December 12, 2016

Lyft: We pumped millions into Philly's economy in 2016

Ridesharing company Lyft announced Monday that it generated millions into Philadelphia's economy in the past year, despite only recently becoming legal after a long face-off with the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

In its 2017 economic report conducted by real estate developer Land Econ Group, Lyft claimed that it brought the City of Brotherly Love $38.6 million in "new spending" while increasing spending at local businesses by 42 percent.

It also said that riders saved a million hours in traveling, good for $23.2 million of their time.

"Lyft is proud to be providing flexible economic opportunities for drivers, improving transportation access for passengers, and increasing economic activity in Philly," said Andrew Woolf, Lyft's Philadelphia General Manager in a statement.

The study also said that 78 percent of the Philadelphia riders were coming to or from restaurants, shows or other forms of entertainment, while 41 percent used Lyft to commute to and from work, with 38 percent using the rideshare company to visit family or friends.

Lyft, which launched in the city in January 2015, also helped Philadelphians get home safely, according to the study. Eighty-one percent said they were more likely to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol by using Lyft.

In the survey conducted with drivers and passengers, 51 percent said they use their own cars less.

While ridesharing companies fought for legalization in cities and states across the country, the PPA made Philadelphia's battle particularly difficult by refusing to recognize and regulate them the way they did taxi cabs.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill legalizing ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft in early November.