In the year since Lyft launched in LA, we’ve watched locals turn their personal cars into vehicles for human connection. Drivers and passengers start off as strangers, and by the end of each ride, they know a little more about their neighbor — and sometimes, the friend they've made for the ride ends up a friend for life.
But this week's Story of the Fortnight doesn't start in a Lyft ride. It starts on a city bus.
A nanny named Brittney was heading to work on the LA Metro, a route that from her place requires three different transfers. While waiting at her final stop, she couldn't help but notice, in her words, a "panic-stricken mess of a gentleman" standing nearby. He was wearing a 3-piece suit.
The man approached Brittney and asked if she, too, was waiting on the 217.
No, Brittney said, she wasn’t.
In the man's hands were loose papers with official-looking stamps. A glance at them revealed his destination: Court.
“I just hope the bus gets here soon,” the man muttered. “I was supposed to be there already.”
If Brittney had a penny for every time those same words had crossed her mind, she’d be a rich woman, she thought.
On a whim, Brittney opened the Lyft app and saw that the nearest driver was just 1 minute away. Without hesitation, she tapped to request a ride.
She showed the man her screen so he'd know what car to look for — just as Brittney's own bus was pulling up, taking her away from the scene.
Driver Sabrina arrived right away to take the man to his destination. He made it to court just in time, thanks to Brittney’s compassion and quick thinking.
The fateful ping from Brittney was only Sabrina's fifth request — ever. She'd just joined the driver community a week earlier, and this was her first day driving.
The man started crying when he got into the passenger seat, Sabrina said, and called Brittney his angel. He confided in his driver that he’d never experienced a stranger doing something so nice for him.
"It was the best $15 that I've ever spent," Brittney wrote later. "Ever."
The next day, she got a note from the man heralding her as a lifesaver:
Hello Brittney! This is Ron, the guy from the bus stop on La Cienega and Jefferson. I just wanted to take the time to thank you. I came to Los Angeles specifically for a court date that morning. I live in New York, so I was completely lost there. I really needed your help at that minute, and God sent you, an Angel. Thank You. Facebook Friend me.
How cool is that? Here's to turning strangers into new friends, whether you meet in a car or on the street.
Story of the Fortnight is presented biweekly at Lyft's companywide meeting, as a reminder to HQ of the faces pushing this movement forward. Got a story to tell? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or tag @Lyft on Twitter.