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Transportation

Lyft gave its New York drivers new mustaches

And announced a national marketing campaign. “What you want from Lyft is passengers,” said the company's VP of operations.

The new Lyft mustaches, which glow on drivers' dashboards. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Lyft had a party at The Green Building in Gowanus last Wednesday to roll out its new mustaches. These are new, glowing mustaches that go on the dashboard of Lyft cars in service. The idea is to give the cars a more sedate look than the old fuzzy mustaches, while also making it easy to spot the Lyft driver as they approach.
The event was also meant to be something of a thank you to Lyft drivers, with a free lunch, hand massages and discounts on swag.
We spoke to one driver from Trump Village who told us that he’d gotten his limo license in order to start driving for Lyft, about a month ago. Aleksander Minevich also runs The Left Turn Driving School. He said of his experience so far, “Nothing but positive things. It’s like people helping each other out.”
Minevich grew up a part of the driving business, in a family that once ran a car service. He said he’s worked anywhere from fifteen to fifty hours in a week, since he started.
“It’s not just driving people around. I’ve met pretty cool people I’d probably hang out with on the weekends,” he told us.
Lyft’s VP of operations, Woody Hartman, came out for the event, explaining how the company had updated the mustache to better fit driver’s needs, and also breaking down some of the work the company would do to help drivers to get more rides.

Woody Hartman, Lyft VP of Operations (Photo by Brady Dale)

Woody Hartman, Lyft’s VP of operations. (Photo by Brady Dale)


Some of the new features he said the company had added or were coming soon:

  • Automating tolls, so that drivers don’t have to submit reimbursements for them.
  • Hiring more staff to work on customer service.
  • Coaching drivers to better ratings.
  • Daily tallies of income for drivers.

That said, “What you want from Lyft is passengers,” Hartman told the crowd. Thus the company’s first nationwide marketing campaign.
The message it would be trying to push was that Lyft is welcoming, affordable and memorable. “We think that’s Lyft’s secret,” Hartman said, adding that the extra mile drivers go to in treating fares like people makes the difference.
The drivers in attendance were overwhelmingly male. We only saw one lady driver, during the hour we hung around. A spokeswoman for the company said the driver pools are more like 30 percent female in other cities, but that Lyft’s numbers here reflect the drivers with city licenses to drive private cars. Nearly half the executives at the company, however, are women, according to Fast Company.
Lyft continues to work with legislators and regulators here to update laws so that the service can be peer-to-peer in New York, the same as it is in other cities, according to a spokeswoman. Lyft arrived in Baltimore much earlier and our sister site Technical.ly Baltimore covered its launch in Maryland extensively.
The Silicon Valley-based Lyft launched here with a focus on Queens and Brooklyn, and its base of operations in New York is in Long Island City.

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Cake pops at the Lyft party. (Photo by Brady Dale)


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A hand-massage station. (Photo by Brady Dale)


Lyft

A Toyota models the new Lyft mustache. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Companies: Lyft
Series: Brooklyn

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