A billion is a big number whichever way you look at it, so Lyft can feel rightly proud of hitting that figure for the number of car journeys made by its ridesharing business, which launched six years ago.
The figure does, however, reveal the extent to which its operation is dwarfed by the mighty Uber, its main ridesharing rival. Uber reached 10 billion trips in July 2018, though it did launch three years earlier and, unlike Lyft, operates far beyond North America.
In a blog post announcing the milestone, Lyft thanked its riders for “supporting out incredible driver community.” It added that “thousands of lucky drivers” will be receiving “a small gift of our appreciation” for their efforts.
Lyft threw in a few stats to offer a greater understanding of how it reached its billion-ride milestone. They include, for example, 76 million airport rides, and half a million rides to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
The highest number of rides provided by one driver comes in at a whopping 31,000, while the most rides taken by one person stands at an equally attention-grabbing 9,000. Rides taken during bars’ happy hours have so far reached 88 million, with a single rider taking 2,500 of them.
The longest trip took a Lyft car between Denver, Colorado, and Sioux City, Iowa, a distance of about 640 miles. Lyft’s online fare estimator doesn’t work for such long journeys, but an independent Lyft fare calculator estimates the regular fare to be around $750, while a Premier Lyft ride in a more comfortable vehicle would set you back $1,400.
Considering the bitterly cold winters in many parts of North America, it’s little surprise that 47 percent of Lyft rides were taken during that season, making it Lyft’s busiest time of the year for drivers.
In the more comfortable months, riders are either moving around on foot wherever possible, taking their bikes, or jumping on trains and buses. They could also be hopping on bikes and scooters via services offered not only by Lyft, but also a growing number of rival firms.
Like Uber, Lyft wants to become a one-stop shop for city dwellers’ transportation solutions, which is why it acquired the largest U.S. bikesharing operator, Motivate, in July for a reported $250 million, and launched its first scootershare service earlier this month in Denver, Colorado.
Part of Lyft’s vision is for its bikes and scooters to help riders move quickly between their homes or offices and locations where they can meet faster modes of transport, whether a train, bus, or a Lyft car.
Aiming to cut pollution and reduce traffic congestion in busy cities, Lyft also wants to persuade a million car owners to ditch their vehicles by the end of 2019 in favor of its own offerings that help people get around town.
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