By Dave Schwab
Lyft unveiled its 35,000-square-foot, one-stop-shop driver center with a lounge and full-service auto repairs at a Feb. 11 press conference in a converted Bay Park retail space that once was a Toys R Us.
“We’re proud to restore this building to support thousands of drivers who bring joy every day to riders across San Diego,” said Hao Meng, Lyft’s Southern California general manager.
Likening Lyft’s new full-service auto maintenance and repair facility at 1240 West Morena Blvd. to a “race car pit stop,” Meng noted, “This means drivers can get back on the road quickly and affordably to keep going.”
Both current San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and past mayor Jerry Sanders, who is now CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the official opening of the driver center. Both men touted the center’s importance to San Diego’s economy.
“I love the transformation,” said Faulconer. “Thank you for your investment in San Diego. Our business community welcomes it, supports it, and wants to see it continue to grow and expand.”
“From a business perspective offering sustainable, affordable and accessible transportation to our workforce is important to the growth and development of jobs throughout our region,” said Sanders. “Lyft’s thousands of drivers throughout San Diego are an important part or our transportation infrastructure. Lyft provides San Diego drivers with the flexibility to earn an income on their own schedule.”
Vehicle services offered at Lyft’s Driver Center include maintenance and routine services such as conventional or synthetic oil change, tire rotation and replacement, brake pad replacement, wiper blade replacement, filter changes, spark plug replacement, battery replacement, and free diagnostic assessments.
The center also serves as a driver hub, providing drivers a comfortable place to relax in between rides, with access to bathrooms, Wi-Fi, coffee, lounge and work spaces. Drivers can connect in-person with Lyft community representatives for assistance, including vehicle inspections and app support.
Lyft’s Express Driver program also operates out of the San Diego Driver Center. It connects Lyft drivers to rental vehicles with standard maintenance and insurance coverage through rental partner, Flexdrive. A rental fleet, including 100 hybrid vehicles, are available for Lyft drivers to rent as an alternative way to drive and earn.
When asked what distinguishes Lyft, Meng said, “We offer fast and affordable vehicle service along with driver support and rental vehicles through our Express Ride program, all under one roof. Our goal really is to deliver services that our drivers need. We focus on treating our drivers better, and we believe when we treat our drivers better, that they will treat our riders better.”
Faulconer said the new Lyft Driver Center will support the City’s efforts to enact “our landmark Climate Action Plan, where we are slashing greenhouse gases, creating more housing and increasing alternative mobility options. All of this is incredibly important because it puts us closer to our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2035 citywide.”
“The more options available for employees to commute to and from work is an asset to our region,” said Sanders. “This new driver center will keep San Diego Lyft drivers thriving and San Diego moving forward.”
Lyft was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada.
Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for cities and making cities more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bike share systems, electric scooters and public transit partnerships.
For more information on Lyft in San Diego, visit www.lyft.com/cities/san-diego-ca.