Prospective and existing ridehailing drivers with Lyft in Metro Vancouver can now access a new permanent brick-and-mortar, in-person service centre hub.

The ridehailing giant announced today it has opened a new driver hub at Unit 135 at 598 Miller Road in Richmond, just across from SkyTrain’s Sea Island Station near Vancouver International Airport.

Lyft states the location is strategic to better support drivers, many of whom rely on their platform for flexible income opportunities.

According to the company, 23% of their drivers in Metro Vancouver reported they drove more during the pandemic because they were laid off, furloughed or had their hours or pay reduced.

Furthermore, an overwhelming proportion of drivers are People of Colour, with 44% identifying as South Asian, 29% as East Asian or Southeast Asian, and 6% as Middle Eastern, Arab, or Persian. More than half (53%) speak a language other than English at home, and over a quarter (27%) are over the age of 50.

Given the diversity of these demographics, Lyft says its Richmond hub offers services in English, Punjabi, and Mandarin.

“We’re excited about our new permanent location in Richmond and what this means for the driver community. With this new location, we’ll be able to further support current and potential drivers and help them maximize earnings opportunities,” said Peter Lukomskyj, the general manager of Lyft in BC, in a statement.

Uber previously operated an in-person support hub in downtown Vancouver, but it was permanently closed in favour of an app-based approach.

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