Lyft: Rideshare with flair - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Lyft: Rideshare with flair

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Perhaps you've seen them on the road -- the cars with the big pink mustaches on their grills. They're part of a company new to San Diego offering a unique and affordable way to get around town.

The latest wave in inner city travel is as easy and efficient as downloading the app of a company called Lyft.

"Lyft is a peer-to-peer ride sharing app that started in San Francisco over a year ago," senior marketing manager Austin Schumacher said. "It's an app for your phone. Passengers will open up the app, request a ride and within a couple of minutes, a driver comes and picks you up."

Lyft now operates in six major U.S. cities. The company launched here over a month ago, has over 100 San Diego drivers using their personal cars and their own personas, like Patrick Abney, aka "Pat the Pirate."

"Drivers like me, they get to express themselves. Pick up great passengers and have a great time," Abney said.

Pat plunders the streets of San Diego with sea shanties and a parrot puppet waiting for his next ride. Lyft cars cannot be flagged down; they must be apped. Passengers are encouraged to sit up front to make the ride more personal.

"All of the drivers are fully vetted. They go through background checks. They go through DMV checks," Schumacher said. "It's really about building these connections between people."

"Everybody who gets in the car first of all just loves it. They just love the pirate music. They love that I'm dressed up. I have hats in the back they can put on, they can take pictures. A lot of photo ops, they just have a great time," Abney said.

Fares are based on time and distance.

"So at the end of the ride, a passenger will get a suggested donation and then again they just pay everything through the app. So super simple, super convenient and really affordable too. It's more affordable than a taxi by about 20 percent," Schumacher said.

Whether you're channeling your inner Jack Sparrow, or just looking for a lift across town, now all it takes is a snap of an app.

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