On-demand ride-sharing startup Lyft is expanding availability of its recently launched “Lyft Plus” experiment into a whole bunch of new markets. And to convince people to use the new service, the company is lowering the starting price of the service to 1.5 times the usual fare of one of its rides.
Back in May, the company introduced Lyft Plus as its first new product. It did so with some tricked out Ford Explorer SUVs that would offer a premium experience to the usual rides that consumers could order via mobile phone. At launch, its six-seater option cost two times its usual fares in San Francisco.
Fast forward six months and Lyft’s experiment is ready to go nationwide, but the service will have a few major differences as it does. The first change is that while Lyft Plus will still offer six-seater vehicles to passengers, it won’t require them to be custom Ford Explorers in those new markets. Perhaps more importantly, Lyft will be lowering its prices for the service, to 1.5 times the usual fare versus 2x.
The nationwide launch of Lyft Plus follows the introduction of its second new service, Lyft Line, in San Francisco. With Lyft Line, passengers are able to elect to share a trip with other passengers and save up to 60 percent off the cost of the ride in the process.
For Lyft, having new lines of business will help it to serve its customers a little better. But the premium service in particular will also help it to increase revenues and margins that it receives when users request a ride.