Lyft has a new Personal Subscription option that will give you a flat rate for a certain ride that you tend to take often. You'll pay upfront for a certain number of rides along your chosen route at a price point that Lyft determines. The option can be paid weekly or monthly, and the price and number of rides depend on how expensive the ride is and how often you normally take it. If the ride that you take most often costs more than $25, however, it is not eligible for the Personal Subscription plan. The feature seems to be rolling out to all frequent users in the United States, though Lyft has yet to officially announce it.
This new choice for Lyft users mirrors the ridesharing service's All-Access Subscription plan but narrows things down to only a single route while significantly lowering the price. The All-Access subscription works in a fairly similar manner; users pay an upfront fee either monthly or weekly, as determined by Lyft, and avoid pricing spikes on their rides. The big difference is that the All-Access subscription can be far more expensive, but it covers any ride under $15. In both cases, users pay the difference if one of their covered rides exceeds the maximum amount per ride, and any rides beyond the number they paid for are not covered.
The rise of these new subscription options is still in its early days but marks the possibility of a new business model for Lyft. Paying for rides a la carte was popularized by Uber at the genesis of the ridesharing era, and it's been the way things have gone ever since. This new model promises to save most customers a decent amount of money and sidesteps the potential hassle of customers being unable to pay for a ride that became unexpectedly expensive due to a surge, among other potential issues. For drivers using the app, it could be the beginning of a sort of regularity; depending on the distribution and routes of customers using these subscription services in a given area, drivers in that area could easily jump from one fare to the next with little downtime, all while traveling familiar routes with regular customers, making things easier and more comfortable for everybody.