By Mike Kinney
R-Transit with Lyft service will continue serving Richmond after Lyft changed course on shutting down all ridershare operations in California.
Lyft and Uber had threatened to cease ridershare service in the state on Friday amid a legal dispute over a recent state law requiring drivers to be classified as employees instead of independent contractors. A court decision in their favor today prompted Lyft’s decision to reverse course and continue operating as usual.
Mary Cummings, Paratransit Driver and Lead Worker for the City of Richmond, said Lyft confirmed Lyft will remain in operation as part of the city’s R-Transit program temporarily and until further notice.
Lyft recently partnered with the City of Richmond to provide subsidized Lyft for R-Transit service to West County cities and the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Veterans hospital in Martinez. Since July 2019, Lyft has transported 221 R-Transit clients.
Cummings said Lyft said her “heart dropped” when she learned earlier Thursday about Lyft’s plans to cease ridershare operations in California, saying the company has been “instrumental with our R-Transit clients.”
While R-Transit service operates weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lyft operates 24 hours, seven days a week, Cummings said. R-Transit serves West County but doesn’t go as far as Martinez.