Even Lyft Doesn’t Know When Ride-Hailing is Launching, But They’re Throwing a Party Anyways, Dammit

Sometimes it’s nice just to have a party for no particular reason, y’know? No birthday to celebrate, no milestone to commemorate, just a gathering of people you care about, sharing a moment and probably several drinks. 

It’s rarer for giant corporations to have this sort of just-for-the-heck-of-it party (because money) but ride-sharing behemoth Lyft had no other choice this week. With a venue, catering and performers Tegan and Sarah committed, but no activation date for the province’s long-promised ride sharing licenses yet in sight, what was supposed to be a launch event wound up being more of a talk-about-the-general-concept-of-Lyft-but-do-not-under-any-circumstances-even-hint-at-a-launch-date event. 

Was it still a fun party? Sure. Snacks from Belgard Kitchen and new collabs from Postmark brewing kept the snowstorm-braving guests happy. Comedians Ryan Steele and Amy Goodmurphy hosted, sharing their personal Lyft experiences (hunting down a Craigslist tanning bed and escaping a family dinner, respectively) before introducing Tegan and Sara to perform what they dubbed “minor key versions of all of our greatest hits.” (In case you forgot, “In Your Head” still bops.)

But it still felt slightly premature to be part of a celebration of a brand that still could be months (or even years?) away from actually hitting the road, if the pattern of delays continues. Lyft BC’s general manager Peter Lukomskyj took the stage at one point to address the room, but didn’t even dare to guess at what season Lyft might be launching in. “Soon,” was as close as it got, and anyone who’s ever said “We should totally get drinks soon!” to an acquaintance they’re trying to avoid knows, “soon” is a slippery and unaccountable unit of measurement—not one to hang hopes on. 

The night wasn’t a total waste—how could it be, with a cheese platter like that? We learned some things. That Lyft will be donating to Covenant House with the app’s round-up feature, eventually. That The Con is an album worth revisiting. That Lyft is willing to spend some serious money to impress us—even if it’s for no particular occasion at all. That Vikram Vij and Canucks goalie Jacob Markström, both in attendance, look great bathed in pink light.

So: thanks for the party, Lyft, whatever the reason. See you… soon?