As many other ride-hailing businesses Lyft has been negatively affected by the pandemic. In an unusual move Lyft is using its resources to create a team of urban planners who’s task it is to re-plan city streets that shift transportation focus from single passenger vehicles to buses, bikes and pedestrians.
Lyft has release case studies for what it has named “resilient streets.” These kinds of streets focus on multimodal commuting. In other words, many kinds of transportation options.
The plans go into detail about how streets in some major cities (Chicago, New York, DC) could have wider sidewalks for pedestrians and the streets themselves would favor biker and bus lanes. Some of the planning does clearly favor Lyft.
For example, expanded bike lanes could let Lyft expand its bikeshare service. Lyft already operates this service in the three named major cities.
Lyft said the company was motivated to make this move as cities came up with alternative transportation plans during the pandemic and embraced alternatives to cars. Lyft sees moving back to car-centric streets as a move backwards when cities have closed car streets to allow for more bikes and open dinning areas.
Lyft believes now that many cities have made the move from car-centric urban planning now is the time to push forward with the idea and not jump back to the old ways on a whim.