- Lyft announced in a blog post Wednesday that it is committing $1.5 million to expand its Relief Rides program over the next year.
- The program allows Lyft to act as a "lifeline" during crisis situations or natural disasters by offering rides to those in need. The company highlighted its response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas, after which Lyft offered free rides to blood donation centers, and after the hurricanes in Florida and Texas, when Lyft offered free rides to shelters and hospitals, as examples of the program.
- The company is planning to expand the program by helping those in non-crisis situations as well. Lyft said this expansion could reach folks like returning veterans or those on low incomes who need rides to job interviews or medical appointments.
Lyft has been on a "do good" streak this year by championing its mission of "improv[ing] people's lives with the world's best transportation." Lyft also pushed this mission in April when it declared all its rides moving forward would be "carbon neutral" through a multi-million dollar investment in offset purchases.
At that time, the Lyft co-founders wrote, "We're in the unique and fortunate position to be a driving force in bringing forward a more sustainable future, and we don't take that lightly."
Through these charitable actions, Lyft is not only increasing its appeal to riders, but to cities as well — especially as its top competitor Uber struggles to maintain positive relationships with some of its cities of operation and has to right some wrongs. If the companies keep trending in these respective directions, it is possible that Lyft will creep past Uber as a "most favored" ride-share option.
Lyft has other areas to work on, however. TechCrunch reported that the company is facing a class-action discrimination lawsuit, and the company has been criticized for its impact on traffic and the traditional taxi industry.
By focusing on initiatives like the Relief Rides program, advancing its core values through commitments to equal pay and working to reverse the effects of climate change, the company is building up a more positive impact in an industry that is facing a significant amount of pressure to prove and improve itself.