PORTLAND, Maine — In an apparent push into Portland, ride-sharing service Lyft is looking for drivers and touting its tipping policy as favorable compared to that of Uber and traditional taxis, a city councilor told BDN Portland.
Jon Hinck, who works on transportation regulation as chair of the City Council Committee on Environment and Sustainability, said he learned that Lyft was looking for local drivers about a week and a half ago, when the company sent him a message inviting him to join their team behind the wheel.
“I knew they were coming because I was solicited to be a driver,” said Hinck, who is traveling and could not immediately pass along the message he had been sent. “They were looking for drivers and talking about the different policies they have from Uber.”
Lyft, much like Uber, operates by allowing drivers to connect and coordinate rides with passengers through a smartphone app that can track both parties’ locations through a global positioning satellite.
You cannot currently hail a ride through Lyft in Portland but, as the Portland Press Herald first reported yesterday evening, the San Francisco-based company told representatives of the Portland International Jetport earlier in the month that it intended to begin operations in Portland today, July 28.
Jetport director Paul Bradbury said that he’s had no contact with the company since they first reached out to him to find out what regulations govern airport operation, although he did say that they have been advertising for drivers, including on local radio.
“Obviously, you have to have your system in place before you start offering your service,” said Bradbury.
Lyft did not respond to requests for comment.