R. House, Lyft’s most frequented local restaurant destination in 2017. Photo via Johns Hopkins University.
R. House, Lyft’s most frequented local restaurant destination in 2017. Photo via Johns Hopkins University.

In a developing tradition, Lyft has highlighted its Baltimore riders’ most frequented destinations from the last year. Some of them should come as no surprise.

R. House, the semi-upscale Remington food hall that’s barely a year old, was the most popular eatery destination for Lyft users in 2017, according to the ride-hailing company. The most visited bar was beer-centric Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point, and the most visited venue was Royal Farms Arena downtown.

Each is noted in the company’s annual Lyftie awards online, which highlight the most frequented spots around town based on rider data. In addition to restaurants, bars and venues, this year’s local award categories include the most visited university and, once again, “Only in…” and trending destinations.

The most visited university was Towson. For “Only in…” Lyft gave us Lexington Market. The top trending spot was Kevin Plank’s luxury 128-room Fells Point hotel, the Sagamore Pendry.

The ride-hailing mobile app appears to be faring well in Baltimore. The company says ridership doubled in 2017 compared to last year. (Market manager Mike Heslin said through a spokeswoman that he can’t give exact figures.)

“Not only have we doubled rides but we have planted deep roots in the community through partnerships with places like McHenry Row and events like Moonrise and Artscape,” Heslin said in a statement. “As we look back on 2017, we’re proud to honor the places that Baltimore residents and visitors rode to most. We look forward to continuing this growth in 2018, all thanks to the Lyft drivers that make it all possible.”

Heslin also declined to provide demographic data on local ridership, which could speak to some of the destination choices. National data from Pew Research Center indicate 18-to-29-year-olds are the likeliest users of ride-hailing apps, and that likelihood of usage is pretty much even across gender and racial or ethnic lines.

Lyft and Uber both navigated new red tape in Maryland in 2017, proceeding with their policies of not fingerprinting drivers during background checks — with the state’s blessing — and agreeing to new designated zones and required fees at BWI Airport, also under state rules. Lyft also joined Uber in offering luxury rides to local users who will pay more to ride in style.

This story has been updated.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...