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Lyft tests subscription plan in Austin

Ride-hailing discounts for frequent users

Close-up of car window with a Lyft sticker on it Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Ride-hailing company Lyft is looking to start its own version of car-subscription services, and Austin will be one of its test markets for the programs.

Car subscription programs—through which automakers allow drivers to rent vehicles on a monthly basis, generally covering insurance, maintenance, and that sort of thing—could be the next big thing in the development of alternatives to car ownership.

Lyft’s model, on the other hand, simply offers different kinds of discounts on its rides rather than temporary possession of a vehicle. The company’s plan offers riders the opportunity to purchase guaranteed $15 discounts on 30 rides in a single month for $200 (meaning the discount is highest for people who use the service frequently). Lyft is currently signing up users in a few cities to a waiting list to buy its initial subscriptions.

Along with Uber, Lyft only recently fought its way around Austin regulations and began operating again in the city after leaving in protest a few months before.