Lyft continued its push to be the ride sharing service most closely associated with social justice with a new initiative that will harness the new American drive to donate. Meanwhile, Uber struggles with PR as CEO Travis Kalanick can't seem to find his way out of hot water, so Lyft sees an opportunity. They haven't been shy about subtle shade directed Uber's way.
We should note that, while Kalanick was on Trump's advisory board, major Lyft investor Carl Icahn plays a key role in the Trump administration. So, you know, engaging in capitalism is a complex and often fraught activity. On the other hand, I love the cheap rides.
The newest salvo in the PR war is Lyft offering the option for riders to round up their fare to the nearest dollar amount and donate to charity, TechCrunch writes.
"Lyft will be rolling out the program, which it calls ‘Round Up & Donate’ as a test at first, gradually making its way to users over the next few weeks. The feature works with an opt-in for those who are selected to participate, and it’ll then automatically round up the fare for your current trip to the nearest whole dollar, with the excess going to charity. So if your ride costs $9.67, for instance, the additional 33 cents will go to the chosen charity."
Whether or not this is actually a significant number, it's a genius PR play from Lyft. Just as the company donated $1 million to the ACLU as Uber appeared to be trying to break a cab strike during the Muslim Ban fiasco, Lyft wants to position itself as the plucky underdog with a conscience. (That's slightly ridiculous, of course. Lyft lags in market share, but it's still a massive corporation with a $6 billion valuation.)