Lyft, a mobile ride-booking app, operates in more than 200 cities. Courtesy Lyft
A mobile ride-booking app is launching in the Grand Rapids market today.
San Francisco-based Lyft said today that it will begin operating in the market at noon.
Booking a ride
Like its chief competitor Uber, which already operates in Grand Rapids, to hail a ride from the on-demand transportation service, passengers must first download the Lyft app to sign up and add a payment method.
Once a rider has successfully signed up, they can then request a ride and will be matched with one of the company’s area drivers within minutes. After the ride concludes, passengers pay through the app.
Lyft’s ride prices are calculated based on an algorithm of miles traveled, minutes, a base charge, a trust-and-service fee and a prime time fee, if applicable.
The company has a two-way ratings system to allow drivers and passengers to rate each other after each ride.
The company said if you rate someone three stars or below, you’ll never be matched with that person again.
Cars are also inspected before hitting the road and must be no more than 12 years old.
As part of its Grand Rapids rollout, Lyft is offering $5 off a passenger’s first ride.
New passengers can use the code “BEERCITY” to receive the discount.
Lyft’s Grand Rapids market coverage area spans a wide swath of the region, operating from the Grand Haven lakeshore to midway between Ada and Lowell, as well as just north of Caledonia to just north of Kent City and Cedar Springs.
The company also offers rides to and from Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Lyft said its founding group of drivers in the Grand Rapids market includes several entrepreneurs, a golf instructor, a musician and one groom-to-be “looking for extra cash to pay for his upcoming wedding.”
The company is still hiring drivers for the Grand Rapids market.
Lyft CEO and co-founder Logan Green said “safety is our top priority,” and the company has several safety measures in place to try and mitigate risks for passengers and drivers.
Lyft drivers are screened before they’re permitted to drive on the platform, starting with professional third-party background and DMV checks.
Criminal background checks are also performed, which include searches of national and county-level databases and records, according to the company’s website.
Lyft said it disqualifies driver applicants for violent crime, felony, sexual offense and drug-related convictions that appear on a background check.
Lyft also has a 24/7 critical response line to handle any issues immediately.
For drivers, Lyft offers $1-million liability and uninsured/underinsured policies that the company said apply as primary to a driver’s personal automobile insurance policy when matched with a passenger.
Lyft also operates in the Michigan cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Troy and Warren.
Green and John Zimmer founded Lyft in June 2012 to “re-connect people and communities” through better transportation.
Lyft is available in more than 200 cities.