(Source: PhoenixBusinessJournal) By Hayley Ringle
Lyft Inc. is elevating its ride-sharing services and driver earnings with two new luxurious services for passengers who want to ride in a higher-end vehicle.
Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV launches today in 16 cities, including Phoenix, for the passenger who doesn’t mind spending extra money to arrive in a fancier, black car, said Drena Kusari, Lyft’s general manager of the southwest region. “We’ve heard from passengers they want to have the option to have a luxurious ride,” Kusari said. “This is about a guaranteed high-end experience. This is our answer to the black car experience.”
When passengers request a Lyft Lux service from the app, they can expect a vehicle in great condition, with a black exterior, high-end leather interior and a model that is 2011 or newer. Drivers also must keep their driver rating at 4.7 stars or above to offer Lux requests.
The Lyft Lux SUV service is available for vehicles that can comfortably seat six riders or more.
“This is for the busy business traveler who wants to show up to a meeting in a black car, or who is taking a client out to dinner and wants a consistent top-notch ride,” she said. “The Lux service is also for special occasions where you’re willing to spend extra and want to be picked up in a fancy black car.”
Lyft Lux services are also rolling out in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Orange County, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
Passengers can expect to pay three to five times the price of a regular Lyft Classic service, or 1.5 to two times the price of Lyft Premiere. The premiere service launched in Phoenix in January and offers a slightly higher-end service than the typical classic service, Kusari said.
“Phoenix was chosen as one of the markets because it is growing really fast,” she said. “We’ve been a really well-performing market.”
San Francisco-based Lyft opened a Phoenix hub office earlier this month. Lyft service has tripled in the Valley in the past year.
Competitor Uber Technologies Inc. has been offering its UberBlack service since 2008. Uber has also offered its UberSUV service for years.
When asked how Lyft is different than Uber’s luxury service, Kusari said Lyft’s service has “always been differentiated from the way we treat our passengers and drivers.”
With the extra cost to passengers comes extra earnings for drivers, who have also been asking if Lyft was going to offer a high-end service, Kusari said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for drivers who have these newer, black cars that qualify for the Lux service,” she said. “This will be a way to offer a ton of extra money for our drivers.”
Lyft drivers who qualify can choose to only drive for Lux requests, or they can choose to offer both classic and Lux rides.
“We’re expecting a large amount of demand, and expect drivers to give more Lyft Lux rides than classic,” Kusari said.
Lyft drivers can sign up now for the Lux service if they have one of the eligible makes and models. Click here for the list of cars, which includes the Bentley, Jaguar, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls Royce and Tesla.