So recently I’ve been seeing cars around Seattle with pink mustaches on their grills, as I’m sure most Seattleites have. At first my spottings of the pink ‘stache were few and far between, and I thought I was just seeing the same car, haunting me with its distinctive facial hair. And then I saw this and realized that I had no need to worry about being stalked by someone with a hairy taste in automotive décor. The pink mustache isn’t limited to one vehicle, but is actually being placed on every car whose owner has been hired to be a driver for Lyft, a Seattle-based ride-share service that offers a unique and convenient experience to those in need of transpo.
Apparently, Lyft has no set fee for their services, instead letting passengers donate as much or as little as they like through their app, promoting the idea of their rides being akin to a friendly pick-up. According to one yelp review, riders are required to sit in the front seat and fist bump their drivers before the ride can begin. Oh, and they’re given free candy/fortune cookies. This all sounds a little too cool to be…legal? Yep, apparently companies like Lyft and ride-share competitor Sidecar are technically against the law, since they don’t pay the same fees to the city that cabdrivers do. However, the city isn’t taking any immediate action against these new transportation options, and I think it should stay that way.
To dismiss the idea of Lyft would be to dismiss the idea of a service that makes living as green as possible one step easier. Why frown upon such innovation? The simple good that ride-sharing does is give those who don’t own a car one more option for transportation, doing the same for anyone who doesn’t want to use their car that often, whether to save money on gas or to help out the environment or both. Taxis are expensive and busses can only take you from and to certain locations. The ideals behind Lyft seem akin to others that promote communal sustainability. Why not look beyond the rulebook and encourage such actions forward?
What do you think? Are ride-sharing services like Lyft a positive form of progression, or do they need to be more regulated?