Days after Uber announced it was extending its Bay Area office reach to Oakland, Lyft told 20 customer support employees that their jobs would be moving from San Francisco to Nashville, along with the company’s customer service headquarters. The move to Music City is partly to escape San Francisco’s increasingly unaffordable rents. According to TechCrunch, Nashville’s average rent per square foot is between $18 and $22, compared with San Francisco’s $70 per-square-foot price tag.
We’ve been told the plan is to grow the Nashville office and hire hundreds of new employees. It’s not clear if all 20 of those team members asked to go will do so. However, we’ve heard that at least one longtime senior member of the team will be making the move.
It’s not just affordability that influenced Lyft. Nashville has adopted legislation to help app-based ride-hailing services like Lyft, even while other cities have put up roadblocks.
The new headquarters could create 400 jobs in Nashville, according to the Tennessean.
“As we continue to grow we know we need more space for the employees who support our passengers and drivers,” Lyft said in an official statement to TechCrunch. “We chose Nashville as the home of our newest office because it is a great city with a lower cost of living and a growing talent pool.”
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.