Lyft Offers Drivers Tuition Discounts Through Guild Education

Could this perk attract drivers away from rival Uber?

AP Photo/Noah Berger

Ride-sharing companies are quick to note that most of their drivers are part-timers looking for supplementary income, or a short-term job while they look for something more permanent. Lyft is trying to help its drivers take another leap forward.

Lyft will provide drivers with college advising and tuition discounts through Guild Education. The discounts, which only apply to colleges and universities affiliated with Guild Education, range between five and 20 percent. Lyft predicts the average driver will save $4,220 a year while earning a degree.

The program is an acknowledgment that many Lyft drivers don't view driving as a long-term job. According to the company, 93 percent of drivers spend less than 20 hours a week on the road. In a press release, Lyft President John Zimmer said continuing education is a part of many drivers' long-term goals.

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The tuition discounts apply to more than 80 nonprofit online educational institutions associated with Guild Education. They can be used for GEDs, Bachelor's and Master's degrees and certificates in specialties like data science and HTML, among other things.

Lyft rival Uber has offered its own education incentives, such a scholarship program created in partnership with South Seattle College. But Lyft is doing it on a larger scale, and that could help it attract more drivers as it looks to erode Uber's advantage in the ride-sharing market.