Need a Lyft? Rideshare service launching in two Coast cities

Lyft is launching at noon Thursday in Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson and Mobile.
Lyft is launching at noon Thursday in Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson and Mobile. AP File

This week, the Lyft app will join Uber in offering its rideshare services to South Mississippi.

Lyft will launch at noon Thursday in Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg and Jackson, as well as Mobile. It is already available in New Orleans, but not yet in Slidell.

Both Lyft and Uber offer the ability to summon a driver and pay for a trip using only a smartphone. Anyone can sign up to be a Lyft driver as long as they and their vehicle meet the requirements.

New passengers can use the code LYFTLOVE17 to receive $5 off their first ride anywhere.

Unlike Uber, Lyft allows riders to tip drivers.

Uber, which has been available on the Coast since July, has faced a spate of recent controversies. Video surfaced of its CEO profanely berating a driver, and there have been allegations it routinely ignores sexual harassment. Most recently are accusations it used data on its users to evade and deceive authorities.

Uber even vowed in a Tuesday conference call with media to change direction and become a more humane company.

Many communities have debated allowing rideshare services over safety concerns. Austin, Texas, is the nation’s largest city without Uber. The company pulled out after leaders there required drivers to be fingerprinted.

However, both Lyft and Uber run background checks on drivers and provide additional auto insurance. They also require drivers to be at least 21, have a valid U.S. driver’s license for at least a year, and complete a vehicle inspection.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

How Lyft works

Request: Whether you’re riding solo or with friends, you’ve got options. Just tap request and a driver’s there.

Ride: After just a few taps in the app, a driver will be on their way to your pickup point.

Pay: When the ride ends, pay and rate your driver through your phone.

Source: Lyft