The new feature just started rolling out and will eventually be available to all Lyft customers. In addition to paying for rideshares, users can also tap Venmo to use Lyft’s bikes and scooters where available. Lyft also offers a native fare-splitting service outside of Venmo.
When using Venmo, users have the option to pay with their Venmo balance or link to a card or bank. Riders can pay for trips with PayPal, credit and debit cards, direct banking or Lyft Cash, among other options.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Lyft was co-founded by John Zimmer and Logan Green in 2012, although the company first launched in 2007 under the name Zimrides. Its biggest competitor is Uber, which launched in 2008. Lyft operates in 644 U.S. municipalities and 12 cities in Canada.
Lyft also has a $19.99 monthly loyalty club called Lyft Pink. Subscribers get free Grubhub deliveries in addition to other perks like 15 percent off rides, three monthly cancellations at no charge, three 30-minute bicycle or scooter trips at no charge, and priority pickups during busy times at the airport. Roughly 200,000 U.S. restaurants participate in the program, which requires users to place minimum orders of $12.
Earlier this month, an appeals case concerning California’s 2019 legislation affecting gig workers — Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) — had its first hearing in front of California’s 1st District Court of Appeal. Uber and Lyft are working together to overturn a lower-court ruling that would reclassify their workers as employees instead of independent contractors.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called AB5 irrational and unconstitutional in a recent blog post. He also said it was destructive to the business model and to gig jobs.