- Lyft released its 2018 Economic Impact Report, which includes various statistics regarding Lyft's national reach, local impact and driver impact. The company surveyed 30,000 riders and 37,000 drivers across 52 cities for the purpose of the assessment.
- Of the many details in the report, Lyft touts: 42% of riders use Lyft to commute to work; 31% use Lyft as an alternative to public transit; 21% use public transit more with the assistance of Lyft; 75% of disabled riders have increased mobility due to Lyft; and passengers have spent an additional $2 billion in local businesses across the country.
- Lyft also notes that "hundreds of thousands of passengers got rid of a household vehicle thanks to the availability of ridesharing," underscoring a larger trend resulting from the popularity of the sharing economy.
2017 was a year of significant growth for Lyft, as the rideshare company became the first to reach all 50 states, entered an international market, partnered with Phoenix for first mile/last mile ride opportunities, and increased its offerings for disabled riders. The company grabbed the opportunity to become a leader in the ridesharing space as its main competitor, Uber, faced a wealth of scandals throughout the year.
Statistics presented in Lyft's economic report are not surprising, but they do highlight some industry trends that may shift the world of transportation in the coming years. The first notable trend is the dip of car ownership, made possible by the accessibility of rideshare. While personal vehicles are far from obsolete, some cities have begun preparing for a future where rideshare services are a primary form of transportation — which will only be accelerated by the increased acceptance of self-driving vehicles.
This acceptance was highlighted in the report, as Lyft touted 83% of its riders "would request a ride in a self-driving vehicle when the service is available." Lyft is currently testing self-driving cars in Boston, though the success of the pilot is yet to be revealed. Consumer acceptance of autonomous technology spiked around the globe in the last year, and this acceptance is likely to grow with support from popular rideshare services.
Another notable trend is the preference of rideshare over, or in addition to, public transit. Many cities are scrambling to maintain transit ridership in the face of rideshare competition, especially as city systems fall victim to maintenance demands and increased costs. Cities will need to continue to evaluate the possibilities of public-private partnerships that could increase public access to transit through rideshare operations.