Lyft - Statistics & Facts

Founded in San Francisco in 2012, Lyft is a ridesharing service operating in over 300 cities across the United States and Canada. Ridesharing is where a smartphone app is used to match private drivers with passengers at short notice for one-off shared rides to an agreed location. Ridesharing is therefore similar to a taxi service, with the key difference that the ride is offered in a private vehicle. In 2017, some 2.6 billion rides were taken using ridesharing services in the United States, a figure expected to increase to over four billion in 2018. Lyft is the second largest ridesharing service provider in the United States behind Uber, accounting for 22 percent of the market as of September 2017 (compared to Uber’s 74 percent).

In 2018, Lyft provided around 619.4 million rides and generated global revenue of 2.16 billion U.S. dollars. Both these figures saw significant growth from 2016, when the company provided 162.6 million rides and generated a net revenue of 700 million U.S. dollars. One reason for this increase is the growing awareness of ridesharing services across the U.S. In a survey, only 15 percent of U.S. consumers had used ridesharing apps in 2015; by 2018, this figure had more than doubled to 36 percent. In June 2018, this figure had further increased, with a different survey finding that 66 percent of U.S. adults were familiar with Lyft specifically. This growth is predicted to continue into the foreseeable future.

Of those currently using ridesharing services, the majority are not frequent users. In September 2018, 56 percent of users reported using ridesharing services a few times a year, with another 22 percent using ridesharing services only once or twice a month. The top reasons cited for using such services is the belief that they can be cheaper and more convenient than their traditional equivalents. However, there are consumer concerns over the extent to which sharing services can be trusted. While half of people in the U.S. consider sharing services somewhat trustworthy, only 12 percent of people consider them very trustworthy, compared to 20 percent who consider them not very trustworthy or not trustworthy at all.

The increase in usage of ridesharing services such as Lyft or Uber has led to a decrease in the use of traditional taxi cab services. Some taxi companies are starting to recognize the need to be more competitive in order to counter the price and convenience advantages of ride-sharing services, for example by reducing their prices. However, a primary reason ridesharing companies have these advantages is that, generally, ridesharing services operate outside the regulatory frameworks applicable to taxi cabs. This creates significant cost savings, for example regarding licensing fees. As long as this regulatory asymmetry remains, it is likely that ridesharing services will continue to pull customers away from traditional taxis.

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