Personnel stationed at two prominent U.S. military installations will soon have a first-of-its-kind base transportation option that is sure to alter the weekend safety briefs of staff NCOs everywhere.
“School circle ‘round me. Don’t drink and drive — no seriously, you have a great alternative now — and don’t smoke. You’re not back on the block.”
To celebrate May’s Military Appreciation Month, the on-demand transportation company, Lyft, is introducing ground-breaking ride-sharing initiatives for Camp Pendleton, California, and Fort Meade, Maryland.
The 85,000-plus Marines, sailors and civilian personnel based at Pendleton, along with over 50,000 Fort Meade residents and commuters, will have traditionally-restrictive base transportation options expanded with the inception of Lyft’s exclusive “Base Mode,” according to a May 15 Lyft blog post.
The release, announcing the new partnership between Lyft and the Department of Defense, says the collaboration will enable “select drivers to have base access — making it easier to pick up and drop off passengers who are on military installations.”
“This new service will help Fort Meade’s service members, civilians, and their family members by providing another safe, reliable, door-to-door transportation option on Fort Meade and in the surrounding community,” Allan Floyd, Fort Meade’s deputy garrison commander of Transformation of the Army, said in the post.
On-base Lyft users will be able to track their rides, just like anywhere else, on the familiar interface of Lyft’s mobile app. But Base Mode will feature a vehicular modification — vehicle icons have been replaced by humvees.
On top of easing transport on and around base, Lyft is also increasing their efforts to recruit the military community into its flexible employment model.
An estimated 10 percent of current Lyft drivers are military veterans, and 15 percent of drivers in San Diego have served, the company said.
The Camp Pendleton venture also includes revenue sharing that “will invest a portion of revenue into recreation programs designed to support and strengthen the Marine Corps community,” according to Lyft.
Lyft is currently in talks with additional installations to expand its unprecedented Base Mode service.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.