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Is a Monthly Lyft Pass Worth the Price? It Depends. We Do the Math For You
When you can summon a car to pick you up by simply pressing a button on your phone, it can get easy to lose track of how much money is leaving your bank account.
Having one fixed cost for the month could help frequent ride hailers stay on budget. Lyft has been testing out options to provide just that.
The ride-hailing company is conducting tests where riders sign up to pay a set price each month for a certain number of rides. I spoke with Mo McKenzie, a Lyft spokesperson, who told me how the company is preparing for a potential future where we don’t own transportation but instead subscribe to it.
The company started experimenting with different versions of a Lyft Pass subscription plan earlier this year. Back in May, outlets like The Verge and TechCrunch wrote about a version of Lyft’s All-Access Plan where riders paid $200 a month to get $15 off each of their first 30 rides.
McKenzie said Lyft is currently testing a plan where riders pay $299 a month for $15 off each of their first 30 rides. If your ride is $15 or less, you don’t have to pay any additional cost to get to your destination. If the ride’s over $15, you pay just the difference. Riders pay the full price of their trips after exceeding 30 rides in one month.
Being someone who uses ride-hailing apps only on rare occasions, I was first taken aback at spending that much money monthly on Lyft. But after doing a little math, I found that it’s a pretty good deal for frequent riders — although not as good a deal as the $200 price offered in the previous test.
Paying $299 for 30 rides equals about $9.97 per ride, assuming you stay under that $15 threshold. You’d be saving just over $5 on trips that would normally cost $15.
You’d have to take at least 20 trips per month to make spending $299 on this All-Access Plan worth it. If you’re an average Lyft user who doesn’t spend hundreds of dollars a month hailing rides, you’re better off paying per ride than going this subscription route.
But riders who take 30 trips a month could save $151 by using this version of the subscription plan. This would be beneficial to frequent riders, like those who hail a Lyft for their regular commute.
Right now, Lyft’s All-Access Plan is still in the testing phase and can be accessed by invitation only. McKenzie said the company has been sending invitations to select users in waves. Lyft users will see the invites show up via email or through the app.
McKenzie said she couldn't say when all Lyft users would be able to opt in but said the company looks forward to making this plan, and others like it, available to every Lyft rider.
Lyft has also been experimenting with other ride pass promotions where riders can get discounts on a certain number of trips, like $5 off 10 rides. Rival Uber has been testing out its own version of ride passes as well.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.