Today, Lyft is expanding our Community Safety Program to bring riders and drivers greater protection and peace of mind
By John Zimmer, Lyft president and co-founder
Safety is the cornerstone of all healthy communities, and it’s one of the key values Lyft was founded on. We don’t take lightly any instances where someone’s safety is compromised, especially in the rideshare industry, including the allegations of assault in the news last week. The reality is that certain populations carry a disproportionate burden simply trying to get to work or back home after a night out — in the U.S., one in six women will face some form of sexual violence in their lives. The onus is on all of us to learn from any incident, whether it occurs on our platform or not, and then work to help prevent them.
Today, we’re taking further action toward our goal of making Lyft the safest form of transportation for everyone with new initiatives to better predict if someone needs help; to provide easier access to emergency assistance; and require sexual violence prevention education with RAINN.
GROUNDING SAFETY IN ACTION & PARTNERING WITH EXPERTS
One in five Lyft employees are directly involved in work that advances our commitment to safety. In February, we formed a Community Safety Program steering committee under the leadership of General Counsel Kristin Sverchek, along with Chief Policy Officer and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. In 2019, we’ve launched 14 new safety features, including increased anti-fraud measures and requiring detailed feedback for any rides less than four stars.
Here’s what we are delivering next, starting today:
1. Smart Trip Check-In: Predicting when someone needs help. If a ride looks to have unexplained delays, riders and drivers will hear from us asking if they need support from our team — and if necessary, request emergency assistance. This feature was built using data from millions of trips, and will roll out this year.
2. Emergency Assistance: Access to 911 from the app. All of our safety features in the app will be available in a single place, including a way for both drivers and riders to reach 911. Emergency assistance from the app — available to all users today — prominently displays their current location and vehicle information, including the license plate. This makes it easy for them to inform dispatchers if needed.
3. Community Safety Education: Holding each other accountable. Technology alone is not enough. Today, we’re announcing a partnership with RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, to ensure we’re effective at educating our community to protect against bad actors. Starting this fall, all Lyft drivers will be required to complete additional mandatory Community Safety Education. Riders must agree to Lyft’s Community Guidelines, and anyone reported for violating them will be removed from the platform or required to take additional Community Safety Education.
This builds off our existing safety features and policies we have in place:
Continuous Criminal Monitoring: Our daily screenings for drivers quickly notify Lyft of criminal convictions. Any driver who does not pass both annual and continuous criminal screenings is barred from our platform.
License & Photo Verification: Riders always know in advance the driver and license plate of the vehicle they’re getting into.
Route Location Sharing: Riders can share their route and ETA with their loved ones even before the ride starts.
Two-way Ratings: Drivers and riders rate one another anonymously after each ride, providing valuable feedback so we can take the appropriate action when needed.
Anti-fraud measures: We can accurately prevent fraud by confirming a driver’s identity with a selfie.
SAFETY IS FUNDAMENTAL TO TRANSPORTATION
Bottom line: Safety must be an ongoing focus for everyone in transportation, and it’s our responsibility to continue raising the bar. Peer-to-peer ridesharing has made significant progress in expanding safe transportation. Before Lyft launched, existing options including taxis and limousines lacked the safeguards people now consider status quo. But our work on safety is never done.
We’re committed to playing a significant role in connecting our communities with transportation, and we understand the responsibilities that come along with that. We've known since the beginning that as part of our mission, we must heavily invest in safety. We continue to welcome accountability and partnership to best protect our rider and driver community.