Business

Local woman brings Lyft into Hope market

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
The Tuesday morning ribbon-cutting at the Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce was a bit unusual as there was no physical building opening, but rather a business that is sweeping the nation.  Now available in Hope, thanks to the efforts of Paulette Briggs, Lyft is the emerging ride-sharing pickup service that is similar to and competes nationally with Uber.
In introducing herself, Briggs said, “Lyft is the totally new and up-to-date local taxi cab.”
Between the two major services, Lyft and Uber, each with an online app and presence, ride-sharing has expanded in growth and services, providing rides to an estimated 15 million rides each day among an estimated 2 million-plus drivers, according to national publications like Roadster.
National tech blog Engadget says Lyft, in particular, reached the 1 million ride-per-day milestone back in July 2017, which is also highlighted on Lyft’s own website at https://blog.lyft.com/posts/one-million-rides-a-day
Here in Hope, Briggs said Tuesday that she is the first full-time local Lyft driver serving the Hope market, with her hours of operation being announced as Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. with Sunday and Monday hours being from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Briggs said Lyft drivers have been established in Texarkana and Little Rock for a while, and Texarkana even has driver delivery of food as well.
National statistics say the average Lyft or Uber driver can do about two trips per hour depending upon location and time of day.
Briggs explained the Lyft App to the gallery at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting. She said that the Lyft App is also used as a payment device, so she carries no money or cash as the driver. She added that the app provides the ride-seeker with an image of both the driver and vehicle as well as the location where the nearest driver is.
Vice-Mayor Don Still, who represented the City at the event, said, “We are very happy to have you in our community.”
Still noted from his work in automotive repair that many of his customers were needing rides all the time, either from his shop or to work or homes.

Paulette Briggs (foreground) explains the Lyft App to Christy Burns, Steve Harris, Jerry Crane, and Don Still. (Rick Kennedy photo)
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