Lyft’s announcement this week that the ride-hailing company is donating $700,000 to expand transportation options in Oakland’s low-income neighborhoods was hailed by Oakland’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, as a way of “undoing the wrongs of the past”.
In a statement on Thursday, Lyft announced it had submitted a draft registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a move which sets it up to be one of the first large tech flotations of 2019.
The “gig” economy was supposed to be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to be their own boss. Everyone from Uber to Postmates, Lyft, Airbnb, Turo and Parklee have all sold themselves as platforms for freelancers and would-be entrepreneurs to work for themselves.
In May 2016, after months of failing to find a traditional job, I began driving for the ride-hailing company Lyft. I was enticed by an online advertisement that promised new drivers in the Los Angeles area a $500 “sign-up bonus” after completing their first 75 rides.