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Lyft is an on-demand ridesharing app. It lets you book a car, track in real time as your ride meets you for pick-up, then pay through the app once you're dropped off at your destination.

Founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, the company first launched on college campuses as a carpooling app that connected people who knew each other on Facebook. It was originally called Zimride and allowed students to split rides to the grocery store, the mall, or even into the city for the weekend.

In May 2013, the company rebranded as Lyft and changed its business model to make it something consumers would use daily, as opposed to a couple times a month. It quickly picked up a ton of users as a direct competitor to Uber. The two companies have been locked in a business battle ever since, not only competing for riders but drivers as well.

In 2018, millions of Lyft rides drove record earnings for the company — the company reportedly passed $2 billion in revenue for the year.

Lyft is currently operating in more than 300 cities across the United States.

Some of the largest cities in the United States with Lyft coverage include New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tampa, Dallas, Seattle, and Atlanta. They are also in smaller cities like Lincoln, Raleigh-Durham, and Portland, among many others.

When Can I Use Lyft?

Lyft can be used any time you need a ride to and from an event, place, or gathering. Never again do you have to worry about hailing a cab, or hoping that next bus arrives on time. With Lyft, you have the option of a friendly and reliable ride available on demand at all times. Simply pull out your smartphone, open the Lyft app, and insert your destination to book a Lyft.

Lyft riders often use the app for:

  • Vacations
  • Getting around town
  • Safe rides home after a drink or two, or three
  • After a car breakdown
  • To and from events where parking is sparse
  • Festivals
  • Birthday parties
  • Family gatherings
  • Getting to and from work
  • Business meetings or travel arrangements

Lyft New York City

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Lyft Coverage area map for New York City

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Lyft pricing for New York City


Lyft Boston

Another one of the most popular Lyft cities is in Boston, Massachusetts. There are plenty of colleges in this area, as well as tons of working professionals that need reliable transportation to and from work. New users in Boston can use one of our new user Boston Lyft promo codes to get a free ride credit that is good towards their first ride.
[su_spoiler title="Boston Lyft Coverage Area Map" style="fancy" icon="caret"]

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Lyft coverage area map for Boston, MA

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Lyft pricing for Boston, MA


Lyft Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the second most densely populated metropolitan area after New York City, and among other things, it’s also famous for its severe traffic. Commuters prefer using ridesharing apps like Lyft to get places instead of trying to navigate through packed roads on their own.
[su_spoiler title="Los Angeles Lyft Coverage Area Map" style="fancy" icon="caret"]

Los Angeles Lyft Coverage Map
Lyft coverage area map for Los Angeles, CA


[su_spoiler title="Los Angeles Lyft Pricing" style="fancy" icon="caret"]

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Lyft pricing for Los Angeles, CA


Lyft Chicago

Chicago is home to the Cubs, White Sox, and a whole lot of people (1.19 million to be exact). It is one of the nation’s most densely populated cities, meaning millions of people require reliable, affordable transportation every day.

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Lyft coverage area map for Chicago, IL


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Chicago Lyft pricing
Lyft pricing for Chicago, IL


Lyft San Diego

The San Diego community predominantly turns to Lyft to get safe, reliable, affordable, on-demand rides to travel through the city. Locals and tourists alike use it to get around, and with it being so affordable and convenient, it is not hard to see why it has become so popular!

[su_spoiler title="San Diego Lyft Coverage Area Map" style="fancy" icon="caret"]

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Lyft coverage area map for San Diego, CA

[su_spoiler title="San Diego Lyft Pricing" style="fancy" icon="caret"]

San Diego Lyft pricing
Lyft pricing for San Diego, CA



  • Convenient rides with the touch of a button – What is better than pressing a button and having somebody come get you? Well, your mom’s apple pie. But not much else.
  • Affordable even with surge pricing – You won’t have to worry about draining your bank on outrageous fares. Pricing is straightforward and not highly variable. While you may pay a little more with Prime Time, rides are still affordable.
  • Cheaper than a taxi – Ridesharing services cost about 20 percent less than a taxi, meaning you will get both convenience and savings.
  • Great first-time Lyft user promo code – Lyft offers killer promotions that help new users save tons of money on free rides!


  • Not available outside the United States – Users can enjoy the service in over 300 cities in the United States, but an expansion outside the United States would be nice when traveling abroad.
  • No Happy Hour pricing – Discounted rates during “Happy Hour” used to be active when times were slow. They no longer do this, making ride prices pretty much the same all across the board.
  • Not available outside the United States – Users can enjoy the service in over 300 cities in the United States, but an expansion outside the United States would be nice when traveling abroad.
  • No Happy Hour pricing – Discounted rates during “Happy Hour” used to be active when times were slow. They no longer do this, making ride prices pretty much the same all across the board.

Alternatives to Lyft


It probably comes as no surprise that Lyft’s biggest competitor is hungry to take away their business.

With rates that are comparable to Lyft, check out Uber. They also offer promo codes for brand-new users.


Via is a much smaller rideshare service that is much closer to Uber Express Pool. It is currently only available in a handful of cities. But if you're budget-conscious, it is worth checking out.


Zipcar provides customers with an affordable method to renting a car on an hourly or daily basis. This is a great option for those who will need to have access to a car for a longer period of time.

Zipcar rental rates start at $7.50/hour, or $74/day (with an additional fee of $0.45/mile if you drive more than 180 miles in a day).

Frequently Asked Questions About Lyft

Q: How do I contact Lyft?

A: There are many ways to contact Lyft. Depending on your situation, there are faster ways to reach their support team. You can contact them within the mobile app and by calling or emailing them. Check out Lyft’s support page for more information.

Q: Is Lyft available 24/7?

A: The short answer: yes. The long answer: Lyft is available as long as drivers are. If you live in a major city, you likely can find a ride at any time of the day. However, if you’re looking to catch a ride at an obscure time but live in a smaller down, it might be more difficult to find one.

Q: How can I tell who my Lyft driver is?

A: Lyft uses an LED light system to help riders and drivers find each other. Drivers have an AMP light on their dashboard that reflects the color of the rider they are assigned to. You can change your color in your profile.

Q: How do I schedule a ride?

A: It’s easy to schedule a ride. Simply enter your destination and tap “Schedule.” Select your time and date, confirm your pickup and drop off locations, and hit “Confirm.” You can schedule a ride up to a week in advance.

Q: I want to split a ride with friends. How do we do that?

A: Yes. Lyft has a “split payment” option, which makes sharing fares a breeze. You can split a fare with up to five other people. Once you tap the “split payment” button, your contact list will open. The "split payment" option will open up your contact list. From there, select the people or person you want to split the ride with. They will need to confirm the charge request while the trip is happening. After the ride is complete, you will not be able to split the fare.

Q: How do I cancel a ride?

A: Cancelling a ride is easy, but keep in mind, you may be subject to a fee. After you are matched with a driver, you have two minutes to cancel the ride free of charge. After that, you will have to pay a cancellation fee.

Q: How do I dispute a charge with Lyft?

A: Go to your “Ride History” tab in the app. Select the ride you wish to dispute. Scroll down until you see “Get Help”. If you’re an Android user, tap “Request Review.” From there, you can tell Lyft about the charge. They may ask you to provide more details if need be.

Q: Can I pay cash for a Lyft?

A: No, you cannot pay with cash for any Lyft ride. You must add a payment method to your Lyft account in order to request a ride. Uber has startedto allow for cash payments in a small number of cities. However, this is limited to a select number of cities.

Q: Am I able to tip and rate my driver?

A: Yes! 100% of the tips go to the driver, which makes them even more important and appreciated. Once your trip is completed, you will be able to rate your driver and leave them a tip as well.

Q: Is Lyft or Uber cheaper?

A: The prices of both Lyft and Uber rides vary depending on the location, time of day/week, and what is going on in the area you’re requesting a ride. At times, Lyft could be more expensive than Uber and vice versa. Fares change all the time. To stay up-to-date with recent fare changes, check out the Uber fare estimator.

Q: Is Lyft or Uber better?

A: Objectively speaking, neither is “better." However, we’ve broken down the key differences and compared them to everything from customer service to the quality of the app in our Lyft vs. Uber guide (link).

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