Lyft Launches Women+ Connect

Lyft describes its new Women+ Connect as a “new preference feature prioritizes matches between some and nonbinary drivers and riders.” While women make up nearly half of Lyft riders, they account for just 23% of drivers on the Lyft platform, based on a recent survey, Lyft stated.

Introducing Women+ Connect, a new feature that matches women and nonbinary driver with more women and nonbinary riders.

This highly requested feature offers more control over the driving experience for women and nonbinary people, allowing them to feel that much more confident. And with fewer barriers to driving, more women can access flexible earning opportunities – whether they’re driving to build a business, support their family, or simply to enjoy earning good money while meeting great people.

Women+ Connect also offers riders more choice. And for both drivers and riders, we’ve been encouraged by how often camaraderie and comfort come up as additional benefits.

How it works

Women+ Connect puts women and nonbinary people in the driver’s seat – literally – by letting them choose to match with more women and nonbinary riders. The feature offers the option to turn on a preference in the Lyft app to prioritize matches with other nearby women and nonbinary riders. If no women or nonbinary riders are nearby, drivers with the preference on will still be matched with men as Women+ Connect is a preference feature, not a guarantee.

When the feature goes live in a city, women and nonbinary riders will be prompted in their Lyft app to select ‘Count me in,’ which will increase their chances of matching with women and nonbinary drivers. Women and nonbinary drivers will see the same opt in. Anyone can update their preference or opt out in their settings at any time.

The feature will roll out in select early-access cities in the US: Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. We’ll be ensuring customers in each city have a great experience as we look to roll out to more cities very soon.

NBC News reported that Lyft is ramping up its efforts to provide women and nonbinary users worry-free rides, whether they’re the rider or the driver.

“Just for you own peace of mind, the ability to choose a woman driver might be exactly the thing that allows you to say, you know what, yeah, this really is making my life better,” Lyft CEO David Risher told NBC’s Savannah Sellers in an exclusive interview on TODAY.

Risher said in a press release that this feature gives women and nonbinary people “the opportunity to earn money on their terms.”

In the release, Lyft says that while women make up nearly half of the demographic of its riders, only 23% of its drivers are women. It says that by giving women and nonbinary drivers the option to be more selective when it comes to who they’re matched with, the company is creating an environment that allows women and nonbinary drivers to feel more “confident.”

TechCrunch reported that while a quarter of Lyft’s ride-hailing app’s drivers are women, about 50% are riders. Lyft has long been aware of the woman driver-to-rider gap, according to Audrey Liu, head of design. A concerted effort to increase the presence of women on the app began in 2019, but was derailed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Personally, I like this idea that Lyft is launching. I think it will make women who are by themselves, and want to take a Lyft home, to feel more comfortable if the driver is also a woman. As a nonbinary person, I am happy that Lyft acknowledges people like me.