Michael's Lyft Story

I asked for your Lyft story submissions to add to the Keep LA Lyft Alive blog and today I received Michael's story. Oh, and you may have seen Michael last week on HuffPost Live in a panel discussion regarding the cease and desist placed on Lyft by taxi regulators at LADOT.  If not, you can watch it here.  Now without further adieu, below is Michael's story. Thanks for sharing with us, Michael!

I have a disability and can't walk more than a few blocks at a time. Lyft in particular has made my life a little easier & less expensive. I take *at least* a few Lyfts every week-sometimes many more, and I never have trust issues with Lyft drivers. With LA cabbies, I unfortunately have to assume I can't trust them until they prove me wrong. Most LA cabbies give me a hard time/ask for a ridiculous flat rate/refuse me for short rides, try to overcharge me and/or not run the meter, throw a fit about using credit cards, and just don't feel trustworthy. 

If I forget my phone in a cab, I'll never see it again. If I forget my phone in a Lyft, most of their drivers would *deliver* it back to me with a smile. You even have a way to get a hold of them directly if you do forget something-not with cabs. Lyft drivers have never given me a hard time about short rides & are just good, friendly people. I took a longer Lyft once & got stranded at a party that had already gotten broken up, so the driver got me back home & insisted on not charging me because he was a good human being & wanted to help me out. 

Lyft payment is all through the phone app so I never have to worry about cash, suggested donations are at a much fairer rate than LA taxies, and the rating & profile system (seeing a picture of the driver, car, and overall rating) makes my friends & I more confident about who we're getting in the car with & gives us the option to cancel the request and look for someone else if the driver that accepts the request makes us uncomfortable...and if it *is* a terrible ride/driver (hasn't happened yet-at least 30 Lyft rides under my belt), I can choose to donate less & more importantly give a low rating that ensures I'll never be sent that driver again. 

Lyft drivers often have phone chargers, water, and other creature comforts and are again just more friendly drivers that make me feel happy to be in the car. And again, they're more fair & affordable which is really important-living with a disability can be expensive-especially when it comes to getting around, and Lyft really takes some of the strain off my wallet, makes it easier to keep up with my able-bodied friends, and & also really discourages me from making stupid decisions about driving under the influence. 

Maybe competition will force cab companies & drivers to do better, and it's definitely not fair to squash the competition. Stopping Lyft has nothing to do with public safety-in fact it's the opposite-and ONLY protects the cab companies' and drivers' ability to treat me & many others poorly. 

I will even say Lyft and other services like it make strides towards a better society. Don't take that away, and don't make it harder & more expensive for people with disabilities to get around town.

Michael Konowitz
Contact Michael
Follow Michael on Twitter

Contact-respectfully-these important people with your support for Lyft!  
Even a one-sentence email helps.
Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti
(323) 957-4500
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
(213) 473-7011

Check out Lyft's blog & explore their site: http://blog.lyft.me


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