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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Tech Tip: Mobile app puts new spin on our four wheels

Most students are aware of the Tipsy Taxi service run by Unitrans, which brings you back home safely after one too many drinks. However, Tipsy Taxi is only available from Thursday to Saturday between the hours of 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wouldn’t it be nice to have other late-night modes of transportation that aren’t limited to three nights of the week?

In the near future, it could be possible to get a lift from Lyft. Lyft is an app that is available on iPhone and Android-based cell phones and is currently a popular service in San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Originally started in San Francisco, Lyft was created with the younger generation’s needs in mind, promoting peer-to-peer ridesharing when traveling to a similar destination as someone with transportation. For those who live far from home, this app finds people around you who might be headed in the same direction — like driving to L.A. for the holiday break — and allows you to tag along.

Lyft isn’t limited to only long-distance drives. It can also be used for short commutes, as well as allowing you to get as creative as you want to get with any of your travel needs.

The creators of Lyft run a background check and have strict standards for drivers before they are granted a big pink moustache to put in front of their car — a symbol that distinguishes them as a Lyft driver.

Interested drivers must be at least 23 years old, have had their license for at least a year and have had no major driving violations. Additionally, the model year of their vehicle can be no older than 2000. People with felony records are excluded from the program.

Much cheaper and eco-friendly than a taxi, this app has helped to arrange over a million rides. The cost of such rides is not a preset amount per mile like it would be with a cab. Instead, tag-a-longs make a “donation” to the driver, and Lyft takes a 20 percent commission for every ride payout.

The company plans to expand its services to 20 potential cities across the United States, yet no information has been provided as to which cities are currently being considered. A college town like Davis, where a majority of its students are far from home, could greatly benefit from this service.


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