You shouldn’t have any trouble getting a ride these days, especially if you live in a tech hotbed like Seattle or San Francisco. Now, get ready for more options. Lyft is bringing its ride sharing service to Seattle, joining the ranks of SideCar, Uber and Car2Go.
Rumors of Lyft’s arrival in Seattle were first reported last year. But now we’ve got it confirmed that the ride sharing service, best known for the pink mustaches attached to participating vehicles, will officially arrive on April 12th. A service of Zimride, Lyft already operates in its hometown of San Francisco, and LA.
“We love Seattle’s unique neighborhoods, tech-friendly community and rich local culture,” said co-founder and president John Zimmer. “We’ve already had a great response from residents who can’t wait to share their first Lyfts in Seattle.”
With services like Lyft and SideCar, passengers use their smartphones to try to locate nearby drivers who have a similar destination. Unlike Uber, which relies on professional Town Car drivers, car owners actually sign up to provide transportation to neighbors, co-workers, friends and others. Drivers are vetted before being accepted into the network.
Zimride also announced today that it is buying San Francisco-based Cherry, a startup that had been working on an on-demand car washing service in which professional car washers were dispatched to your vehicle’s location. The service was shut down late last year after raising more than $5 million, and now the Cherry team is working in various roles at Lyft.
As part of that deal, former Cherry CEO Travis VanderZanden — an early employee at Yammer — has joined Lyft as Chief Operating Officer. Along with former Cherry employee Stephen Schnell, they will help Lyft expand into new cities, Seattle being the first on the list. It marks the first acquisition for Lyft.
With so many options available now for people trying to get from point A to point B, I asked Zimmer what makes Lyft unique. Here’s what he had to say:
“With Lyft, we’ve not only created an easy and affordable way to get around town, we’ve also created a vibrant community,” he said. “Lyfters think of our community drivers as ‘your friend with a car.’ When you sit in the front seat and share a good conversation, your Lyft becomes more than a ride and actually part of your day or night out. We’ve had drivers and passengers form a band together, find a new career path or simply become new friends because they met in Lyft.”