Lyft tripled its rides in 2016

Lyft growth
Lyft growth


Lyft's president John Zimmer calls it a "breakout" year for the company: In 2016, the ride-hailing service tripled its rides from 53 million in 2015 to 160 million this last year.

Lyft also doubled its rides in the fourth quarter compared to 2015. It completed 52.6 million rides in Q4 of 2016, compared to 21.1 million in 2015, the company told Business Insider.

It's clearly big gains for the ride-hailing company, although trip numbers aren't always a reliable indicator of the business' growth since both Uber and Lyft dole out hefty amounts of subsidies and free rides to customers.

Despite Lyft tripling its numbers, it still lags behind its rival Uber. Uber told the Wall Street Journal that it completed 78 million rides in December in the US (the only market in which Lyft operates). In comparison, Lyft recorded 18.7 million rides during the same period.

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Lyft's momentum appears to be accelerating though, with its growth in rides increasing 34.5% from July to December, compared to the 25.8% growth in total US rides that Uber recorded during the same 6-month period.

In a statement to Business Insider, Zimmer said that 2016 leaves the company with a "clear path to profitability." He's previously stated that he also believes Lyft's future is in autonomous vehicles.

"We believe that by 2021, autonomous vehicles will account for the majority of Lyft rides and I'd say in that kind of five year timeline is when you could potentially see the first city or two, or area, testing that type of rule," Zimmer told Business Insider in December.

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