Taxi-alternative program to launch in Miami Thursday

Lyft allows customers to request ride through smartphone app


MIAMI – A car service offering an affordable alternative to taking taxis is launching Thursday in Miami. Lyft allows customers to request rides through the use of a smartphone app and track their assigned drivers until they arrive at their pick-up location.

Lyft drivers use their own cars, but they are easily identifiable by the company's token pink mustache placed on the hood of cars.

According to its website, Lyft completes in-person screenings on each driver, as well as an extensive check of their driving record. Each driver has a $1 million liability insurance, in addition to their own auto insurance. The cars they use must be a model year 2000 or newer and pass a 19-point vehicle inspection.

To protect both the drivers and customers, the app uses a two-way rating system. If a driver is rated three stars or below, the customer will never be matched with them again. If a driver's average falls below 4.5 out of 5 stars, they will no longer be able to be a Lyft driver.  

Customers in Miami will be given recommended amounts for how much they should pay their driver. In some larger cities, Lyft sets an amount for rides based on time and distance. 

New passengers who sign up in the next two weeks will receive two weeks of free and unlimited rides with Lyft.

The Miami program launches at 7pm Thursday. For more information about the app or becoming a driver, click here