Lyft is partnering with Amtrak to help train passengers get to and from the train station. The new deal will let you book a car with the ride-hailing service from within Amtrak’s mobile app. If you’re a new Lyft rider, using the promo code “AMTRAKLYFT” grants you $5 discounts on the first four rides, regardless of whether they’re booked through the Amtrak app. Lyft says its service reaches 97 percent of all Amtrak riders in the US.
The business lingo Lyft is targeting here is known as first- and last-mile service, and it’s a big market opportunity for ride-hailing apps. Both Lyft and Uber allow people to get around without having to rely on their own vehicles or public transport, but neither can really solve the problem of having to get to and from larger transportation hubs like airports and train stations. The ride-hailing industry fought vigorously, and largely succeeded, at muscling airports into allowing drop-offs and pickups. Now, it appears like trains are presenting a new battlefront for Lyft and Uber to control how consumers travel.
“We’re looking forward to working with Amtrak. As a fixture of American travel, Amtrak makes it simple and convenient for passengers, something Lyft feels passionately about as well,” David Baga, Lyft’s chief business officer, said in a statement. “Both companies have a long-standing commitment to supporting communities we serve and we’re excited to grow together.”
The other message communicated between the lines here is that Lyft, unlike the beleaguered and CEO-less Uber, is in a prime position to gobble up partnership deals with companies that would rather not be associated with former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and his company’s months-long string of controversies. Just in the past week alone, Lyft has announced partnerships with both Disney and Taco Bell to bank on its current streak of consumer and corporate goodwill.