Although to the public, Lyft may appear to be a gentler, kinder alternative to Uber, it’s curious how this “softer” company and the U.S.’ second-largest ride-hailing company is capitalizing on its main rival’s missteps.
Whilst Uber has been entangled in disorder in the past few months, topped off by the release of the findings of an investigation into workplace culture and its founder Travis Kalanick’s temporary leave of absence, Lyft has raised an $600M in funding to fuel its expansion. Lyft has announced a deal with Jaguar Land Rover to unveil a fleet of luxury vehicles, once Uber’s forte, and announced self-driving car partnerships with General Motors and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which is suing Uber, accusing it of stealing trade secrets.
“We’re woke. Our community is woke, and the U.S. population is woke,” Lyft President John Zimmer told Time magazine in an interview, using a term popularized by black activist communities to denote familiarity with class struggle and hidden power dynamics. He also described his company as the “better boyfriend.”
Uber’s loss is already proving to be Lyft’s gain. The smaller San Francisco ride-hailing company has seen its U.S. market share rise to 24.7% from 21.2% since Feb. 19 when former Uber employee Susan Fowler published a blog post alleging widespread harassment at the San Francisco company. The post sparked the internal investigation at Uber.