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Thursday, September 27, 2018

You Could Win $300 From Lyft and a Monthly RTA Pass if You Pledge to "Ditch Your Car" in October

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 8:59 AM

click to enlarge Photo of Lyft car courtesy of Flickr user Spiros Vathis -
  • Photo of Lyft car courtesy of Flickr user Spiros Vathis
In a promotion sponsored by the ridesharing company Lyft and RTA, Clevelanders have the opportunity to win $300 in Lyft credits and a monthly RTA pass ($95) if they pledge to give up their car from Oct. 8 - Nov. 6.

The goal of the "Ditch Your Car" program, said Lyft in a press release, is to promote multimodal transit options.

“The way that people move around cities is changing faster than ever, and we are excited to challenge Cleveland residents to change their everyday habits and give up their car for a month,” said Jay Dumaswala, Market Manager for Lyft Cleveland, in a statement. “Lyft alone is not the overall solution to overcome transportation hurdles, but by partnering with the RTA, we are able to create a full menu of mobility options for Cleveland residents.”

As of Wednesday, sign-ups were live at Fifty people who make the pledge will be awarded the credits.

Lyft says that it is committed to being "part of the solution to reduce congestion, carbon footprint and the pain points of personal car ownership in Cleveland," and this promotion is certainly a fun way to encourage regular drivers to experiment with other transit modes over a discrete time period. (It would've been nice to see something like this coming from literally any regional leader, public or private, many of whom continue to cite transportation as a major challenge — because they think they're supposed to? — but do nothing about it.)

Increasing ridership for RTA is critically important. So is funding it. Lyft and RTA might also consider lobbying to overturn the 2015 law, written by an Uber lobbyist, that prevents municipalities from taxing or regulating ridesharing companies. That preemptive law means that Cleveland can't levy a $0.27 per-ride fee to help fund RTA, as was proposed last year.

The fee would likely generate nowhere near as much funding as other mechanisms recently proposed, including a parking tax, (which in Cleveland funds First Energy stadium, because of course it does), but it's something.    

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