Lyft Tests Monthly Subscription Service
An 'all-access' plan starts at $199 and goes up significantly from there.
Lyft is testing a subscription-based service for frequent riders. While it will inevitably invite comparisons to Netflix, the service also seems to resemble the monthly passes commuters buy to use public transit in some cities. Users pay upfront for a certain amount of rides at a (theoretically) discounted price.
One all-access plan offers 30 standard Lyft rides for $199 a month, according to The Verge. But prices seem to vary widely. Another plan was reportedly priced at $300 a month, while a third plan offering 60 rides was priced at $399 a month. In addition, the plans only cover individual rides costing up to $15, so users may have to cover the cost of more expensive rides on top of what they're paying for monthly subscriptions.
Lyft CEO Logan Green mentioned the subscription plans Wednesday during the announcement of a self-driving car partnership with automotive supplier Magna. But the company told The Verge that it has actually been testing subscription plans for a few months now.
The value of subscription plans will likely vary based on how much a person uses Lyft, but it seems like it could benefit the company. People may be more likely to book Lyft rides if they've already paid for a bunch of them upfront. That helps Lyft lock in customers. Rival Uber tested a subscription service in 2016 but hasn't done much with the concept since then.
Subscription-based services aren't limited to ride sharing. Cadillac, Porsche, and Audi all offer services that give customers access to cars for a monthly fee, as does Ford through its Canvas subsidiary. Like Lyft's subscription plans, these services let consumers ditch their own cars without having to fire up a credit card for every trip. But so far, automakers still want subscribers to do the driving.