By Katy Savage
After navigating roadblocks preventing Lyft’s expansion in Vermont, a bill signed by the governor June 19 has made it possible for the ride hailing company to expand statewide.
The popular transportation service available through an app went live in Rutland and Barre Sunday, July 1—the same day the bill (Act 3) went into effect.
There were no drivers in the Rutland areas on Sunday. But the Lyft app was open for drivers to sign up.
The act, sponsored by Rep. Jean O’Sullivan, D-Burlington, sets rules for drivers transporting people. It requires the driver to maintain a $1 million insurance policy for death, bodily injury and property damage when transporting someone for payment. The act allows a car company a driver works for to maintain insurance on the driver’s behalf.
Lyft has been available in Burlington, Middlebury, Montpelier and the surrounding areas since May 2017.
“We are excited that all Vermonters will soon be able to access reliable and affordable transportation with Lyft,” said Zachary Kizer, a spokesperson for Lyft.
Lyft “can provide passengers with access to affordable and reliable transportation throughout the entire state of Vermont,” Kizer said. Though more popular in cities, Kizer said people in rural areas use Lyft to make trips to get to and from an airport or to get around while their car is being serviced.
The availability of rides depends on the availability of drivers.
“Ultimately, our goal is to provide drivers with the flexible earning opportunity of driving with Lyft —particularly in their own communities—and to provide passengers with access to affordable and reliable transportation throughout the entire state of Vermont,” Kizer said.
Lyft’s competitor Uber, is available in Burlington, Killington and Waterbury.
Lyft is available in 45 states, plus Washington D.C.