In 2017, Lyft provided around 375.5 million rides and generated a net revenue of 1.5 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 2016 survey, only 38 percent of U.S. consumers had heard of ridesharing apps; by 2017 this figure had increased to 53 percent. In May 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, with Lyft’s net revenue expected to increase to 2.5 billion dollars in 2018, and to six billion by 2020.
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.