Lyft and GM Partner to Attract More Drivers with Car Rental Program
March 28, 2016 Leave a comment
Lyft, the ride-hailing app that is trying to rival Uber, is taking a new step towards building a larger network of drivers. Starting on March 14th, they are rolling out a car rental program, coupled with General Motors, so that potential Lyft drivers won’t even need to own their own cars in order to work for the company. By the end of the month, Lyft drivers in Chicago will have access to a fleet of 125 Chevrolet Equinoxes.
Driers rent the cars, for up to 8 weeks, with a price that varies depending on how many rides they give. They start at $99 a week, plus 20 cents per mile, but for drivers who complete 65 or more trips in a week, the car ends up being free. It’s an interesting plan which the company hopes will incentivize more drivers joining up. They plan to roll out this program in Washington D.C., Boston, and Baltimore as well.
In the long run, GM and Lyft say that they’re working towards a large fleet of automated cars, and this program comes after a $500 million investment in Lyft by General Motors. Others have been working on automated car programs, most famously Google, and he Lyft-GM partnership is seen as the first step towards such a fleet. By starting with the rental system, they can begin to build the infrastructure to maintain such a fleet.
In the immediate future though, the program will help deal with a problem that Lyft has been having of late. Over 150,000 potential drivers, in the above four cities alone, had to be turned down because their cars didn’t meet the requirements that the company has set. Minimum standards, such as having a four-door, are necessary to qualify as a driver, which means that plenty of otherwise acceptable drivers are missing out, and that leaves Lyft with shortages.