Lyft launches pricier, upscale ride option “Premier”

Ronny Kerr · July 7, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4668

On the path to looking and feeling as luxurious as an Uber (and costing as much), Lyft goes high-end

Ever since its giant fluffy pink mustaches started mousing around the streets of San Francisco a few years ago, Lyft has been working against its own early brand as the sillier, less polished version of slick and black Uber. That’s a big part of the reason the company transitioned to the glowstache last year.

Now, in a more concerted effort to attract higher-paying clientele, Lyft today announced the launch of Lyft Premier, a new ride option that costs more than any of the company’s previous offerings.



Immediately available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City (with additional cities to come), Lyft Premier was designed for passengers who “want a more stylish arrival for business trips and special nights out.” While Lyft Line and regular Lyft have less strict requirements for eligible vehicles, Lyft Premier will only feature luxury sedans or SUVs like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus ES, and Cadillac Escalade.

Here’s how much the privilege of enjoying Premier’s leather seats will compare to Lyft’s other offerings:

  • Line - up to 2 passengers - fixed fare
  • Lyft - up to 4 passengers - $5.00 minimum fare - $2.00 pickup - $1.15 per mile - $0.23
  • Plus - up to 6 passengers - $7.00 minimum fare - $3.00 pickup - $2.00 per mile - $0.30
  • Premier - up to 4 passengers - $9.00 minimum fare - $5.00 pickup - $2.77 per mile - $0.49 per minute

For example, the three-mile, approximately fifteen minute ride from my home in San Francisco to Mission Beach Cafe would cost about $19-28 in Lyft Premier. The same trip would be about $9-15 in regular Lyft and $6.37 in Lyft Line (where you’re paired with other passengers traveling in the same direction).

Using this same example, it would appear that Lyft still doesn’t have much on Uber’s high prices for its luxury car services. For that same trip from my apartment to Mission Beach Cafe, here’s how much various Uber rides would cost me:

  • uberX: $9-12
  • uberXL: $13-17
  • uberSelect: $19-25
  • uberBlack: $25-32
  • uberBlack SUV: $35-43

So, price-wise, Lyft sits somewhere between an uberSelect and an uberBlack. (And if you want to ride in a luxury SUV, you’re almost guaranteed to get a better deal with Lyft Premier.)

In spite of reports from last week that Lyft is now on the auction block, the company has been chugging along with business as usual. Rental car company Hertz announced a week ago that it has entered a new partnership with Uber and expanded its partnership with Lyft to supply drivers in four markets with cars. Lyft and Hertz previously had an arrangement of this kind in Las Vegas and Denver, which they’re now expanding to Los Angeles and San Francisco. A national rollout could be next.

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Ronny Kerr

I am a professional writer with a decade of experience in the technology industry. At VatorNews, I cover the zero-waste economy, venture capital, and cannabis. I'm also available for freelance hire.

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