(Photo from the Gender Spectrum Collection, Creative Commons)
In a month awash with corporations adding rainbow colors to their logos, the ridesharing app Lyft has gone a bit further and partnered with the William Way Community Center to give back to the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia.
They’ve also stepped up with changes to their national operations.
App updates and national transgender initiatives
In a big first for ride sharing apps, riders using the most recently updated version of the Lyft app can select their preferred pronouns. According to Andrew Woolf, Lyft general manager for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, “[Lyft] worked with a group of Lyft LGBTQ+ employees alongside our partners at the Human Rights Campaign and National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) to evaluate which pronouns we should include in the app, including the option for if your pronoun isn’t listed.”
For riders interested in changing their pronouns, head to the “View profile” section of the Lyft app.
A note for Lyft drivers: a rider’s preferred pronouns will only be visible if they’ve updated it in app. “Since selecting pronouns are optional, drivers may not always see a pronoun for every passenger,“ Woolf said.
Drivers do not currently have the option to select their preferred pronoun. However, Lyft’s partnership with NCTE will provide resources to drivers who are transitioning, including $200 to help with name change fees and one-on-one advising with NCTE for drivers who complete 100 rides.
Anecdotally, it should only take about four hours to give 10 rides in the Philadelphia area, so meeting this criteria would take about 40 hours, depending on traffic and time of day.
Currently, this transgender support program is available for the first 75 drivers to join and it is set to expire at the end of 2019. According to Lyft’s blog, they are going to evaluate the level of interest when they decide whether or not this will continue beyond 2019.
Partnering with the William Way Community Center
Lyft is also offering a discount for specific travel to the William Way Center. “To activate the discount, you will need to type the discount code (WILLIAMWAY2019) into the promos section of the app. They are valid to or from William Way Center for the month of June on Thursdays for use to their TransWay meetings,” Woolf said.
From our Partners
Lyft will also be matching $50 general membership donations to William Way for a limited time. Anyone interested can make a donation here. Lyft has partnered with the William Way Center for two years now and Woolf expressed interest in continuing to work with William Way throughout the year.
“We were inspired to match donations because we know access/financial security can sometimes be a blocker for those looking for LGBTQIA+ resources,” Woolf said. “We felt this initiative would help remove that barrier and provide Philadelphians in need to access the resources of a trusted organization.”
Erin Busbee, interim development director at the William Way Center, said, “We love that Lyft is using their expertise and platform to make changes in that area.”
While Busbee hasn’t heard of anyone in Philadelphia taking part in Lyft’s trans* support services, she said, “We have spoken to Lyft reps about holding a training at the Center surrounding some of Lyft’s other efforts to support the trans* community, so be on the lookout for that.” They also plan on promoting the license change services at William Way.-30-
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