In May 2016, after months of failing to find a traditional job, I began driving for the ride-hailing company Lyft. I was enticed by an online advertisement that promised new drivers in the Los Angeles area a $500 “sign-up bonus” after completing their first 75 rides. The calculation was simple: I had a car and I needed the money. So, I clicked the link, filled out the application, and, when prompted, drove to the nearest Pep Boys for a vehicle inspection. I received my flamingo-pink Lyft emblems almost immediately and, within a few days, I was on the road. Initially, I told myself that this sort of gig work was preferable to the nine-to-five grind. It would be temporary, I thought. Plus, I needed to enrol in a statistics class and finish my graduate school applications – tasks that felt impossible while working in a full-time desk job with an hour-long commute. But within months of taking on this readily available, yet strangely precarious form of work, I was weirdly drawn in. Lyft, which launched in 2012 as Zimride before changing its name a year later, is a car service similar to Uber, which operates in about 300 US cities… Read full this story
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