How Does Lyft Affect The Local Economy?


How Does Lyft Affect The Local Economy? The Pros and Cons of This Ride-Share Giant

If you want to identify the one technological advancement that has changed how we do just about everything, it would most likely be smartphones. Indeed, smartphones change not only how we communicate, but how we do just about everything. Dating apps have changed how we meet people, for example. One of the biggest cultural changes that smartphones brought about were ride-share apps, the most popular being Lyft. Lyft allows smartphone users to order a ride from their phone from a local driver. Not only is it more convenient than calling for a cab, but the prices are a lot lower. However, Lyft has seriously affected many local economies. Here are the pros and cons of this ride-share giant.

Lyft Car

Source: Mashable

Pro: Lyft Created New Business Opportunities For Entrepreneurs

If you have a clean driving record and a car that is at least a decade old, you can drive for Lyft. While many entrepreneurs use Lyft to merely supplement their income on a part-time basis, there are many people in larger markets who have made Lyft their full-time job. Unlike driving a taxi, Lyft drivers are independent contractors. They can also pick and choose who they decide to pick up, based on users’ ratings and profiles. In a struggling economy, the opportunity to work as a driver-for-hire with less risk to personal safety and more potential for profit is a true game-changer.

Pro: Lyft Created New Business Opportunities For Entrepreneurs

If you have a clean driving record and a car that is at least a decade old, you can drive for Lyft. While many entrepreneurs use Lyft to merely supplement their income on a part-time basis, there are many people in larger markets who have made Lyft their full-time job. Unlike driving a taxi, Lyft drivers are independent contractors. They can also pick and choose who they decide to pick up, based on users’ ratings and profiles. In a struggling economy, the opportunity to work as a driver-for-hire with less risk to personal safety and more potential for profit is a true game-changer.

Con: Lyft is Putting The Taxi Industry Out of Work

From both a user and driver perspective, Lyft is more desirable than a traditional taxicab. Beyond being far more expensive, cabs are generally regarded as less safe, less welcoming and dirtier than vetted Lyft drivers. However, the taxi industry is suffering. In fact, some taxi owners in Boston sued the city for even allowing Lyft.

While the development of the new ride-sharing industry seems like it would help the economy at a glance, the decline of the taxi industry has consequences. Taxi companies put many immigrants and low-education employees to work. These workers oftentimes cannot opt to just work for Lyft as they do not own their own vehicles. More people out of work is always bad for the economy.

While it remains to be seen whether the ride-sharing industry will render the taxi industry obsolete, it does seem as if the taxi industry needs to make some changes, namely lowering their exorbitant prices. For the time being, however, Lyft is putting people to work and making transportation cheaper for the average consumer.

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