© Reuters.  Lyft forms advisory council to improve platform safety © Reuters. Lyft forms advisory council to improve platform safety

(Reuters) - Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT) is putting together a council of experts to advise the ride-hailing company on its safety initiatives for riders and drivers, it said in a blog post on Tuesday.

The Safety Advisory Council will include representatives from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), and "It's On Us", a public awareness campaign launched by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014.

Lyft and rival Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) Inc in the past have faced criticism over safety on their platforms and have been slapped with related lawsuits.

The move by Lyft comes after the release of Uber's first biennial U.S. Safety Report in December, in which the company said it received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault related to its 1.3 billion rides in the United States in 2018.

Lyft said the council will be led by Eman Barhoumeh, its vice president of safety and customer engagement.

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