Mar: Lyft IPO could contribute to income ‘disparities’ in SF

San Francisco-based transportation networking company Lyft went public Friday, with its stock price opening at $87.24 per share.

The move has caused concern among residents and city leaders who fear the company going public could drive up housing prices even further in the city, which is already considered one of the most expensive in the country.

In a statement, Supervisor Gordon Mar warned the company Friday against contributing to the city’s wealth disparity with its IPO.

“I congratulate Lyft on a successful initial public offering, and caution them to think about how they can channel their success into being good neighbors. San Francisco has the highest income gap in the country,” he said.

“As Lyft goes public, minting an untold number of new millionaires, their drivers are on strike for fair treatment and fair wages, and we as a city and as public officials must better understand the impacts of this rapid injection of wealth on income inequality, housing prices, gentrification and congestion. We have a moral responsibility to stand up in the face of growing wealth inequality and demand the forces fueling these disparities pay their fair share for mitigating them,” he said.

Earlier this month, Mar announced he wanted to call a hearing on the issue, ahead of more public offerings this year by other San Francisco-based tech companies, including Uber and Airbnb.

According to Mar, the hearing would call for a report on the impacts of IPOs and find policy solutions to address them.

A date has not yet been set for the hearing, according to Mar’s office.

Lyft officials did not immediately respond to comment on the supervisor’s concerns. Lyft’s stock price closed Friday afternoon on the Nasdaq stock exchange at $78.29.

-Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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