The Essential Guide to Lyft for Users and Small Businesses in 2024

As an entrepreneurship consultant focused on assisting small and medium businesses, I often get asked about incorporating rideshare services into operations. Lyft has quickly become a transportation staple across North America. For consumers and businesses alike, understanding who uses Lyft and how to leverage the platform is key.

The Explosive Growth of Lyft

Since its launch in 2012, Lyft has experienced tremendous growth:

  • Lyft provided over 1 million rides by 2014, and surpassed 1 billion rides by September 2018.
  • As of Q3 2022, Lyft reached 20.3 million monthly active riders, rebounding close to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Lyft currently holds 29% market share in the US, second only to Uber‘s 71% share.
  • Globally, Lyft maintains 9% market share, behind Uber (37%) and Didi Chuxing (32%).

Lyft‘s growth has been driven by strong branding, generous driver incentives, and strategic partnerships. However, the platform faces ongoing challenges around sustainability and safety.

Who Uses Lyft? Key Rider & Driver Demographics

Lyft Riders

Lyft riders represent a diverse cross-section of the population:

  • 47% identify as ethnic/racial minorities
  • 53% are Caucasian
  • Highest usage among 18-29 year olds
  • Urban dwellers ride more frequently than suburban/rural residents

Lyft has made strides in expanding accessibility:

  • Wheelchair accessible vehicles serve 95% of rides within 10 mins in major markets
  • Translation support for non-English speakers

Lyft Drivers

As independent contractors, Lyft drivers also have a diverse makeup:

  • 69% are ethnic/racial minorities
  • 55% have a bachelor‘s degree or higher
  • 75% are over the age of 40
  • 7% identify as LGBTQ+

Most drivers utilize Lyft as a supplemental income source rather than relying on it as a primary job.

How Can Your Business Leverage Lyft?

For small businesses, incorporating Lyft provides flexibility and potential cost savings. Strategic uses cases include:

Commuting Programs: Offer subsidized Lyft rides as a commuter benefit to attract talent.

Business Travel: Empower employees to book Lyft rides during work trips. Integrate expenses into your accounting system.

Client Transportation: Arrange Lyft Concierge rides and bill clients directly to simplify transportation.

Delivery & Logistics: Utilize Lyft Connect for same-day small parcel delivery services.

Event Travel: Book Lyft rides for attendees as part of the event experience.

Emergency Support: Reimburse employees who use Lyft during emergencies like weather events.

Key Safety Tips for Riders & Drivers

While relatively safe, rideshare usage does come with risks. Here are my top safety tips:

For Riders:

  • Share trip details and stay in contact with friends/family during rides
  • Confirm driver identity, car details before entering vehicle
  • Sit in backseat and use seatbelts
  • Carry pepper spray or alarm for emergencies
  • Report any unsafe driving immediately

For Drivers:

  • Only pick up riders matching identity in app
  • Avoid picking up minors or intoxicated passengers
  • Keep doors locked when not completing ride
  • Have emergency contacts saved in phone
  • Install a dash cam to record incidents
  • Report any threatening behavior from riders

The on-demand economy is here to stay. Understanding platforms like Lyft empowers businesses and consumers to travel efficiently and safely. Let me know if you have any other rideshare questions!