Over the last five years, Zimride and Lyft have pioneered the evolution of ridesharing with a focus on improving affordability, sustainability, community and safety. As a movement, we remain focused on changing the fact that 80% of seats on our roads are empty while transportation continues to be America’s 2nd highest household expense. To fully understand where we are today, it’s important to remember where we’ve come from.
Ten years ago, universities had physical ride boards where people posted offers and requests on bulletin boards. As more activities went online, ridesharing moved to sites like Craigslist, which now has one million rides posted each year. Most recently, Facebook and the social graph have allowed for rideshare improvements in social identity (Zimride), and smartphones have increased efficiency and mobility (Lyft). This evolution has brought about rideshare safety improvements as well as large savings for the community and environment. Over the past five years, Zimride and Lyft have launched platforms used by 150 organizations across the country including: The Department of Energy, Intuit, Genentech, Oracle, Facebook, all University of California campuses, and several of the CSU and California Community Colleges. Users on our platforms have saved more than $100 million in vehicle expenses, reduced over 100,000 tons of CO2 and produced thousands of friendships and even one marriage.
As with all innovation (Lyft, Zipcar, Airbnb), there will always be challenges and hurdles that must be overcome. Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued cease and desist letters to us, Sidecar and Tickengo. The letters are part of the CPUC’s effort to understand how these new services and technologies fit within the existing regulatory framework. From the beginning, we carefully designed the service to be in full compliance with the law. Additionally, we’ve gone above and beyond current requirements by offering a first-of-its-kind $1 million excess liability insurance policy to give both drivers and passengers peace of mind. We took the letter as an opportunity to open a conversation with the CPUC and explain what we’re all about. Since receiving the letter, we’ve had productive conversations with CPUC staff about how these services greatly benefit the local community and complement existing alternatives. The Lyft community will continue to operate as we engage in this dialogue.
Today more than ever, we are convinced that transportation status quo is unacceptable. In a few years, we’ll look back on these early days and remember today’s community members as pioneers of a more affordable, more sustainable and more united world. Thank you for being part of this important movement.
Logan Green & John Zimmer
Co-Founders, Lyft & Zimride
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