LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The ride sharing business in Arkansas just got bigger as Lyft officially launches statewide.
Lyft is similar to Uber in that you use it on your phone and you tell your driver where you want to go. Uber has already been in Arkansas for three and a half years.
Lyft driver Roy Cook said he received the e-mail he could start driving for Lyft at 8 a.m. Thursday. He applied to drive two months ago and in the meantime also drove for Uber.
"I've had good reception when I picked people up. They've all been very appreciative," Cook said.
Cook said most of his Lyft trips were at the airport where people coming from other places already had Lyft in their state.
“It was mostly people flying in because I don’t think a lot of people knew it was rolling out [Thursday],” Cook said.
Cook also said the addition of Lyft is a good thing for Arkansas. He said he will continue to drive for both ride sharing companies.
"This should cut down on congestion a lot," he said.
On the surface, more ride sharing options could seem like bad news for public transportation. But, Becca Green with Rock Region Metro says otherwise.
"Ride hailing programs like Lyft and Uber actually compliment public transit very well," Green said. “In transit we have a first mile, last mile problem and it’s basically ‘How are you going to get easily to a transit stop that is closest to you?’"
Green said more ride sharing services also help with safety on the roads.
"For example, if you miss the last bus home and its about 8 p.m. in the evening and you want to stay out for a few hours, you now have more options to do that," she said.
If you ever consider catching a ride with a driver, Cook said there is nothing to be afraid of.
"Companies know everything about both parties. They know where you live, they got your credit card they got your name, vehicle, license," Cook said.
Cook said the biggest difference between Uber and Lyft is that the pay for Lyft drivers is slightly better. The Lyft app is free to download in your app store.