Lyft announced today that it was reducing its fares in 33 cities to make up for a drop in business during the winter months. The news comes less than a week after Uber announced it was slashing its prices by 10 percent in 100 North American cities.
"At Lyft we want to remain the most affordable option for passengers," a spokesperson said. "We also know that in January many people make resolutions to save money. So starting today, we are lowering prices in 33 markets to get people back on the road at a lower cost and help ensure our drivers are in high demand."
"To get people back on the road at a lower cost."
Lyft says the cities that will see lower fares include DC, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Detroit, and Baltimore. Two cities not on Lyft or Uber's list: New York City and Chicago, which rely more heavily on car and taxi services and are probably less likely to see downturns in demand.
The news of Uber's price cuts were met with anger and incredulity from some drivers, who argued that the San Francisco-based ride-hail company was already taking a bigger and bigger chunk out of its earnings. Uber usually takes 20 percent to 25 percent from each fare, but that cut can increase when factoring surcharges like Safe Ride Fees, which is said to average at $1.75 per fare.
Lyft, seemingly anticipating "what about the drivers" questions, notes that it has paid out $58 million in tips and $27 million in "Power Driver bonuses." It also argues that Lyft drivers' hourly wages have increased 13 percent in the last year.