Ridesharing is becoming increasingly popular, but would you get rid of your daily driver for a monthly subscription to an on-demand transportation service? The San Francisco-based Lyft is betting that people will. The service has launched an All-Access Plan that costs US$299 a month. It includes 30 trips worth up to $15 each.
“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,” said Lyft on its website.
The plan is geared towards users who frequently use Lyft, including commuters and those who don’t have vehicles.
“We want to make it easy as Netflix is with TV,” Lyft vice president Katie Dil told USA Today.
The plan applies to all types of rides, but unfortunately unused rides will not roll over into the following month. If a ride costs more than $15, the user pays the difference. Tips are not included. Users can cancel at any time.
It’s important to note that Lyft drivers can cancel rides as they see fit—if it’s too short, not profitable, or if the passenger has a poor rating. A user’s rating often drops if he or she is rude, intoxicated, or is late for pickup, for example. So if you opt for the subscription service, you better be on your best behavior.
Lyft believes the service will give people more flexibility than car ownership.
“When you spend less time driving (and parking), you have more freedom — and more savings,” Lyft noted, adding that users can save up to 59 per cent by using the plan versus owning a car (depending on personal expenses and where one lives).
Lyft estimates car ownership costs an average of $9,000 annually, including car payments, insurance, maintenance and gas.
The All-Access Plan will be available to US users this week. Lyft is currently available in Toronto. During its first five months of operation in the city, Lyft signed up 10,000 active drivers. Lyft’s rival is Uber, which has 830,000 monthly riders in Toronto alone.