DETROIT -- Lyft's fledgling campaign to convince motorists they no longer need to own cars
One week after Lyft kicked off its "Ditch Your Car" program, more than 150,000 people have signed up to participate in what amounts to an experiment that entices participants to park their vehicles for a month in exchange for a bundled package of transportation alternatives.
Not all will be enrolled in the program, and it's unclear how many the ride-hailing service will accept. But Raj Kapoor, chief strategy officer at Lyft, said the number of people who have expressed interest has far exceeded the company's projections of a few thousand. The interest, he said, is indicative of a generational shift in travel preferences.
"Young people care about access to cars, not ownership, and their identity is not tied to a car as much as it used to be," he said.
Motorists selected to participate will receive access to shared Lyft vehicles, Zipcar's short-term car-rental network, local transit and bike-rental partners. They'll park their cars for a 30-day period from Monday to Nov. 6.
The program will run in 35 cities across the U.S., including New York and Los Angeles, and it follows an iteration of the ditch program conducted in Chicago, in which participants received a $550 monthly stipend.
Lyft executives have been leading advocates of an anti-ownership worldview, one they say is necessary to reduce emissions and traffic congestion. In 2016, company co-founder John Zimmer predicted car ownership would be dead in major cities by 2025, and this program is an effort to accelerate that shift.