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March 16, 2018

Lyft is testing a subscription service for frequent riders

by John_A

If you find yourself getting around town using multiple Lyft rides every day, or you use the service to commute to and from work, then how do you like the idea of paying a regular monthly fee for all the rides you take?

Lyft confirmed to The Verge that it’s currently conducting trials on variations of a subscription model to see which might work best for frequent riders.

A message sent to one of the riders in the trial describes an “all-access pass” with “no surprises.” Options currently being tested reportedly offer 30 rides costing anywhere between $199 and $300, and $399 for 60 rides. Any journey that costs up to $15 is included in the subscription, but it’s not known what riders are paying if the fare exceeds that amount.

A Lyft spokesperson told The Verge on Thursday, March 15 that it has been trying out its “All-Access Plan” for the past few months with select riders, but it hasn’t yet made a final decision on whether to proceed with the model.

The trial is aimed at finding a fee/ride combination that suits both the rider and the company, but if a suitable balance can’t be struck, Lyft could abandon the plan altogether and consider developing alternative payment models instead.

Lyft, like its main rival Uber, is constantly looking for ways to improve and expand its service. The San Francisco-based service is investing heavily in driverless-car technology, partnering with a large number of companies over the last few years to help advance its plans. Some of its autonomous cars are already motoring along the streets of American cities, albeit as part of a trial service and with an engineer in the driver’s seat to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Away from cars, the company is also experimenting with other modes of transport. In Baltimore, for example, it recently invested $270,000 in the city’s bike-sharing scheme as part of a three-year deal that puts its branding onto five of the city’s busiest bike-sharing stations that will also act as convenient pick-up and drop-off points for Lyft riders. The company hopes the setup will help feed more riders into its car-based service as it seeks to build what the company calls a “multimodal transportation future.”

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