The PR struggle for Uber has had the opposite effect on their rival Lyft. Learning from the other company’s mistakes or just choosing to do what they feel is right, Lyft is building itself as the sensible and controversy free alternative to Uber. That doesn’t mean it’s true, of course, but it does mean that the company is seeing a boost in their public relations and want to keep riding the wave of positivity.
That’s where their new policy comes into play, giving users of the ride-sharing app a chance to use their money to donate to a charity.
According to Mashable, Lyft Vice President of Marketing Melissa Waters addressed the new option in a statement:
“Lyft is a values driven company and we deeply believe in participation. Round Up and Donate is a program that makes it easy to participate in a meaningful way by allowing people to give back to the causes they care about within our communities”
The only downfall seems to be the lack of an option to choose the charity you want to donate to. Mashable points out that while users can’t freely choose the charity, they can peruse a list of issues and charities related to the LGBT community, veterans, and the environment.
The policy does seem to take its inspiration from a similar initiative with RideAustin. The company took over when Uber and Lyft left town and implemented a donation system that sends money to local charities:
What is the charitable donation part of RideAustin?
We designed RideAustin from the beginning to be for the community by the community. There are a lot of great charities in Austin that we feel should also benefit from ridesharing. By making it easy for people to ’round up’ their fares – we can provide local charities contributions on an ongoing basis. Our charitable work will eventually include free and reduced priced rides to low income elderly and the disabled.