Sunday, February 09, 2014

Lyft: my prophecy fullfilled

Friday was Lyft's big launch in Pittsburgh.  I learned of this soon after noticing a car with a great big pink mustache.  Why are the cars dressed up funny, I wondered, Didn't Hanukkah end a while back?

My prophecies don't always come to pass, as it were, and so I must celebrate when then do.  And never mind that the Californians anticipated my prophecy by more than a year -- how was I to know that?

Lyft showed up in San Francisco in 2012 as a futuristic ride-sharing service, or a taxi service.  The distinction between "ride-sharing" and "taxi" turns out to be a big deal.  Freedom haters are calling foul, since Lyft operates effectively like a taxi service and yet claims to operate beyond the scope of the regulations that define the taxi industry.  One must feel sorry for the traditional taxi drivers, whose jobs are being creatively destroyed quite suddenly.

And yet, as sorry as I feel for the taxi industry, I can't help but be overwhelmingly excited at this development.  Imagine roads less crowded, air less polluted, and taxi-style transportation much cheaper, all thanks to people using their "smart" phones smartly for once.

I regularly wait 5-15 minutes in the cold for the bus to show up to take me to work while steady stream of single-occupant cars passes me, quite oblivious to the obvious business opportunity.  Maybe if I wear this, someone will pick me up, and I can tip them with a $couple.

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