The ride-sharing car service Lyft is now available in Carbondale as of Thursday, according to Mary Caroline, a spokesperson for Lyft in a news release.
The service launches at noon on Thursday, meaning residents will be able to request a ride through Lyft by using their mobile device. Users will have to download the application, sign up and then request a ride.
Riders don't have to exchange cash or any money while using the service. They include their credit or debit card information through the application and then the money is transferred electronically through the application.
Lyft is also celebrating the launch by providing a promotional code for new users – LYFTLOVE17 – to receive $5 of their first Lyft ride.
“At Lyft, we are committed to offering our communities the best possible transportation,” said Jaime Raczka, Head of Early Stage Markets and Expansion. “That’s why we’re excited about the explosive growth coming in 2017, allowing even more passengers to experience all that Lyft stands for: a friendly, affordable ride people can rely on.”
As of Thursday, Lyft will have launched in 94 new cities since the beginning of the year, making the application available in about 300 cities.
The Carbondale City Council recently made changes to the regulation of taxis, which allowed for transportation network companies to operate. Those companies like Lyft connect paying passengers with drivers who provide transportation in their personal vehicle through a website or mobile application.
Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams said before the most recent council meeting on Feb. 14 that the city hadn’t been in contact with Lyft, but it wanted to be ready in case the companies come calling.
"We want to make some modifications to the taxicab ordinance to make the process less cumbersome and to move the application and licensing processes to the City Clerk's office," he said. "At the same time, we felt it was important to draft an ordinance that would allow Uber and Lyft to operate in the city as these services seem to be the future of taxi services.”
Look for an updated story in Saturday's edition of The Weekend Times.