The number of active riders Lyft (LYFT -3.59%) reported for the first quarter of 2021 tumbled to just under 13.5 million, a 36.4% drop from the year-ago period as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt by the ridesharing shop. Yet because Wall Street had been expecting Lyft to report 12.8 million riders, it was a significant beat.

Still, the decline caused revenue to fall 36% to $609 million, though that was up sequentially, as were the number of active riders. CEO Logan Green told analysts on Lyft's earnings conference call that it is still going to be awhile before the situation normalizes.

"We continue to believe that there is significant pent-up demand for mobility that will take time to play out," he said.

Driver talking to person through car window

Image source: Getty Images.

Lyft is no longer just simply a ridesharing company, and said it is looking at a future where transportation is a service.

Green noted that Lyft is the only provider at the moment that has a full complement of transportation options for consumers, offering not only ride-hailing, but also car rentals, bikes, scooters, and transit and vehicle service centers. 

But business is picking up. March saw the greatest number of active riders, which jumped 942,000 in that month alone. Yet it was also why Lyft's revenue per active rider rose only 0.2% for the period.

CFO Brian Roberts pointed out that despite all the new activations it saw in the month, there was less time to actually take rides, though it expects that to all even out in the months ahead.

As the economy continues reopening, the need for rides and methods of getting around will increase.