Lyft is testing a Netflix-style monthly subscription plan

Lyft

Lyft is testing monthly subscription plans for high-frequency users, a sign that the company is shifting toward a Netflix or Spotify model for transportation.

The terms of the subscription models seem to vary, but appear targeted at users who spend up to $450 on ride-hailing a month. One all-access pass offered up to 30 standard Lyft rides for $199 a month, another was priced at $300, and another at $399 for 60 rides. Individual rides up to $15 were covered under the all-access pass. It wasn’t immediately clear how users would be charged for rides that exceed $15.

Lyft CEO Logan Green mentioned these subscription plans were the future of his company during a press event Wednesday to announce a partnership with auto parts producer Magna to build self-driving cars. “We are going to move the entire industry from one based on ownership to one based on subscription,” he said.

According to Green, a subscription to Lyft could cost something along the lines of $200, which gets you 1,000 miles of traveling around. “You rely on the Lyft network for all your transportation needs,” he said.

Uber tested its own subscription service in a number of cities in 2016, but its unclear whether that experiment went anywhere.

Lyft often fancies itself a think tank with big ideas about the future of transportation. Green and Lyft’s president John Zimmer have released policy papers predicting the end of personal car ownership in major cities by 2025, and calling for more people to carpool by charging a fee to those who don’t. Recently they advocated for American households to sell their second cars as a way to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Of course, all of these high-minded policy prescriptions also include the unspoken recommendation to spend more money on Lyft rides.

Update March 15th, 6:37pm ET: A Lyft spokesperson said that the company had been testing all-access passes for several months now. “We’re always testing new ways to provide passengers the most affordable and flexible transportation options,” the spokesperson said. “For the past few months, we’ve been testing a variety of All-Access Plans for Lyft passengers.”

Comments

In big cities this would put unbelievable strain on their drivers. I’d absolutely do this and never ride a bus or train again.

it looks like the most expensive plan only gives you 60 rides per month though? Unless you are walking to work I’m guessing most people would need more than that.

Genius move. Combine this with autonomous cars and we have a revolution.

Why does every subscription service have to be dubbed "the Netflix of X" now?

The same reason every electric concept car is a "Tesla killer." Generates more hype which means more clicks.

came here to see if anyone else had thought this. "Lyft is offering a subscription service" – that’s all that needs to be said to get reader comprehension, comparisons to Netflix seem odd.

I was offered this today too. I was offered 299 for 30 free rides. I just don’t see how this adds up. I’m also surprised that I’m seen as a heavy Lyft user. I don’t like that of you go over 15 dollars, you pay the difference. Also, at 30 rides, it isn’t enough to cover my monthly commute to and from work. I don’t see the point of it.

$300 is too much, but $200 would be a steal for 30 rides.

I… don’t get this.

  • It’s not unlimited rides.
  • Each ride is covered only if it’s less than $15 (i.e. you still have to pay the difference if it’s more than that).
  • You have to pay upfront and you lose the $ if you don’t use up the rides.

How is it better/cheaper than just hailing a ride individually?

I’m in NYC, live a 20 min drive from my apartment and a Lyft home right now in typical traffic is $18.23. A Line is $12.80. Sorry – I’m not going to be paying $200 a month to only be able to share my ride. If it covered rides up to $20, it’d be a whole different ball game.

Uber’s been playing around with this, and I liked the one-time fee for fixed ride prices. Too bad their process for deciding who can sign up for it is arbitrary and the benefits seem to be diminishing every month.

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