Lyft Goes Anti-Trump But Company Has Deep Ties to Administration

Ride-sharing app pledged $1 million to ACLU to combat Trump

February 1, 2017

New users flocking to Lyft following its anti-Trump positioning may be shocked to learn that the ride share company and Uber competitor has deep ties to the Trump administration.

Lyft has responded to liberal outrage over its rival Uber's perceived ties to the Trump administration by pledging $1 million to the ACLU, solidifying its role for the moment as the official ride-sharing app for the anti-Trump community.

The anger at Uber began as a reaction to the belief that the company was attempting to profit off a taxi strike in New York City's JFK airport that was set off by President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, but quickly grew as people were reminded that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sits on President Trump's business advisory committee.

Lyft has since seen an explosion of new users and has even surpassed Uber in Apple's app store, even though Lyft also has numerous ties to the new administration.

One member of Lyft's board of directors, for example, is a representative of Carl Icahn's Icahn Enterprises, which gained a seat after the top Trump adviser invested $100 million in Lyft in 2015.

Icahn was reportedly an influential member of Trump's transition team and his name was floated for many top administration posts. He was ultimately tapped to be Trump's special adviser on overhauling federal regulations.

Vocal Trump supporter Peter Thiel is also a Lyft investor. Thiel has been critical of Uber’s ethical practices in the past.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra, whose company invested $500 million in Lyft, is also an economic adviser to President Trump.

Barra visited the White House during Trump’s first week in office and said she sees a "huge opportunity" for GM to work with the administration. GM president, Dan Amman, has a seat on Lyft’s board of directors.

Lyft is far from flawless when it comes to issues important to the left.

A recent study reported by NPR found that Lyft’s race to bring its prices below Uber's is taking a "toll on drivers who must work longer hours to make a living wage."

The study also found that women drivers on Lyft make less money than men.

Lyft's co-founder and CEO John Zimmer also previously worked in the real estate finance department at Lehman Brothers. He left the firm shortly before it crashed (the crash was blamed on the firm's real estate loans).

Lyft has positioned itself as an anti-Trump company by donating to the ACLU, which put out a "7-point plan of action" to oppose Trump and has kept up a "Trump transition watch" since the election.

Zimmer contributed $2,700 to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Both Zimmer and co-founder Logan Green have contributed thousands to Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.).

A Lyft spokesman said that the company was not commenting on stories regarding its ACLU pledge.

Published under: Trump Administration