First there was software as a service, then there was light as a service. Now there’s mobility as a service.
Lyft has officially launched its all-access subscription plan, which covers users for up to 30 rides per month for an up-front monthly fee of $299. Each ride can be for a value of up to $15, and if an individual ride goes over that amount, the user simply pays the difference through the usual means.
The Lyft subscription plan had been in testing for a few months before the ride-hailing company publicly confirmed its existence in March, but from today it’s available across the U.S.
During testing, however, there was a little confusion about what the actual pricing structure would eventually be. Indeed, it appears that the San Francisco-based company has dabbled with a number of pricings, including 30 rides for $199 a month and 60 rides for $399, but its final product is now set at what works out at an average of around $10 per ride for 30 rides.
It’s worth noting here that Lyft has also been dabbling with other forms of subscriptions, such as the personal plan that asks you for a monthly fee of around $8 to lock in your most common routes to a set figure for that whole month. That’s similar to Uber’s Ride Pass, which is available in some cities too.
The core underlying reason for the all-access plan is commitment: With a number of rivals in the space, the most obvious one being Uber, the best way to hook you into Lyft is to get you to pay up front in exchange for the promise of paying less overall. And this is much more effective at getting your ongoing custom than trying to undercut rivals through lowering fares.
For argument’s sake, if you already use Lyft for 30 rides per month at a value of $15 each, you stand to make a saving of $150 per month with a subscription. But the trade-off here is that you won’t use Uber, because you’re already pot-committed with Lyft.
An additional perk here is that you will receive five percent off all additional rides, which serves as another incentive to stay on board if you use up your allowance.
Another interesting facet of this plan is that it actively encourages people to use Lyft when they otherwise may have elected to drive, walk, or use public transport. Let’s say you ordinarily only use Lyft 20 times per month at an average price of around $15 per ride, that is already $300 — a subscription may encourage you to use Lyft for other journeys that you would perhaps otherwise have driven or used the subway for.
Ditch the car
As with other ride-hailing companies, one of Lyft’s long-stated missions is to help reduce personal car ownership, and to support this it recently launched a Ditch Your Car challenge that offers Lyft credits in exchange for residents ditching their cars for a whole month. And its big push appears to be working: The company recently announced that it passed 1 billion rides, double the figure of just 11 months previous.
With its all-access plan, Lyft’s ultimate message is simple: Ride more with us, and we will help you save money. As part of this launch, the company said that Americans on the monthly subscription stand to save 59 percent each month compared to owning a car. These figures vary depending on the city, of course, but Lyft said that its estimations were based on the AAA’s Your Driving Costs report, which factors in the full costs of owning a vehicle, from fuel to parking and insurance.
This move will also likely spark other services into action. The all-access subscription will prove too good a deal for many people, and don’t be too surprised if Uber launches something similar in the not-too-distant future.
Lyft is opening signups to the all-access plan from today, and it will be available across the U.S. by the end of this week.
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