Lyft Drivers Say ‘Hell No’ to Rideshare Company’s Taco Bell Partnership

'For them to promote this is foul'

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 31: A Lyft driver places the Amp on his dashboard on January 31, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft)
Lyft drivers like this one no quiere Taco Bell. Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images

Ever had a late night craving for a Doritos Locos Taco? Well, rejoice stoners: if you live in Orange County Lyft has your back.

Today the rideshare company announced a new partnership with Taco Bell. The collaboration has been in the works for over a year. Customers who activate “Taco Mode” inside the Lyft app can make an intermediate “ride-through” stop at a Taco Bell on the way to their destination—the deal includes a free Doritos Locos Taco.

Taco Mode is rolling out over the next two weekends in Newport Beach, California. It will be active July 27-30 and August 3-6 from 9 PM to 2 AM. It will then expand into additional markets by the end of the year, with a nationwide rollout in 2018.

Normal Lyft rates will apply during the Taco Bell ride, so if there’s a long line at the drive-through customers will have to pay for that extra time.

“I kind of think of this like inverse delivery — like we’re delivering you to Taco Bell,” Marisa Thalberg, the restaurant chain’s chief marketing officer, told The New York Times. “Now we’re not only going to make it permissible, we’re going to celebrate this behavior.”

One group isn’t celebrating, however: Lyft drivers, who are contract workers that use their own cars. They have complained for years on ridesharing forums that “drunk idiot” customers “treat (their) vehicle like a trash can.” Some drivers actually enforce “no eating” rules in their cars—the customers can’t even open bags.

Because of this, many drivers opposed the Lyft/Taco Bell partnership and left blistering comments on Lyft’s tweet announcing it. Here is some of the vitriol:

  • “Hell no! I don’t want people eating messy tacos in my car!”
  • “They should never eat anything in YOUR car and for them to promote this is foul.”
  • “They will fight you to get a cleaning fee. My car my rules, no eating, drinking, drive thru or smoking, period. A to B and get out.”
  • “What incentive do drivers get for sitting for 15 minutes getting paid pennies per min at a drive thru so that riders can get their ‘taco on?'”
  • “You’d better be paying WAY more than $0.10/minute for wait times on this. And automatic cleaning fees? Tacos aren’t clean.”
  • “And how much extra will u be paying drivers for this MASSIVE WASTE OF OUR TIME? These rides will END @ TBell – not waiting.”

A Lyft spokesman told the Observer that drivers are not required to take part in Taco Mode—they have the option to opt into it or not. Lyft will brief the drivers who do opt in on best practices for the promotion.

Lyft Drivers Say ‘Hell No’ to Rideshare Company’s Taco Bell Partnership