While 2017 was a year of extreme changes in Uber, it was a great year of abundance to Lyft. The differences in approach to how business policy and corporate culture is managed were the main reason behind these two giants end of the year results.
Uber was fighting internal issues, a mass of public protest, hundreds of legal battles and a major change in its executive. Lyft was busy increasing its US market share, expanding into Canada and continuing to be the "good" rideshare experience for drivers, as opposed to the bad Uber one.
Lyft reached a total of 375.5 million rides in the US and Canada in 2017, which is a 120% increase from their number in 2016.
A lot can be attributed to this amazing growth; the main one can be from the controversial management style of Uber's Travis Kalanick, that sowed disdain and discord wherever he went, as opposed to the restrained and friendly approach of Lyfts founder Zimmerman. Lyft also refrained from over-expansion and spending investors capital without concern of the results.
A lot of drivers and customers sought out a more secure and friendly solution to ridesharing due to Uber's executive's approach with disdain to law enforcement and state laws. According to one Lyft driver, 2017 was the year that the public got to see what Lyft was all about, and how Uber was not a "leader" or "Unique."
According to Woody Hartman, Lyft's VP of Operations, over 23 million passengers used Lyft in 2017, which is a major increase when compared to the 12 million in 2016. The number of Lyft drivers increased to 1.4 million during 2017. He told Forbes news that "We started 2017 with about 55% of the U.S. population covered with Lyft and ended at 95%," and added, "So now almost everyone in America has the opportunity to take a Lyft and drive for Lyft and we've seen immense growth from that."
The most amazing fact that Hartman shows us is the difference in their performance within four years. When he started out at Lyft, they celebrated their millionth ride after one year, in 2017 they can celebrate a million rides a day!
It is actually hard to substantiate actual ride figures since Uber does not release all its figures for public consumption. However, Uber is by far the biggest of the two, and in fact is competing with China's Didi Chuxing for no.1 spot in the world, Uber completed 4 billion rides in 2017 and had over 3 million drivers around the world.
However, Hartman's excitement is fully understood, and Lyft intends to maintain its steady growth during 2018. Including its continued research into autonomous vehicles.