Lyft is back in the subscription game with Lyft Pink. Touted as a “membership that unlocks more,” the angle that the ridesharing company is working with Pink is essentially driven by perks.
For a $19.95/month commitment, a Lyft Pink membership will get a subscriber:
A guaranteed 15 percent savings on all Lyft car rides
Priority airport pickups
The latitude to cancel three rides in a month without repercussion
Waiving of the Lost & Found fee
Three e-bike or e-scooter rides (up to 30 minutes and in selected markets)
Seasonal discounts and exclusive savings
Focusing on people, not cars
Zachary Kizer, a Communications Manager at Lyft, told ConsumerAffairs that Pink is an “evolution” of the company’s earlier forays into subscription-based ridesharing with its All Access, Smart Savings, Personal Plan, and Commute Plans. The expert said the new membership incorporates “everything riders loved with highly requested benefits. This includes geographical flexibility, guaranteed discount, and more than just savings options.”
Lyft is shuttering its previous subscriptions as of October 30, and Lyft Pink which will be the only subscription membership model for Lyft by the end of the year.
Lyft’s move might turn out to be a successful next step toward the company’s vision of cities designed around people, not cars.
“Since the beginning it’s been our mission to improve the way people get around their cities, with this, we recently redesigned the Lyft app to put all of your transportation options front and center,” Katie Dill, VP of Design, Lyft, told ConsumerAffairs.
Giving the investment community more of what it’s looking for
As most ConsumerAffairs readers know, ridesharing services have been on a rollercoaster ride for the last few years. One market observer thinks that this move might be just the thing Lyft needs to get it off that roller coaster.
“This is in line with the company's original mission to replace car ownership with car renting/sharing,” Santosh Rao, Head of Research at Manhattan Venture Partners, told ConsumerAffairs.
“With a ubiquitous, end-to-end inter modal transportation offering, Lyft believes that it can usher in a world where people will not need to own a car and all the hassles that go with it -- cost being the biggest one -- and focus more on living their lives more fully.”
It’s too early to tell if and how much Pink might affect Lyft’s bottom line, but the signs are pointing in a positive direction for the company.
“With three strong sequential quarters right off the gate, a rational pricing environment, strong unit economics in its core market, and compelling operating leverage in the model with a clear path to profitability, we remain bullish on the Lyft story,” Rao said.
The fine print
ConsumerAffairs pored over Lyft Pink’s FAQs to make sure interested consumers know what’s in the fine print before they sign up. Here are some of the most salient points:
Types of transportation included in the 15 percent discount: The membership’s 15 percent discount applies to all vehicle ride types, including Shared, Standard Lyft, Lyft XL, Lux Black XL, Lux, and Lux Black. However, it does not apply to bike or scooter rides (a separate perk detailed below).
Airport pickups: Lyft’s pitch to subscribers is that “when it's busy at applicable airports, we'll match you with a closer driver.” Note that Lyft says “closer,” not “closest,” and Lyft says it “cannot guarantee a faster pickup.” Also, this perk does not apply to airports where Uber’s Fast Match is available -- Portland International/PDX, Chicago Midway/MDW, San Diego/SAN, and New York’s LaGuardia/LGA.
How the 15 percent discount affects drivers: Lyft says that none of the membership perks -- the 15 percent discount, cancellation fee perk, or lost & found -- have any effect on what drivers earn.
Lost & Found fee: For forgetful consumers, this could be a nice saving off Lyft’s current charge of $15 for finding and returning a lost item. The company says the perk has “unlimited uses.”
Relaxed cancellation: To qualify for cancellation credit, a rider has to cancel and rebook a ride within 15 minutes.
Combining membership perks with other Lyft promotions: The Lyft Pink ride discount can be combined with credits, but it cannot be paired with other percentage-off or dollar-off promotional coupons.
Bike and scooter perk: Perhaps the most important note is that this benefit appears to only be available for a “limited time.” Members get three free 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month, but only in selected markets. The bike add-on is available only in the New York Metro Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington DC Metro Area. The scooter perk is only available in Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Columbus, Miami, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego, San Jose, Washington D.C., and San Antonio.
Tips: Lyft Pink does not cover tips.