In order to highlight Austin Tech Alliance’s growing membership of organizations who support our mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector, we regularly feature members. Up this month: Fernando Trevino with Lyft.

Introduce your organization and how it contributes to Austin’s tech sector.

Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. and is available to 95 percent of the US population and Toronto, Canada. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities. Here in Austin, Lyft offers rideshare and scooter mobility options for residents.

Why does your organization love Austin?

One thing I love about Austin is the sense of community that exists here. Even with all of the growth we are experiencing, people who live here really take pride in our city. Even though Lyft was not founded in Austin, we similarly have an affinity for the community and have partnered with organizations driving change in Austin, like the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Caritas and Goodwill Central Texas.

Lyft has also partnered with local employers like Whole Foods and the University of Texas to provide commute and business travel solutions for their employees. If an ATA member is interested in learning more about this, they can reach out to me or visit lyftbusiness.com.

Why is it important for the tech community to become more civically engaged?

We all have a duty to be more civically engaged because it is one of the best ways to have an impact on the future of our city. Whether you are following public policy or volunteering with community organizations, it all plays a role in shaping Austin. So many people feel that they don’t have enough time or that it is too difficult to get involved, but the reality is that you can really have an impact if you just take some time to listen and learn more about the issues that have a direct impact on our city and its residents.

What are some essential aspects of civic engagement in Austin?

Voting is often where people focus when they talk about civic engagement, but it’s just as important to ensure that others are registered to vote and educated on what is happening in our community. It is one thing for all of us to complain about sitting in traffic, but it’s another to understand what policies are being discussed at city hall or at the legislature to address important issues. Just showing up and voicing your opinion in a well thought out manner can make a difference.

What do you think are Austin’s tech community’s biggest challenges?

I think the biggest challenge for Austin’s tech community, and Austin in general, is our rapid growth. As a city we should want people to think of Austin as a place that they would like to live and work. However, if our residents aren’t civically engaged and advocating for policies to help manage this growth, we will continue to talk about the same affordability problems and traffic issues that already negatively affect our lives without realizing change.

Why is it important to be an ATA member?

ATA brings together a strong and diverse group of companies and individuals who care deeply about getting engaged in the issues facing our city. The organization is always in the know about issues facing the tech community and provides helpful information and opportunities for industry engagement in advocacy and education efforts that will drive Austin forward. Being involved in ATA has also given me the opportunity to really learn from so many others who I may not otherwise have ever met.

Is your organization working on anything fun that you’d like to share with ATA members?

Lyft recently opened our newest Driver Center here in Austin at 6375 US-290. We know the costs of maintaining a vehicle can add up and that time and money matter. That’s why Lyft opened a Driver Center in Austin – to offer fast, affordable vehicle services and high-touch driver support together under one roof. Any Lyft driver in the Austin area should drop by to receive in-person support, as well as to receive complete vehicle services – from oil changes and tire rotations to diagnostics and collision repair – as fast as humanly possible. We know our drivers are the foundation of what we do, and this means they can get back on the road and start earning sooner.

With this being a presidential election year, Lyft also recently announced that we will be providing voters with free and discounted rides to the polls throughout the entire primary calendar and the general election. Civic engagement is very important to us as a company, and it’s our goal to help remove transportation as a barrier to ballot access.

Learn more about Lyft