Here comes an awards program just for the ridesharing space.
In a move intended to show that it cares about not only its drivers and riders, but also the communities it operates in, Lyft has created the “Lyfties,” an awards program that “celebrates businesses and points of interest.” The winners are selected based on which locations receive the most passenger drop-offs throughout the year.
Although Lyft operates in more than 65 cities in the U.S., in the program’s inaugural year, Lyfties will only be awarded to businesses in the company’s top markets, including San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Chicago, Ill.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Miami, Florida; and Nashville, Tenn.
Winners have already been selected and will receive a customized Lyfties plaque and sticker that can be displayed in their place of business. Not only will each of the 10 aforementioned cities have winners in the six respective categories, but there will be nationwide recipients, as well.
Among the six categories are: Most Visited Restaurant, Most Visited Bar, Most Visited Event Space, and Most Visited Transit stop. There’s also an “Only in” category that will include unique places only found in each respective city. Lastly, there’s a “Trending Destination” award, given to the most popular pickup and drop-off spot in town.
Lyft wants to be viewed as a community partner, and this awards program is an effort to show its role in driving customers to local businesses while also being a good corporate citizen. A company spokesperson told VentureBeat: “We have local general managers in our top markets to help preserve that unique culture, and the Lyfties are our way of celebrating these local businesses and attractions that cities rely on. These cultural differences are also a big reason why we believe that partnering with local leaders (i.e. Didi, Ola, GrabTaxi) in some international markets is the best strategy.”
As ridesharing services face regulatory and legal challenges in cities around the U.S., Lyft hopes to build up some much-needed goodwill. Will an awards program convince residents that companies like Lyft have their community’s best interests at heart? Perhaps not, but it’s a start.
If nothing else, a Lyftie signifies that Lyft customers heavily favor that particular establishment, and it’s in the best interests of the business to support the service and encourage more patrons to use it — good promotion for Lyft any way you look at it.
For those interested, the results of the nationwide competition are in:
- Most Visited Restaurant: Tacolicious in San Francisco
- Most Visited Bar: The Abbey in Los Angeles
- Most Visited Coffeehouse: Starbucks
- Most Visited Business School: Harvard in Boston
- Trending Destination: Transit stops were the top destination in 2015
Lyft said that it’ll be expanding the Lyfties to include more cities in the future. So, if you’re looking for that coveted prize next time around, now’s the time to start encouraging customers to come to your business by way of Lyft.