Lyft Statistics: Financial and Usage Information

09/28/2019
By Logan Quirk

One reason that you might find Lyft statistics interesting is that you use or work for the rideshare company. But everyone who lives in a city where Lyft operates should know more about how the company works. Even if you aren’t a Lyft passenger or driver, you still share the roadways with the rideshare vehicles.

How Lyft Got Started

In 2007, Logan Green got the idea to start a long-distance ride-sharing company called “Zimride” based on a similar system he observed when visiting Zimbabwe. Green was using Craigslist and Greyhound to travel between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles to visit his girlfriend. Using the rideshare model allowed him to fill up more seats. Green partnered with John Zimmer to operate the company.

In May of 2012, the partners launched Lyft in San Francisco as a service of Zimride. This move added short-haul ride-sharing to their existing business. They used large, fuzzy pink mustaches that attached to the grill of their vehicles to make Lyft rides more recognizable. The designer of the mustaches, Ethan Eyler, joined Lyft later on as a brand manager.

Money began to flow in January of 2013, with the company raising $15 million. They expanded their services to Los Angeles. A few months later, they changed the name of “Zimride” to Lyft and started focusing on the short-haul ride sharing. They raised $60 million during another venture financing round before selling the Zimride business to the parent company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The Lyft partners then turned their focus onto growing Lyft.

In April 2014, Lyft announced plans to add 24 locations and expansion into 60 cities, including New York City. At this point in the company’s growth, they stopped taking commissions from drivers temporarily and cut customers fares by 20%. During the same period, they took in $250 million during another round of funding, bringing their total of funds to $332.5 million. It isn’t until July of 2014 that Lyft ran into legal trouble.

Lyft’s Meets Resistance and Legal Troubles

In July, The New York Supreme Court in Manhattan forced the rideshare company to delay its launch into Brooklyn and Queens, citing complaints from then-attorney general Eric Schneiderman that their company plans were illegal and violated the city’s taxi and limousine laws. The company was forced to comply with regulations before being permitted to compete with the yellow cabs.

Lyft met resistance in other states, including legal challenges in California. They resolved some situations quickly, while others were more problematic. Overall, the company grew without the same level of controversy that plagued Uber.

During August of the same year, the mega rideshare company, Uber, began a project called “Hell.” This program targeted Lyft with fake accounts; the FBI later investigated the project. Uber was apparently sending brand ambassadors to order rides with Lyft undercover before persuading drivers to go over to Uber.

Part of the issue came from the loss of Lyft’s former chief operating officer Travis VanderZanden, who went to Uber during that August. Lyft accused VanderZanden of stealing company secrets in a complaint filed in San Francisco’s Superior Court.

Lyft Continues to Grow

Lyft grew its funds by $530 million and added Lyft Carpool to its list of services, allowing passengers to carpool outside of the city limits. They raised another $150 million in May, then partner with Starbucks in July. The two businesses combined to give Lyft drivers the option to become Gold members in Starbucks’ Rewards Loyalty Program.

lyft statistics

Lyft and Uber: A Comparison

One of the most interesting things about Lyft statistics is how they stack up against their major competitor, Uber. In September of 2014, the Chinese ride-sharing company, Didi Chuxing, invested $100 million in Lyft. The partnership allowed users of both businesses to hail a car in either country. This move helped create a global hedge against Uber’s growth. However, in December of 2017, Didi Chuxing announced they were ending their U.S. experiment and encouraged users to download Lyft.

Starbucks continues to partner with Lyft, along with some significant domestic and international investments from General Motors, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Rakuten, Didi Kuadi, Alphabet, Alibaba, and Tencent.

Lyft Statistics Today

Now that you know a little bit about the journey that brought Lyft into your city, let’s look at some Lyft statistics on how the company is operating today.

  • 29 to 35% of the rideshare market
  • The company is valued at $15.1 billion as of 2018
  • Lyft boasts an impressive 23 million users
  • The company reached 1 billion rides in late 2018
  • Lyft has 1.4 million drivers
  • Users between the ages of 25 and 34 account for just over half of all Lyft users
  • Lyft drivers earned more than $10 billion by the end of 2018
  • 91% of the company’s drivers drive for Lyft fewer than 20 hours per week
  • About 75% of drivers are happy with their driving experience
  • The company claims their drivers make an average of $18.83 per hour. In California, the introduction of Assembly Bill 5 is threatening to increase that number.
  • While Lyft is only in larger U.S. cities, this includes 95% of the country’s total population
  • Lyft passengers average using the rideshare company’s services 4.9 times a month
  • 29% of Lyft users have requested a ride to access healthcare services
  • People spend more on Lyft rides in San Francisco, averaging $89 per month

For many people, Lyft statistics don’t mean a lot until you compare them to those of Uber. The rideshare giant came earlier than Lyft, getting its start in 2009 in San Francisco and then in NYC early in 2010. In many ways, Uber paved the way for Lyft and other rideshare companies that have popped up here and there. While the two businesses operate on a similar platform, there are some significant differences between the two.

Lyft Uber
Offered a more casual atmosphere in which passengers sat up front and fist-bump the driver Originally focused on providing corporate rides, using black vehicles – similar to Lyft now but still leans towards high-end luxury or corporate options
Raises prices during times of high demand – called Prime Time Raises prices during times of high demand – Called surge pricing
Only available in North America Available in cities all over the world
Charges more for prime time rides in the form of a percentage that is added to the base price, increasing as much as two times Charges more for surge pricing by adding a multiplier to the base price depending on the location increasing the cost as much as seven or eight times
App not as user-friendly, but improving – allows users to schedule a stop along the route App provides a better idea of the total cost of a ride up front – an increase in features has made the app less user-friendly
Offers only four types of rides, from the cheapest Lyft Line to the Lyft Premier with seating for up to four passengers Offers six types of rides, from the cheapest UberPOOL to the UberSUV for up to six passengers
More responsive support for passengers and drivers Offers more “generic” responses to some types of issues

Lyft and Uber have a lot in common these days, perhaps more than their differences, including:

  • They offer a choice of vehicles ranging from four-door sedans to large SUVs
  • Offer lower fares for rides with other passengers going to similar destinations
  • Have an online tool that allows you to estimate your fare before requesting a ride
  • Provide a warning to passengers when a fare is subject to a higher price due to increased demand
  • Apps provide the option to add a tip and rate the driver
  • Apps allow drivers to rate passengers

Important Lyft Statistics for Drivers

For anyone driving for the rideshare company, the most important factor is the pay. This is one area where Lyft surpasses Uber, at least for the time being. Rates vary among cities, depending on the type of vehicle the driver uses and the hours they drive. Lyft takes a smaller cut than Uber, resulting in a higher average rate overall.

Another area that is similar between the two rideshare companies is the type and amount of insurance they carry. Both Lyft and Uber provide a $1 million liability policy to protect passengers. The companies also require their drivers to carry personal auto insurance. However, many realize too late that Lyft insurance policies only kick in during certain phases of the ride. They also fail to cover the driver’s losses, including their injuries or damages to their vehicle.

Driving for Lyft as a Career

Many Lyft drivers work for the rideshare company to make a supplemental income during their spare time. Increasingly, people have taken on driving for Lyft as a means of full-time income. Some drivers even go long distances to and from home to work in areas where they can get more ride requests and charge higher rates.

The concept of rideshare services is still fairly new and fraught with controversy. One of the most significant issues has been the designation of their drivers as “independent contractors” instead of employees. This classification allows the company to benefit from the drivers’ services without the liability of putting them on the roads.

The more time any driver spends behind the wheel, the greater their risk of having an accident. For Lyft drivers who spend hours giving rides each day, the potential of having an accident is nearly a certainty. When it happens, many aren’t prepared for the outcome. The vehicle they depend on for work and their other types of transportation might need to be repaired or replaced. The circumstances and the location make a difference in whether their personal auto insurance pays anything. The phase of the ride determines if it’s Lyft that pays.

Passengers in Lyft vehicles

Every time you ride in a Lyft vehicle, you’re at risk of getting in an accident and getting injured. As easy as it is to call up a Lyft for a ride, you can’t lay back and let everyone else take care of the accident details. What you do at the time of the accident will help you get the compensation you need to pay for your damages.

Ridesharing has impacted the auto insurance industry. It’s also changed how e look at liability when an accident happens. Often, it isn’t just a matter of who caused the wreck and who was injured. If you have an accident as a Lyft passenger, you might need to file a claim against the insurance company of the driver, Lyft, a third party, or any combination of those three.

The most important evidence for your Lyft accident claim is available for only a short time. Witnesses disappear, and the evidence left by the wreck gets cleaned up quickly. Don’t assume that it’s someone else’s responsibility because you’re riding in their car. It’s up to you to start preparing your case now so that you get the best possible outcome for your claim.

How Lyft Policies Differ from Those of Taxis

For many years, taxi accidents were the closest thing we had to Lyft accidents. The major difference between the two is that rideshare companies have commercial insurance policies while taxi drivers don’t. Technically, taxi drivers are employees; not independent contractors like Lyft drivers. In either case, you have the same responsibilities whenever a wreck happens. Gather evidence and get the insurance information for every driver involved.

If you are sure what you should do next, contact a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case. Dealing with insurance companies is one of the biggest obstacles accident victims face. They use a range of tactics that allow them to pay you as little as possible. An attorney will inform you of your rights and explain your options going forward.

Why You Should Contact Quirk Law Group

One of the Lyft statistics you don’t want to be part of is the accident victims who haven’t received adequate compensation for their injuries and damages. Quirk Law Group fuses traditional concepts with progressive ideas and real-world experience to get results for you. That’s the kind of approach it takes with new concepts like the rideshare platform.

If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, contact Quirk Law Group today.

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