Lyft, the on-demand ride app famous for its chatty drivers and bright pink branding, says its service brought an additional $35.1 million into the Seattle economy this year.
The finding comes from Lyft’s annual Economic Impact Report. To get $35.1 million, Lyft calculated the difference between the average amount passengers spent per week in local establishments before and after joining Lyft. That number was multiplied by the 52 weeks in a year and the number of active passengers in the area to calculate the total additional spending in 2016.
Lyft surveyed more than 38,000 passengers and 15,000 drivers in 20 major cities for the nationwide report. In Seattle, 57 percent of passengers said they spent more at local businesses and 78 percent said they went out or more frequently or stayed out longer because of Lyft. Of Seattle respondents, 62 percent said Lyft helped them access more areas of the city.
The vast majority of drivers surveyed said that the flexible hours Lyft provides are extremely important to them and/or are the primary motive for using Lyft.
“Lyft is providing flexible economic opportunities for drivers, improved transportation access for passengers, and gains in local economic activity for people in the Puget Sound area,” Lyft GM Todd Kelsay said in a statement.
The report comes a critical time for Lyft in Seattle. Uber is still the industry leader and more competitors are entering the ride-hailing space. BMW is testing a new on-demand ride service in Seattle, as an expansion of its Car2Go competitor ReachNow.
Uber and Lyft are also embroiled in an ongoing skirmish with the City of Seattle over a first-of-its-kind law that gives drivers the ability to unionize.
The impact report is part of Lyft’s ongoing efforts to show lawmakers and residents its value in Seattle.