“The impact of the pandemic to us in the broader market is rides being down about 50% now,” says Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer. “They were down 75%. So we are halfway recovered across the board. That impacts individual drivers as well. If you look at how some drivers have shifted, we actually have higher driver earnings now per hour than even pre-pandemic.”
John Zimmer, co-founder and President of Lyft, discusses the impact of the pandemic on Lyft, noting that daily rides are still down by half since March 2020:
Lyft Rides Still Down 50%
Drivers 4 to 1 want to remain independent contractors and want to retain flexibility. Depending on the market, 80 to 90% drive less than 20 hours a week. We think there is a much better way forward than saying (in California) that everyone should become employees. That way forward is to say let’s retain the flexibility and let’s add more protections and benefits like we are pushing for in California.
The impact of the pandemic to us in the broader market is rides being down about 50% now. They were down 75%. So we are halfway recovered across the board. That impacts individual drivers as well. If you look at how some drivers have shifted, we actually have higher driver earnings now per hour than even pre-pandemic. There’s equilibrium between demand and supply, between riders and drivers.
Impact Of Lockdowns And The Virus Is Real
The impact to the broader economy and the impact with lockdowns and the virus is real for our business. Transportation is directly tied to people’s movement and the broader economy. That said, we’ve continually week over week seen incremental improvements going from negative 75% to now above 50%.
We see markets like Toronto back to 80% of where we were before. As countries get better and as states get better at living with the conditions we have because of the virus I see continued improvement. Driver earnings per hour are higher today than they were pre-pandemic. We are looking right now for more drivers.
Regulation Has Been Part Of Our History From Day One
Regulation has been a part of our history from day one. We are as much in the transportation business as we are in the technology business and transportation historically has been a regulated industry. Within our first year of operation, we worked with California regulators to create a new category for regulation.
It’s been part of our business and will always be part of our business. It’s part of how we think about the path to profitability but we are just moving forward on that path despite anything that is going to change around us in terms of regulation.
Largest Bike-Share Program In North America
We also have a diversified set of transportation that we offer. We have the largest bike-share program in North America with City Bikes in New York City and Bay Wheels in the Bay and Divvy in Chicago. Our bike systems are in many cases above where they were pre-COVID. They are a great way to get around and get some fresh air and not be next to someone else.