General Motors, Lyft to Rent Ride-For-Hire Vehicles
Lacking a car will no longer keep you from making money as a driver.
It’s only been two months since General Motors announced they were spending $500 million for a share of perennial ride-sharing runner-up Lyft, but already their partnership has already begun to bloom. On Monday, Lyft announced that it and GM are kicking off a program called Express Drive that will allows people to rent a car for Lyft ride-for-hire use.
The program, which launches in Chicago before expanding across other cities later this year, enables those who either lack a car or own one that isn’t fit for Lyft use—two-doors are verboten, for example, as are vehicles in particularly crummy shape—to borrow one straight from the car-sharing company. For a fee, of course: the basic rate is $99/week plus $0.20 per mile, but the more you play taxi driver, the cheaper it gets. Provide 40 rides per week and Lyft waves the mileage fees; give 65 rides or more and the company will waive the entire cost. (You can also use the car for personal driving, but Lyft will still charge you $0.20 per mile for that.) Lyft also pays for insurance and maintenance costs, though drivers are on the hook for gas.
If you’re thinking this could be a good way to tool around in a Cadillac CT6 and make money doing it, well, that ain’t happening. The only vehicle on offer through the Express Drive program is the inimitably shitty Chevrolet Equinox. Which, completely coincidentally, was one of the two vehicles used by Kalamazoo’s Uber-driving mass murderer.
It remains to be seen how well Lyfties take to the program, but on paper it seems like a win for everyone. People without a car have an opportunity to make some extra cash. People with cars can play driver without putting drunken jagoffs in their personal vehicles. Lyft grows its ranks of drivers, giving it more ground troops for its war with Uber. And General Motors gets rid of a ton of Equinoxes nobody wanted to buy.