Lyft hits the road in Reno |

Lyft hits the road in Reno

Annie Conway
Ridesharing company Lyft launched its app in Reno Friday, Oct. 16.
Courtesy Lyft |

The national ridesharing company Lyft launched its app in the Biggest Little City this month.

Nevada Transportation Authority approved applications for both Lyft and its competitor Uber at a hearing held in September and the bill authorizing the companies to operate in Nevada was passed by the legislature this past spring.

“We have been wanting to go to Reno for a while,” Mary Caroline Pruitt, a communications associate for Lyft, said Friday, Oct. 16, the day of the launch.

People in the Reno area can now request rides via the Lyft app, which can be downloaded for free by both android and iPhone users. The app also has a two-way rating feature, which allows both the drivers and the passengers the ability to rate each other after every ride.

According to Pruitt, many of their drivers use Lyft as a second job to earn additional income.

“Most of our drivers are part-time,” Pruitt said. “Lyft’s initial group of local Reno drivers includes a police officer, a musician and a teacher, along with many others. It is a great way to meet other people and to network.”

All drivers must go through DMV and criminal background checks as well as vehicle inspections prior to being hired. When a passengers request a ride from the app they see a photo of the driver, their car and its license plate number so they can verify the driver. The company also has a 24/7 critical response line.

“Lyft is real people driving real people,” Pruitt said. “Safety is our top priority.”

The cost for a ride is calculated through an algorithm that factors in the time and distance.

Lyft charges a base rate of $2.40, a safety fee of $1.55 and charges 30 cents per minute and $1.85 per mile. The cancellation rate for a ride is $5.

All payments are done via the Lyft app. Drivers receive 80 percent of the total payment plus tips.

Lyft and Uber reflect the idea of a sharing economy by using vehicles that are privately owned.

“Lyft was designed with a whole different vision than a cab,” Pruitt said. “The goal is to reduce the number of solo cars on the road.”

The business was co-founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in 2012. Lyft has operations in 150 cities across the United States.