Lyft begins operations in Pullman along with Uber

Ride-booking service, Lyft, looks to expand by tabling, recruiting



Lyft operates along the Puget Sound from Tacoma to Arlington, as well as Bellingham, Wenatchee and Spokane

LINH NGUYEN, Evergreen reporter

With an increase in the use of ride-booking apps in many cities, Lyft has been hoping to expand businesses in more rural communities like Pullman.

WSU provides a great place to advertise the company to those on campus said Todd Kelsay, Lyft’s general manager for the Pacific Northwest.

Due to now loosened background check ordinances, app-based ride-booking companies such as Uber and Lyft did very little to no business in Pullman and students and locals used local Taxi services or the bus.

The company began official operations on Sept. 29 and have been using tabling and outreach to recruit students, faculty and staff both as potential drivers and customers, Kelsay said.

He declined to comment on the number of drivers currently operating in Pullman.

Last week, members advertised the company’s launch by handing out Lyft logo stickers, offering a raffle for prizes, and also giving a “$5 discount” to first-time app users.

Lyft, specifically the Pacific Northwest branch, currently operates in cities along the Puget Sound from Tacoma to Arlington, as well as Bellingham, Wenatchee and Spokane.

The Evergreen previously reported that some taxi drivers were concerned about the safety and fairness of lowering the background check requirement from thumbprinting to using a Social Security card. Kelsay said that safety is one of Lyft’s biggest priorities and in addition to doing a social security check, they also require all employees to have a clean driving record.

Other requirements for Lyft include being over the age of 21, having a four-door car, and receiving a thorough car inspection.
Kelsey has worked at Lyft for over two years and hopes to recruit locally.

“It’s very fun to work with motivated people on such an important and cool mission.” Kelsay said.