Lyft is a personal taxi service that allows riders to be matched with a background checked driver in the area after downloading the Lyft app.
The rider then receives a picture of both the driver and the car that will pick them up, which usually sports a fuzzy pink mustache on the car’s front bumper.
Estrella Cruz, a seminary student at Biola University and graduate assistant for the Office of Leadership and Transitions at California Baptist University, is part of the Lyft personal taxi service.
She started working for Lyft in May 2014 when she found the part-time job on Craigslist.
She said she enjoys the company’s community feel, which overflows to a friendly, community feel for those who use the service.
She encourages riders to relax and not to feel weird when in the car with a Lyft driver. The Lyft website also recommends talking with the Lyft driver.
“Take a friend,” Cruz said, “talk to the driver; ask them what their craziest Lyft was.”
Cruz chose working for Lyft for its flexibility around her schedule as well as the strong demand for rides and the great community atmosphere.
The cons, Cruz said, are low prices charged to riders, because of the current competition between Lyft and Uber, another personal taxi service.
This competition has caused both companies to lower the cost of rides, and this hurts the drivers’ incomes. Despite the decreasing price, Cruz said working for Lyft is still profitable.
“It’s a good source of income, even after you factor in gas and wear and tear,” Cruz said.
When on duty, Cruz turns on the “Driver Mode” on the app and waits for a request from a rider to come in. Once a request comes, she has the authority to either accept or deny the request.
If she accepts, Cruz is guided to where the rider is located to pick them up.
Cruz describes the type of people that use Lyft as people looking for a laid-back ride to wherever they’re going.
“I think it’s the easiest thing in the world to do,” Cruz said.