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Stock Strategist

Last Mile or Last Straw?

Multimodal options help and hurt municipal relations on Lyft's way to a subscription model.

As we think about the ride-sharing industry, government negotiations and partnerships serve as a significant area of focus--and potential risk for companies like Uber and Lyft if they are unable to appease various government bodies. One area where ride-sharing companies can work with governments is in last-mile transportation, which may help to reduce congestion in dense areas.

In August 2018, New York City enacted a ban on new for-hire vehicle license issuances, serving as a cap to Uber and Lyft drivers and a warning concerning who’s in control of transportation and--consequently--its revenue. For this reason, we believe Lyft has much to gain from working with municipalities to solve transportation issues. By collaborating with local governments, municipalities may be less prone to cap for-hire vehicle permits and reach the last straw with ride-share companies and their resulting congestion. Although congestion can be eased with more shared rides, which Lyft is hoping to get from 30% of total rides (in markets where available) to 50% by 2022, we see providing last-mile solutions as a way ride-sharing companies can work with cities to solve transportation issues in the near term.