In case you did not already know, ride-hailing-via-app service, Lyft, has an All-Access subscription plan that allows you to pay a monthly fee for what is essentially discounted rides through the app. The subscription is $299 and covers discounted fares for 30 rides (at a value topped out at $15 apiece). Passengers must pay the difference for any ride which exceeds that limit. In addition, customers also received a 5 percent discount on rides after the initial 30; but any unused rides (so if you take fewer than 30 trips in a single 30-day period) do not roll over to the next period.
This is an important topic today, however, because Lyft has just announced plans to expand the All-Access subscription plan to all national markets. In a statement released by the company, Lyft said:
“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.”
This particular aspect of Lyft’s “optional car-ownership” goal began as a pilot program which offered different service tiers at different membership prices. The initial program saw subscriptions of $199 for 30 rides up to $399 for 60 rides.
As you might expect, this model has been regarded as similar to other networked subscription services, like Amazon Prime and Costco Wholesale. However, Lyft CEO Logan Green told technology news outlet TechCrunch, in a recent interview, that the company is focusing on moving the transportation industry towards a subscription-based model just like Netflix. (And with Netflix’s global subscriber base at an all-time high, any company who succeeds at evolving that model in their own respective industry would hope to find similar results).
The average consumer may not see the value in a $300 subscription to a ride-sharing service but Lyft reminds that this plan is cheaper, on average than leasing a car. When you factor in the car payment, insurance, gas, and maintenance, $300 for mostly effortless travel is actually quite a great deal. Of course, that will be a decision left to the individual riders; and if you determine this doesn’t work for, Lyft’s traditional ala carte service will remain available as well.