Lyft passengers now have the option of requesting high-end sedans or SUVs as part of its new Premier service offering that launched earlier this month.
While Lyft began in 2012 as a company focused on offering a cost-efficient ride-sharing model, Lyft introduced the Premier service in response to their users’ desire for a luxury experience. Lyft claims more than 60 percent surveyed asked for the option of requesting a luxury vehicle. For now, the Premier service is available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York with more cities to be announced.
The ride-hail company recognizes their users may have special occasions like important business meetings, dinner dates or weddings where a luxury vehicle would be more accommodating. Lyft Premier features higher-end cars such as a BMW 5 Series, an Audi A6, a Lexus ES, or a Cadillac Escalade. At a significantly higher cost point (more than double the cost of the regular service), the Premier service ensures style, consistency and comfort.
Lyft chooses their Premier service drivers carefully, only those with high ratings and access to high end vehicles will be allowed to drive under Premier. These drivers will earn more than an average driver and Lyft will also take a higher margin on Premier rides. Drivers will also have the option of picking up either regular or premium riders. This option will also help the company manage demand during rush-hour, as well as serve as a means for Premier drivers to earn extra income.
The Premier service is a part of a growing strategy targeting corporate travel customers In key cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, the service is one of four categories that users have the option of selecting. Lyft’s other services include: Lyft (a personal ride service), Lyft Line (a shared ride service for a reduced rate), Lyft Plus (a ride for groups requiring up to six seats).
While Lyft is focused on providing an on-demand ride-sharing service, in May they began piloting a new in-app option that lets customers pre-order schedule rides up to 24 hours ahead of time. Lyft is offering this feature while remaining in line with their on-demand nature. A rider schedules a pickup but a request will not to be sent to a driver until just before the scheduled time. That way drivers will still have the ability to accept or reject a ride. Users of the feature should note the request is sent out with enough time to send it to the next available driver, in the event a ride request is rejected. Rides can be scheduled anywhere from 24 hours to 30 minutes ahead of time, and you can cancel your scheduled ride up to 30 minutes before pickup without paying a fee.
Lyft aims to gain greater market share in the ride-sharing industry and differentiate its service from its biggest competitor, Uber.