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Los Angeles, CA
I'm a Lyftangelist. This blog was created to be a voice for LA Lyft passengers. I am not employed by Lyft. I took on this initiative after the cease and desist letter was presented to Lyft in LA. Lyft is providing quality service in an otherwise fragmented industry and providing safer options for transportation in our community. Keep LA Lyft alive!

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
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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:

Calling all LA Lyfters

How much do I love Lyft? Let me count the ways...

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.....ah, forget it! It would take forever to count that high. Not only did I start a blog to help keep Lyft alive in LA, I wrote a letter to key city officials! Are you an LA Lyfter? How much do you love Lyft? Do you want to keep Lyft in our beloved city?

Click here to read more about what's going on with Lyft in LA and how you can help! Let your voice be heard, LA Lyfters!

You can also submit your Lyft story here and I'll post it to this blog.

My Lyftiversary

Next Wednesday, July 3rd, will mark exactly three months I have been using Lyft in LA. Happy Lyftiversary to meeeee! When I say I use Lyft a lot, I mean, I use Lyft A LOT. I have used Lyft several times in one day on more than one occasion. I'm so thankful I was introduced to Lyft and I tell everyone I can about how much my quality of life has improved since I met the pink mustache.

In honor of my Lyftiversary, I would like to list some of the reasons I am loyal to Lyft and why I want to help keep Lyft alive in LA.

  • Friendly service: You feel as though you are getting a ride from a friend, not a stranger. You are greeted with respect, a smile and a friendly fistbump.
  • Safety: I have always, always felt I was in good hands while riding with a Lyft driver. From my experience, all Lyft drivers have been aware of their surroundings, respectful of other drivers and always looked out for my safety reminding me to buckle up. They don't text or talk on the phone while driving - unlike so many cab drivers I've had!
  • Comfortable and clean: Every Lyft car I have been in has been comfortable, clean and offered extras (water, snacks, phone chargers, music of my choice, etc.)
  • Reliability: I can count on my Lyft drivers to always show up.  You would think this is a given, right? Wrong. I have had cab drivers just simply not show up. 
  • Overall positive experience: Read above. Enough said.
  • The obvious: Duh. It goes without saying, but I'll say it. I love the pink 'stache.

Thank you, Lyft. Thank you for providing me, my family and my friends an alternative to a service that has really gone downhill. You have helped to improve my quality of life and the quality of life for so many others. It would be exceedingly disappointing to lose you in LA. 

Now, let them eat cake.  Pink cake, of course. 

My First Lyft

The same weekend I got the Lyft link text from my friend, I set up my Lyft account. I was still unsure as to what Lyft was, but was curious enough and coupled with the simple fact I was SO OVER the repeatedly rude treatment I got from LA cab drivers, it was worth a shot to at least set up an account on my phone. It took just a few minutes and voila! A cute little floating balloon icon was now on my phone's home screen.

On April 3rd, I was meeting the same friend who told me about Lyft for dinner so decided it would be the perfect time to give it a whirl.  I touched the little floating balloon on my screen, the GPS tracked my location and with a couple of quick finger touches, I requested a Lyft! A few seconds later, a Tinkerbell-like sound floated a response to me. My Lyft driver, Dylan, was only 3 minutes away. On my screen were two photos: a friendly, smiling face and the type of car that would be picking me up. That was easy.

I stepped outside to wait and moments later, a car with a giant pink, furry mustache pulled up. (So, that's what those are, I thought!) The car matched the photo on my phone so I knew it was my Lyft ride. I opened the front passenger door and Dylan greeted me with a huge smile, an upbeat "hello" and extended his hand towards me inviting a fistbump you only ever get as a kudos for saying and/or doing something completely awesome or a form of secret handshake that's reserved only for your besties.  My fist met his and before I could ask if it was okay if I sat up front, Dylan said, "Hop on in, where are we going?" I immediately began apologizing that I wasn't going far, explaining that I'm not too lazy to walk, that I have on heels...blah, blah, blah. (I was so used to explaining myself to cab drivers at this point!) Dylan laughed and said, "No worries! Do you need to stop anywhere along the way? Can I offer you a water? Snack? Do you need a cell phone charger?"


Is this for real, I thought to myself? All the simple things a person wants. Really? I was in a bit of shock.  Clean car. Check! Friendly driver. Check! A smile. Check! And then the added water, snacks, phone charger, polite offer to stop? I couldn't believe my ears. I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but I have had so many horrible cab experiences that I felt like I was on some other planet. A planet with flying, floating happy cars that donned pink mustaches with friendly drivers behind the wheel who felt like friends within 3 seconds of meeting...errrr.....fistbumping.

Dylan ended up stopping at three stores for me, navigating through traffic carefully, respectfully and as if I were precious cargo he had to deliver in mint condition. Come on, have you ever ridden in a cab? Precious cargo you are not. On top of that, Dylan and I had a great conversation about music and he gave me the name of some new awesome artists to check out. Instant BFFs. I was so impressed, I made sure I knew how to spell Dylan's name right so I could immediately send my gratitude over the omnipresent social media world! I sent my first tweet about Lyft just as we were arriving to my destination.

There was no turning back for me. I wanted to find the person/people behind this pink mustache Lyft phenomenon and give him/her/them a giant hug, kiss, fistbump...whatever! All I knew was I was very, very happy and knew this was the beginning of a beautiful Lyftlationship.

Fast forward to now and next week will be my three month Lyftiversary!


During dinner, I shared the horrible cab incident with a friend of mine along with some other recent LA cab horror stories I encountered. She nonchalantly said, "I don't know why you just don't use Lyft." I looked at her quizzically, "Lyft?" She glanced down at her phone, typed away like a mad scientist for a second, looked up and said, "There you go. You're all set. Just click the link. Let's eat."

My phone buzzed. A text. "Download the app now. You won't regret it."

I put my phone away, brushed off the earlier evening's taxing taxi discord and enjoyed the rest of the evening with my friends. 


It's a Saturday night. March 30, 2013, to be exact. With my hair and makeup completed in old Hollywood style, I put on a fitted, stylish black dress (think Sophia Loren at Romanoff's, circa 1957)  and a pair of 6" Louboutin peep-toe pumps. I was excited. Due to work, travel and personal preference, there's months I don't go out much at all. On this particular Saturday though, I was meeting friends I hadn't seen for a very long time for a birthday celebration.

Of course there would be drinking involved so a cab would definitely be in order for the evening. Although the restaurant I was meeting my friends for dinner was only a mile away, there was no way I was going to saunter (yes, ladies, you should saunter when in aforementioned Loubies) the short distance while also carrying a bottle of wine and wrapped gifts for the party.

Cab called. I waited. 

Cab finally arrives. It's a dusty mini-van. Okay, fine. I know I felt like a queen all dolled up for the evening, but hey, I was still just a regular girl underneath...a mini-van cab would suffice. I can't get the door open. The driver, seemingly irritated by my mere presence (perhaps he's offended by well-dressed women, I think to myself) yells something about how I'm "doing it wrong!" I really don't understand what he's saying. I just know he's not speaking to me in a nice tone and his facial expression basically touted I was an idiot. I don't allow his negative attitude to affect my good mood. I'm still feeling beautiful, now teetering on my 6" heels, armed with wine and gifts I finally struggle to open the door. Place my things inside and then struggle again to close the door.  

I tell the driver the address. He rolls his eyes, gives out a huge sigh and says abruptly, "cash only!" I look at the credit card machine right in front of my face and ask him if it's broken. He repeats, "cash only!" I told him I didn't have cash and only my debit card. He says, "I stop at ATM." This wasn't the first time this happened to me in a Los Angeles cab so I wasn't too surprised. Disgusted, but not surprised. I glance at the time on my phone and know I'm close to running late (unacceptable by my standards, ever to run late) so I know I have no choice at this point but to take this cab. 

There wasn't a bank on the way to the restaurant so the driver had to go out of the way to take me to the ATM to pay him cash. Remember the door episode? I had to now go through that struggle twice (only without the wine and gifts). So I was basically going to have a higher fare now to go through this unnecessary rigamarole. I didn't plan to start my evening this way. Not at all. 

That entire cab fiasco caused me to only be a little late (which is a lot late to me) so I wasn't feeling the love for this cab service at all by the time I carefully stepped (wobbled) out in the front of the restaurant. I still tipped the driver. I can't help it. That's just my nature. Nevertheless, I was appalled at the entire incident.

Funny thing is that as the driver rudely took the cash (and tip) I walked away feeling as though he was as unimpressed with me as a passenger as I was with him as a cab service provider I was paying for.