Living in London for the past three months has confirmed my belief that their standard black taxis are part and parcel of the aura of this city. They are linked to the city’s image in a way that yellow cabs are associated with New York City. Surprisingly though, I never considered Boston’s variety of taxi options to do anything for the city’s ambience. If anything, past statistics have proven that passengers have opted to ride with Uber over taxis in Massachusetts. I’m certain that some of those numbers are going to Lyft or other ride-sharing companies, given the troubling controversies Uber has faced recently. Lyft has been doing everything it can to take a stance for ideals that Uber is seemingly against. In the latest, the company announced a campaign, with a rather witty tagline: “Sit for Something.” In the upcoming months, Lyft plans on rolling out an amenity whereby passengers can opt to round up their ride fares and donate the remainder to charity.
Donating the excess change from your ride fare may seem like a small contribution, but as the saying goes, “every drop in the ocean counts.” The number of people choosing to travel with Lyft over taxis and sometimes even public transportation is on the rise. Even within my friend group, I know people who take a Lyft to work or class on the regular. Although you may only be giving 50 cents at a time, over your multiple travels, this amount is bound to add up. Plus, Lyft is offering a convenient way to donate without having to take the time out to write a check and drop it off in the mail. This facility is bound to motivate more people to opt in for the Round Up and Donate program.
It’s easy to argue that Lyft is simply making a wise business decision to maximize their profits. The company, albeit not without issues of their own, has a better public image than Uber does at the moment. Now, more than ever, is the best time for the company to capture market share previously owned by Uber. It certainly isn’t wrong of the company to do so, and although their campaign may have ulterior motives, the bottom line stands that Lyft is still trying to create some positive change in the world (with the help of your leftover change).
Since this campaign is still under development, Lyft hasn’t revealed its list of member charities. Given the current political situation though, there are a number of charities that we can hope to see on their list including the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Human Rights Campaign. All in all, Lyft’s compelling combination of letting riders support social justice while using a reasonably priced transportation option is bound to work in their favor.