- Lyft announced this week it has expanded its pre-tax commuter benefits, available with the Lyft Line carpooling service, from four cities to 18 cities.
Last year, we introduced the ability to use pre-tax commuter benefits dollars for Lyft Line rides. Today, we’re excited to expand this offering to 14 new cities to help make commuting easier and more affordable: https://t.co/xMHD9WL1cL pic.twitter.com/1DPdVSeOuA— Lyft (@lyft) February 5, 2018
- Lyft works with WageWorks, Benefit Resource, Commuter Benefit Solutions, Navia, Zenefits and Ameriflex to offer Line commuter benefits to employees. The benefits enable riders to save more than 35% over traditional Lyft services.
- The benefits, which were originally offered in New York City, Boston, Seattle and Miami, are now also available in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose/Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.
Lyft has been an active opponent in the fight against vehicle congestion, and this latest announcement is just another method the company is using to reduce personal vehicle usage. Last week, Lyft was one of 15 leading mobility companies to sign the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, a pledge designed to "prioritize people over vehicles" and "support the shared and efficient use of vehicles." The Brookings Institution reports that 76.3% of commuters drive alone to work every day, a statistic that dramatically impacts GHG emissions, traffic and associated challenges.
Despite Lyft's well-intentioned efforts to increase carpooling with Lyft Line, the service has not quite taken off — particularly due to convenience factors. Rival service Uber also offers an "Uber Pool" option for carpooling, though according to a survey from The Rideshare Guy, 56.5% of surveyed drivers are dissatisfied with the pooling experience. By expanding its pre-tax commuter benefits to 18 cities, Lyft is increasing rider incentive for choosing a carpooling option over a traditional one-passenger Lyft ride, though its success in these cities remains to be seen.
It will be up to employers to push these benefits and work with cities to discourage the use of personal vehicles. Many employees are already working to make commuting more efficient, and Best Workplaces for Commuters has identified 200 companies that "offer discounted transit passes and other incentives, including remote work opportunities, bicycle racks for cyclists and emergency rides home," according to HR Dive.