Ride-sharing company Lyft is introducing a new feature that allows travelers to round up their fare to the nearest dollar and donate the remaining balance to charity. Pretty cool, eh?
It’s a genius idea for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s not asking much. People are much more likely to donate when the total they’re being asked to give amounts to less than $1.
And while small amounts of change don’t sound like much in the grand scheme of things, it certainly adds up. Consider this: in October 2016, Lyft completed 17 million rides in the U.S. If each of those riders rounded up their total by just 50 cents, that’s $8.5 million donated to charity.
Incredible, isn’t it? It goes to show that it really is the small things in life that make a difference. What’s more is that Lyft is set to expand to 100 U.S. cities this year.
But for as noble and unique as the idea is, Lyft is not the first ride-sharing company to implement this feature. A nonprofit called RideAustin (located in Austin, TX) has a similar feature.
Lyft’s latest charity program is just one of the ways that it’s striving to compete with its rival Uber.
Uber, which is by far the bigger of the two ride-sharing companies, has come under quite a bit of fire lately. Things started to go downhill back in January 2017 when Uber tried to profit off of the immigration ban protests. That incident led to the #DeleteUber Twitter movement, which is still trending today.
To make matters worse, Uber has also faced accusations of sexual harassment and a sexist company culture. Susan Fowler, who worked as an engineer at the company, detailed her sexist experiences in a blog post. Gabi Holzwarth, who dated Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, also opened up about sexist behavior that she witnessed.
All of this, of course, is highly beneficial to Lyft. The company could very well outgrow Uber within the next few years.