Lyft says Milwaukee riders had $10 million economic impact in 2017

Survey profiles local passengers and drivers

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Ridesharing company Lyft says its Milwaukee riders spent an additional $10 million in the local economy in 2017 as a result of its services.

Tom Wiedmeyer drives for Lyft in Milwaukee. He has disco lights, glowsticks and water available for riders.

The San Francisco-based company today released a report, conducted on its behalf by Land Econ Group, that indicated passengers using Lyft in the Milwaukee market spent another $10 million at local businesses because the service connected them with remote areas of the city and allowed them to stay out later patronizing bars and restaurants.

According to the survey, about 48 percent of Milwaukee passengers spend more at local businesses, 57 percent now explore more areas of the city and 74 percent go out more or stay out longer.

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About 75 percent of Milwaukee passengers use Lyft to go out to restaurants and entertainment venues, 43 percent use it to commute to work, 42 percent use it to get to the airport, 37 percent use it to visit family and friends, 36 percent use it for leisure travel, 27 percent use it to complete errands, and 18 percent use it for grocery shopping.

The report also indicated 13 percent of Lyft passengers used the service to connect with public transit and 26 percent of passengers use it when public transit isn’t operating. According to the study, 32 percent of rides start in low-income areas and 48 percent of passengers use their cars less because of Lyft.

Tom Wiedmeyer drives for Lyft in Milwaukee.

As for drivers, 73 percent of Milwaukee drivers are the primary earners for their household. About 95 percent of them are employed, seeking employment, full-time students or retired. And 95 percent of drivers drive less than 20 hours per week.

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The Milwaukee passengers were also found to have saved more than 400,000 travel hours last year, time the company valued at $9 million.

“The ability to connect people to the local businesses in their community is what makes Lyft so special. Every day, people are accessing new areas of their city in ways they haven’t before, making their daily travels quicker, and are continuing to invest in their cities,” said David Katcher, general manager, Midwest for Lyft. “Based on these survey results, passengers are saving time, spending locally, and reconsidering personal vehicle ownership when using Lyft in their daily lives – which leads to a tremendous long-term impact on our local economies.”

Lyft launched in Milwaukee in 2014 and has gained popularity with the rise of the sharing economy.

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