- Ride-share company Lyft has launched a new program in Chicago, Ditch with Lyft, encouraging people to "break up with your car for a month" and instead use public transportation or alternative mobility options.
- The first 100 people who agree to give up their personal vehicle for the month of August will receive a $550 credit for other mobility services, according to Engadget. The breakdown of credits is $300 for Lyft carpool trips, $45 for a Divvy bike-share pass, $100 for ZipCar vehicle share and $105 for public transit train and bus service. Participants reportedly must prove to Lyft that they own their vehicle.
- Lyft is looking to launch a similar program in Portland, OR later this year, but participants would have to give up their vehicles for year, reports The Verge.
Chicago is a favorable location to launch this type of program because the metropolitan area suffers from crippling rush hour traffic, but it also has a solid public transit system with decent ridership numbers and a variety of other mobility options like bike-share and car-share.
The program draws attention to the costs associated with car ownership, which Lyft estimates to be $13,000 a year — or a little more than $1,000 a month — in Chicago, when factoring in parking, fuel and maintenance. Providing $550 in credits allows program participants to assess mobility options that have the potential to be friendlier on the monthly budget.
This summer, Lyft integrated public transit information into its app, furthering the desire to partner with cities on first mile/last mile transportation solutions. It also acquired bike-share company Motivate, which operates Chicago's Divvy docked bike-share system. The moves are part of an industry-wide trend to integrate mobility options.
Including the stipulation that program participants use Lyft credits for carpool trips, this initiative reflects the company's goal of 50% of all Lyft rides being shared trips by the end of 2020.