Lyft, which recently announced partnerships with Disney and Taco Bell, has added Amtrak to its growing list of corporate allies.
The two announced their partnership Tuesday, which will allow customers using the Amtrak mobile app to access the Lyft app. Their pair-up is marketed as an attempt to close the first-last mile gap.
“We are focused on improving the customer experience, and this is one way we are working to make your entire journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible,” Jason Molfetas, executive vice president for marketing and business development for Amtrak, said in a release.
That gap, as The Verge points out, is potentially a cash cow for ride-hailing apps, which have “fought vigorously, and largely succeeded, at muscling airports into allowing drop-offs and pickups.” Train stations may be the next frontier.
Lyft has a history of partnering with public agencies (one example of that in Portland here) — a strategy that Uber has also tried out in the last few years, albeit with mixed success. According to The Verge, the Amtrak partnership is a definite win for Lyft, which “unlike the beleaguered and CEO-less Uber, is in a prime position to gobble up partnership deals with companies,” many of which would prefer to avoid an association with former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and the company’s less-than-stellar track record at avoiding controversy.
Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian