Impending Lyft IPO could mean big bonuses for drivers and sweeping changes for customers

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In the long-anticipated war of which rideshare company will go public first, Lyft appears to be winning after filing paperwork Friday, setting themselves up for an IPO.

The number two ridesharing company revealed financials indicating tremendous growth over the past year and losses of about 900 million dollars last year, compared to rival Uber's nearly two billion dollars.

The impending IPO means sweeping changes for drivers and for riders.

"This is certainly a strong move by Lyft, and will improve them competitively," says Rob Enderly, tech analyst for the Enderly Group.

RELATED: Lyft reveals financial details ahead of its IPO

As part of preparing to go public, Lyft has offered customers a myriad of discounts in recent weeks. To dedicated employees, the company announced driver bonuses ranging between 1,000 to 10,000 dollars.

Gary Johnson has been a Lyft driver for just over a year.

"I'm elated to hear that and I can only hope that perhaps I'll qualify for one of those bonuses!"

Enderly believes the IPO will only strengthen Lyft's foothold in the rideshare market, and be a benefit to drivers.

RELATED: Lyft expands bike sharing program in East Oakland with million dollar project

"As we go forward we're going to see a bit more to allow drivers to be retained more exclusively by the service. It'll also allow for a higher degree of retention and probably a higher overall amount of quality."

Johnson says while he enjoys being an independent contractor, he sees the IPO as job stability and that the possibility of Lyft drivers only driving exclusively for one company can cut down on hazardous driving.

"I always would welcome the opportunity of becoming an employee... I'm always looking at how this may benefit you and your future and of how it'll ostensibly affect your family's future. There's a safety benefit too."

RELATED: Rideshare drivers feeling unfairly blamed for Bay Area traffic congestion, despite study

Lyft has a maximum 14 hours per day and you have to take a 6 hour rest.

"However, if you're a driver who is working for Lyft and Uber they have the ability to turn off the Lyft app and turn on the Uber app to they can literally work 24 hours a and I both know...that could attribute to perhaps accidents that have occurred in the past because of sleep deprivation."

This IPO could also be the very beginning of a new future for transportation as we know it.

"The end game is we don't have to own our cars anymore. When we need transportation it'll simply be there." says Enderly.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.