On Friday, July 25, 2014 at 7 PM Lyft launched in New York City after finalizing agreements to offer rides to city commuters. Lyft will be serving the five boroughs of New York City, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, starting with a beta launch, followed by a full rollout in the following weeks.
Lyft is a car service of its kind to come to New York City. Lyft focuses on a peer-to-peer model, a “community powered transportation” model, in which “neighbors are driving neighbors in their personal cars.” To use the service, customers can request a car from the Lyft application on smart phones. Once the request is made, the customer will be matched with a nearby driver. Customers can then track the route and estimated time of arrival through the Lyft app. A photo of the car and the driver will also appear on the app, this allows the customer to identify the driver when they arrive. Once the ride is complete, the payment transaction will automatically be made through the Lyft app.
Unlike other cities, Lyft will use a Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) model in NYC, in which the drivers in New York City are required to register with the TLC. Currently operations in other cities, consist of drivers who own a car and want to drive during their free time, whereas drivers in NY will not have the same luxury and be required to register as cab drivers.
In the coming months Lyft plans to expand to Buffalo and Rochester. For more information on Lyft, please visit: www.lyft.com