Lyft is testing a new all-access subscription plan in select markets, reports The Verge. For a $200 flat fee per month, frequent riders can save $15 off 30 rides. If the ride is less than $15, it is free. If the ride is over $15, then riders pay the difference. Lyft made the announcement it was expanding the program two weeks ago when it invited heavy users in major cities to join a waitlist for the “next wave of plans.” The Verge reports there is no charge to join the waitlist, but you have to be invited.
The company began testing its all-access plans earlier this year to identify the right price point for frequent users. During that testing, prices ranged between $200 and $300 for 30 rides and $400 for 60 rides, according to Digital Trends.
‘We are going to move the entire industry from one based on ownership, to one based on subscription,’ said Logan Green, CEO of Lyft.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the new all-access subscription will be called Lyft Pass. At the same time it rolled out the subscription in Baltimore, the company also announced a program to provide approved Lyft drivers with credentials to offer rides to and from Fort Meade. Hundreds of Baltimore area drivers were invited to apply for the credentials.
‘People are looking for new ways to get around and new ways to consume transportation,’ said Mike Heslin, Baltimore market manager for Lyft. ‘Fort Meade has been a great partner in developing a system that works for everyone. We’ve been in talks with them for a few months.
Earlier this month Lyft also announced it would expand its Lyft Relief Rides program to provide transportation for those in need. In the past, Lyft has provided free rides to shelters and hospitals after hurricanes in Texas and Florida, transportation to first responders, rides to evacuation centers during California wildfires in 2017, and to blood donation centers in Las Vegas after the tragic mass shooting last October.
Committing $1.5 million to the Lyft Relieve Rides program in the next year, Lyft will continue to provide rides in similar emergency situations, but it will also extend its reach to others in need. For example, Lyft will provide rides for returning veterans and low-income individuals who transportation to job interviews or medical appointments.
‘Lyft’s mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,’ said Lyft in a May 2 blog post. ‘Working with strong local and national partners, we’ll expand these partnerships to support a diverse array of people, depending on the needs of each local community.’
Uber tried subscriptions in several major markets, and those subscription plans have slowly faded away with little, if any, explanation. Lyft is trying the same type of subscription program, offering discounted rides in exchange for a flat monthly fee. Can subscriptions work for a ride sharing company? With proper testing and pricing, subscriptions could be successful.
The key difference between what Lyft is offering versus subscriptions to Netflix, Spotify or The New York Times, is that Lyft is offering a service with a variable price tag. Each ride has a different cost, depending on several variables. The all-access plans will require testing, analysis and tweaking in each market to determine if the subscription is a viable alternative and a reliable revenue stream worth devoting resources to.