It may sound like something out of a rom com or a fever dream, but if you request a Lyft ride in San Diego and get Vanessa Nelson's car, you will end up wearing a feather boa and singing Journey on the way to your doctor's appointment.
Even the most otherwise nondescript Lyft cars have some built-in personality, thanks to the giant pink mustaches that the peer-to-peer ridesharing company asks drivers to display. But a growing number of drivers are taking this a step further, decking out their cars with themes and, in some cases, activities designed to get riders interacting with their driver and each other. The trend started with a few extroverted drivers, but the company has embraced and branded them as Lyft Creatives, calling it an "ever-growing movement" of "passionate drivers who provide passengers with a memorable ride."
In addition to Nelson's Karaoke Lyft—which features a disco ball, lyric screen, and thousands of song choices—Lyft Creatives include L.A. pastry chef-by-day Niki Nikatos' Sweet Lyft (mustache-shaped cookies, anyone?); Deco Carter's Hip-Hop Trivia Lyft in San Francisco; and San Diego's Harry Potter Lyft, where Amanda Schrader hands out free Honeydukes candy and lets passengers decide which Hogwarts House's banner should hang during their ride.
And then there's The Dude, a.k.a. Steve Peters, whose Lebowski Lyft offers themed giveaways and plenty of CCR. "Lebowski Lyft was actually born out of a Halloween costume that stuck," says Peters. "People loved it, so I decided to make it the consistent theme. Driving is certainly not boring when people get in and immediately get excited that they are going to get to chill with The Dude and listen to some CCR!"
Natacha Bensoussan, whose Book Lyft encourages passengers collaborate on stories and poems in the "Decomposition Book" she carries in her car, says she "wanted to find a unique way to engage people that not only stimulated their creative side, but required them to put down their space phones and interact with their fellow peers."
According to a Lyft rep, "there are Lyft Creatives in almost every Lyft market across the country, and we hear from passengers every day about the unforgettable moments they come across with drivers." Sounds like a great way to travel, as long as those White Russians aren't leaded.
Check out the gallery above for more images of these ride-share creatives.