky pink grill-staches or dash-staches on your car, fill out the application on the lyft web page.