The ride-sharing technology company Lyft — famous for its pink mustachioed cars — unveiled a hub for drivers in Phoenix as the company says it tripled its number of rides since last year.
In 2016, Lyft contributed $40 million to the Phoenix area economy, said Drena Kusari, the ride-sharing company’s southwest region general manager. Lyft expects its economic contributions to increase “meaningfully” this year, she said at the grand opening ceremony.
“We’re envisioning there to be a ton of growth, which is one of the reasons we’re continuing to invest (in Phoenix),” Kusari said.
The company hosted local political and economic development leaders at a grand-opening of the driver hub in Phoenix, outside of Sky Harbor International Airport near 40th Street and Broadway Road, on Thursday.
The hub currently houses 12 dedicated employees and will serve as a place for drivers to congregate in-between rides as well as a vehicle inspection facility and other internal services for Lyft.
At the hub, there were many places for drivers to meet, and enjoy free beverages in between rides. There were espresso machines, jars of pink-colored candies and healthy snacks available.
Vehicle driver inspections can also be conducted at Lyft’s Phoenix driver hub. The ride-sharing company currently has nine other facilities like this in the U.S., including in Boston and San Francisco, where it is based.
The full-time staffers at the facility work on day-to-day operations for the ride-sharing company, including marketing.
On the afternoon of the hub’s grand opening, Lyft drivers met with LinkedIn experts as part of a partnership between Lyft and LinkedIn to help the drivers with career services.
This is the second Phoenix event where drivers were able to get LinkedIn, interview and networking training.
“We want to make sure the drivers who ultimately want to go on and do bigger things, we want to help them,” Kusari said.
Recently, The New York Times reported that Lyft and the self-driving car company Waymo entered into an agreement. Through the agreement, both companies will “work together to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts,” The New York Times reported.
Waymo, which is a spinoff from Google, tests its self-driving cars throughout the Valley. Kusari was unable to comment on whether any operations stemming from the agreement would be conducted in the Valley.