Lyft has delivered its 500 millionth ride — a milestone that speaks to the company’s growth this year.
To put it in perspective, Uber celebrated its 5 billionth ride earlier this year, but it operates in nearly 85 countries.
Lyft operates only in the US and has been making significant inroads. According to data from Second Measure, a research firm that uses anonymized credit card data, Lyft has upped its presence while Uber has lost ground.
The smaller ride-sharing startup increased its market share this year to 25 percent by infringing on Uber’s, which was at 80 percent at the start of the year, and now sits around 70 percent.
Also, in the second quarter this year, gross bookings grew faster at Lyft (25 percent) than at Uber (17 percent).
Also consider that it took Lyft four years to complete is first 100 million rides, and just 3 months to complete the last 100 million. The company has doubled down this year, raising more money and expanding to 95% of the US population. All as Uber has faced no small number of distractions.
Lyft has also typically had the advantage when it comes to its reputation among drivers. Uber just launched its tipping feature in June while Lyft has had a tipping option since 2012. And while former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was caught on video arguing with his Uber driver, Lyft President John Zimmer regularly gets in the driver’s seat as a Lyft driver to connect with his passengers and attends driver meet-ups.
But Uber has a new CEO and it’s implementing more driver friendly measures like 24-hour customer service and paid wait times. It also may be raising a huge amount of money from Softbank — giving it more firepower to defend its market share against Lyft’s encroachment.