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Lyft simplifies its subscription service with the $20-a-month ‘Lyft Pink’

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It’s much cheaper than Lyft’s year-old, $299-a-month ‘All-Access Pass’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Lyft is rolling out a new membership plan for riders who want discounts on car trips, bike and scooter rides, and other exclusive perks. Dubbed “Lyft Pink,” the membership plan costs $19.99 a month and comes with a 15 percent discount on all car rides.

It’s a more simplified version of Lyft’s year-old “All-Access Plan,” in which customers paid $299 a month for up to 30 rides. The fine print is where things get a little confusing, though: each ride is worth $15, and if customers take a longer route that’s worth more, they pay the difference. If their ride is worth less than $15, it will still count as a $15 minimum ride. Lyft Pink replaces that plan and any customer who subscribed to All-Access will get an enrollment offer for the new membership service, a spokesperson said.

With Lyft Pink, all car trips taken over the course of a month are discounted at 15 percent. In addition, members will get three complimentary bike and scooter trips per month. (Lyft’s All-Access Plan didn’t apply to non-car modes.) Members also get priority pickups at the airport, surprise discounts and upgrades, and the occasional waived fee for cancellations or lost-and-found returns.

Lyft says its membership service is a “no brainer” for customers who take two to three trips a week. But not everyone can sign up yet: there will be a waitlist that opens on October 29th. After that point, membership will begin rolling out until it’s fully available nationwide later this year.

Back in March 2018, Lyft CEO Logan Green said that subscriptions were the future of his company. “We are going to move the entire industry from one based on ownership to one based on subscription,” he said.

Subscriptions are seen by tech companies of all stripes as the best way to lock in fair-weather consumers over time. The appeal of a subscription plan is especially strong for a company like Lyft, which languishes in second place behind its much larger rival Uber. It’s coming at a time when Uber and Lyft are both struggling to earn a profit after disappointing public offerings earlier this year.

Lyft began experimenting with subscription services in early 2018. At the time, the company was marketing a range of variably priced plans in an effort to find the sweet spot for high-frequency users who were interested in paying an upfront fee for a certain number of rides. Prices ranged as high as $450 and as low as $199. Ultimately, the company settled on $299.

The problem, though, is that Lyft’s subscription was significantly more expensive than Uber’s Ride Pass, which ranged from $14.99 and $24.99 a month. For that price, Uber customers could lock in flat rates on all trips over the course of a month. The rates, based on historical data, were heavily discounted, saving riders as much as 15 percent on their overall monthly travel, the company said.