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Lyft Tracking to Double Ridership in 2017

Company adds former Obama adviser Jarrett to board.

by on Aug.02, 2017

Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to the Obama Administration, has joined the Lyft board of directors.

Lyft has carried more passengers during the first six months of 2017 than in all of 2016, according to new statistics released by the company, which has succeeded in spreading its service to dozens of additional cities in the U.S. and capitalizes on a goody-two-shoes image that has separated it from archrival Uber.

The company noted it has expanded into 360 communities and that 80% of the U.S. population can use the service now.

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Ridership at Uber, the leader in ride-sharing services, continues to dwarf Lyft’s, which recorded 162.5 million customer trips through the end of June. Uber has reported that it has given more than 5 billion rides worldwide since 2010.

However, Uber’s advantage is eroding as turmoil in the company’s executive ranks continues to wreak havoc on its reputation and operating performance, which has always depended on scorning local regulations. The turmoil has prompted some riders and potential partners to avoid Uber.

(Left establishes stand-alone autonomous unit. Click Here for the story.)

Through the first half of 2017, Lyft has already exceeded its total ridership for all of 2016.

Uber has been without a CEO since June when company co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned after a board revolt triggered by a damning report by an outside counsel. Kalanick quit, under duress, after the investigation found widespread sexual harassment at the company. Kalanick also was captured on video issuing a profanity-laced tirade toward an Uber driver.

Uber is also now facing a federal investigation for allegedly using software to thwart city inspectors who were trying to monitor its drivers.

(Click Here for details about Lyft’s development deal with Waymo.)

And finding a replacement for Kalanick has not gone smoothly. The reported front-runner, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman announced on Thursday that she would not take the job.

Media reports say some board members are now talking to Jeffrey Immelt, who is preparing to retire from his job as chairman of General Electric, while the New York Times reported this week that Kalanick may attempt to regain an operational role in the company he helped to create.

(“Passenger economy” will grow to $7 trillion by 2050, Intel predicts. For the story, Click Here.)

Lyft confirmed its 2017 ridership numbers for the first time Monday while announcing the appointment of a new board member. Former Obama administration senior adviser Valerie Jarrett is the board’s 10th member. She was assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs for his entire term, according to Lyft.

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