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Lyft, a new car sharing service, makes its Detroit debut

There's a new transit option for people in want of a ride, available everywhere from downtown Detroit to the suburbs and back. Lyft, the San Francisco-based car sharing app, launched in Detroit this Friday, March 28.

Passengers enter their credit card information into the app when first signing up for the service. The transaction between driver and rider is always cash-free. The app then calculates mileage, time, pickup fee, and the Lyft Trust and Safety fee to determine a suggested payment for the driver. It is up to the passenger how much they will pay for the ride.

Lyft first sent a launch team to Detroit about a month before officially starting services. The team came to determine whether the city was a fit for Lyft and, once decided that it was, began training and hiring drivers.

"Our hope is that we fill a gap in transportation in the city where people won't have to rely on having their own cars," says Lyft spokesperson Paige Thelen.

For drivers, such a service allows them to offer rides while on their way to work or school and make some extra money. Lyft also allows drivers to create their own brands, encouraging drivers to offer unique, friendly rides with an emphasis on human interaction. Lyft cars are identifiable by the giant, fuzzy pink mustaches drivers attach to the front of their vehicles.

The company is quick to point out its commitment to safety. Drivers must pass background checks, driving record checks, phone screenings, in-person meetings, and vehicle inspections. There is a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. Lyft also features a $1 million liability insurance policy.

Drivers use their own vehicles and make themselves available whenever they want to be, 24 hours a day.

Source: Paige Thelen, spokesperson for Lyft
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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