Lyft announced on Monday that it’s testing out a membership plan for its Line carpooling service that promises riders cheaper prices per ride. Available in Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., riders can purchase either a $20 or $29 pass, each with different options — the former reduces all your Line rides to $2 each, while the latter covers the entire ride.
Passes must be purchased before October 31 and can only be used through November. There’s no additional steps for riders as the selected plan will automatically kick in. However, not everyone can purchase a pass, as it’s available in limited quantity.
While this is certainly good for riders and for Lyft, it’s not the only company that’s doing these type of membership options that target frequent users. Its main competitor Uber has since launched its own offering called Uber Plus that is also being tested in a handful of U.S. cities, including San Francisco. But unlike Lyft’s program, Uber Plus is applicable across the company’s offerings, with UberX rides at a flat rate of $7 and UberPool costing $2 each.
Uber Plus previously set restrictions on the number of rides permitted, and that limit was determined by which tiered plan riders choose. For $20 a month, they’ll receive 20 fixed-cost trips, while $30 a month gives 40 trips. This month, the company shifted its plan to provide unlimited rides, but at a steeper price, starting in Manhattan. For $100, riders got unlimited rides for the first two weeks, but for $200 it covered the entire month. Based on the traction of Uber Plus, it’s feasible that this will expand to other cities in the future.
Lyft’s program appears to offer unlimited rides, so it might be a better option, as long as you don’t mind carpooling with a stranger.
Ride-hailing services are looking to make themselves more convenient to riders, and a way to build loyalty appears to be with membership programs. With them, companies can establish better rapport with riders while providing multiple ways to get around without them having to break the bank. Instead, customers can decide that taking a Lyft or an Uber is a better way form of transit without having to weep later on after finding out how expensive their ride was.