Lyft is presently in the process of experimenting with a subscription business model in select parts of the United States, according to a variety of user reports that emerged on social media networks over the course of this week. The San Francisco, California-based startup is offering a small number of its customers the option of paying $199 for a monthly "all-access pass" which comes with 30 "free" rides, i.e. will apparently deduce up to $15 from every one of them. While those terms appear to be the most prevalent ones, some users are reporting being offered 60 rides for $399 per month. The company isn't necessarily targeting customers who are already spending such sums on its service every month either, with several people who have received the new promotional offers claiming their monthly ride-hailing bills are well-below what Lyft is offering, even if the deals themselves would save money to someone who takes rides on a daily basis.
Due to that state of affairs, Lyft may be angling for new loyal customers more than it's exploring ways in which to reward its existing power users, i.e. save them money in the long term. It's presently unclear how rides that fall within the amount allocated by the all-access pass but exceed the $15 figure are charged, i.e. whether users are expected to compensate the difference or if the service simply reduces the number of remaining rides for every 15 minutes users spend on a single one. Due to the wording of the offer, the former scenario appears to be more likely and is also the one that should ultimately make Lyft more money.
A subscription ride-hailing service could have the potential to disrupt the already disruptive industry and provide Lyft with yet another avenue of growth, allowing it to strengthen its already promising revenue performance which is estimated to have outpaced Uber's growth by a factor of three over the course of 2017. The company recently launched its offerings in Canada, thus officially moving its business to the international sphere. Lyft also remains committed to the self-driving segment but is much keener on collaborating with automakers and other tech companies instead of developing in-house autonomous vehicles like Uber is.
This Lyft subscription plan seems geared only to the most frequent users, folks who’d otherwise spend $450/month on ride-hailing pic.twitter.com/Ngzsl6S6JG
— Greg Bensinger (@GregBensinger) March 15, 2018