After a successful experiment with their ride-sharing subscription service this spring, Lyft is expanding its All-Access Plan nationwide by the end of the week. With the All-Access Plan, subscribers pay a flat rate of $299 up front each month to get 30 rides up to $15 each. If the cost of a ride exceeds $15, the passenger pays the difference. Rides do not roll over from month to month. Once the All-Access Plan is officially rolled out, passengers will find the plan in the Promos tab of the Lyft app.
As an added bonus, subscribers get 5 percent off rides that exceed the 30-ride cap. There is no long-term commitment, and subscribers can cancel their subscription at any time through the app. They will have until the end of the 30 days they’ve paid for to use their remaining rides. The plan is auto-renewable. The plan does not cover tips. Tips can be added using the subscriber’s default payment method.
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After a subscriber enrolls in the plan, when they need a ride, they enter their destination and request a ride. The final price will show as FREE, unless the ride goes over $15. If it exceeds that cap, the passenger pays the difference.
There are a few caveats, of course, outlined in the All-Access Plan FAQs. The plan is only valid where Lyft operates in the U.S. and, while valid for most ride types, including Shared, Lyft Standard, Lyft XL, Lux, Lux Black and Lyft Lux XL, the plan does not apply to Scheduled Rides or Scooter rides. A subscription cannot be combined with any other Lyft credits, promotions or offers, and subscribers are limited to one plan per Lyft user. Also, Lyft does not offer partial refunds for cancellations, and certain payment methods are not accepted for recurring subscription fees including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Commuter Benefits and prepaid cards. Having an All-Access Plan subscription does not guarantee ride availability.
“At Lyft, we set out to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation – and that means options,” said Lyft in an October 16 blog post. “When you spend less time driving (and parking), you have more freedom – and more savings. Americans who use the All-Access Plan for all of their personal car needs can save up to 59 percent per month compared to owning a car.”
“This is the first step toward delivering on our goal of making car ownership optional, and we’re constantly looking for more ways to provide passengers with the easiest, most convenient options possible,” Lyft said.
Last month, six-year-old Lyft celebrated several significant milestones – 1 billion rides, 1 billion connections, 76 million rides to the airport, 500,000 rides to Disneyland and 233 million Lyft Shared rides.
“While this is a very exciting milestone, we remain incredibly driven by the opportunity represented in each individual Lyft ride to positively impact someone’s life. We know that every experience, every shared connection can make a difference. This happens when a passenger who had a tough day is comforted by their driver’s kind words. It happens when a driver and passenger with opposing political views meet on common ground for a ten-minute commute,” Lyft said in a blog post.
In 2016, Uber launched a subscription service, Uber Plus, but it is not clear if Uber still offers that program. It originally launched in a handful of U.S. cities including Boston, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Flat fares varied by city during that experiment. Though Uber has not publicly stated the subscriptions are no longer available, you can’t find them on their website or through a Google search. Links we had for previous stories on the subscription take you to Uber.com.
Lyft, on the other hand, seems to have done a good job rolling out its program. Lyft first announced the program this spring, tested it, adjusted their pricing and are now going nationwide with the All-Access Plan. Its blog post and FAQs page clearly explain the terms, showing transparency – something we haven’t always seen with Uber, who has been riddled with scandals. For frequent riders, the Lyft subscription could be a good deal, depending on usage and ride rates, which vary by city. If Lyft gets this ride, they will have a distinct advantage over the competition.