The Power of the Passenger

The Power of the Passenger

Getting the keys to the car used to mean everything. It meant freedom, adventure, and the open road. Today, the road rules us instead, but Lyft is on a mission to change that.

Increasing costs, parking headaches, and congestion have chipped away at that freedom. With car ownership now at $9,000/year, the average American spends more each year to own a car than on groceries.

Lyft wants to give you that freedom back. But it’s the freedom of driving without the need for car ownership. Our vision is to improve cities through better transportation, and a cornerstone of this mission is making car ownership optional.



Transportation is fast becoming a service — a ride when you need one, without the burden of car payments or parking tickets. When we asked passengers how Lyft has changed their car usage, 60% said they use their personal vehicles less because of Lyft. And because of Lyft, 46% said they would avoid owning a car entirely.¹

Sacramento couple Leslie and Nick Mancebo recently chose to be a single-car household. Whenever they both need the car, one of them just takes Lyft. “Lyft has played a big role in allowing us to still get around easily and affordably,” Leslie says.


A quarter of passengers use Lyft to connect to transit. “I don't live very close to public transportation, so I use Lyft Line to connect me to other modes of transportation,” says Rei-Ling Dulebohn, a Lyft passenger in San Francisco. Rei-Ling represents a new generation that doesn’t want to own cars, and wants alternative transportation options.

Reducing car ownership decreases congestion and opens up opportunities to use spaces once dedicated to cars. Parks instead of parking lots. Community areas instead of congested areas.

Our country’s dominant mode of transportation, driving alone, isn’t sustainable. Sharing the ride is our future. Across the U.S., Lyft is providing flexible earning opportunities for drivers, improved transportation access for passengers, and gains in local economic activity.


Whether you want to own a car or not, everyone benefits when it’s easier for people to get around their cities. More than half of passengers said that Lyft allows them to get to places that are otherwise inaccessible. Lyft’s affordability and convenience has made it easier for people to explore more of their cities, stay out longer, and enjoy a safe ride home.

The result? A direct impact on local economies. In 2014 alone, additional spending by Lyft passengers generated an extra $225 million in local markets.

Here’s a look at the time and cost savings of passengers in our first seven cities:

In 2014,
additional spending by Lyft passengers generated an additional $225 million for local economies

Lyft’s Impact on Local Economies


San Francisco

Passenger Hours Saved: 1,500,000

Passenger Cost Savings: $48.5 M

Impact to Local Economy: $82 M

Los Angeles

Passenger Hours Saved: 1,300,000

Passenger Cost Savings: $51.2 M

Impact to Local Economy: $73 M


Passenger Hours Saved: 237,100

Passenger Cost Savings: $6.4 M

Impact to Local Economy: $16.4 M

Washington, D.C.

Passenger Hours Saved: 347,500

Passenger Cost Savings: $2.1 M

Impact to Local Economy: $6.9 M


Passenger Hours Saved: 145,900

Passenger Cost Savings: $3.5 M

Impact to Local Economy: $12.6 M

San Diego

Passenger Hours Saved: 208,300

Passenger Cost Savings: $9 M

Impact to Local Economy: $21.4 M


Passenger Hours Saved: 150,800

Passenger Cost Savings: $3.8 M

Impact to Local Economy: $12.4 M

View our 2015 economic impact aggregate report here.

Leslie, Nick, and Rei-Ling are just three of the millions of people powering this movement. With more than a million rides a week in more than 150 cities, we’re well on our way. And we’re just getting started.


¹ Between November 2014 and February 2015 we surveyed more than 5,700 passengers and 2,600 drivers across San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Survey Analysis conducted by the Land Econ Group.

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