Lyft Announces ‘Lyft Rewards’ Loyalty Program Coming in December for Select Riders

Lyft today revealed that a loyalty program for its customers, "Lyft Rewards," will begin rolling out for select passengers in December, allowing these users to be rewarded for using the service.

The program will work by tracking each time you use Lyft to get around, netting you points for every dollar that you spend on the ride-hailing service. With enough points, you'll earn rewards like an upgrade to Lyft Lux or discounts on a future ride. In the app, Lyft will show you how close you are to your next reward.


The company says that it will continue to work on Lyft Rewards over time, and is brainstorming future additions to the service, including reward perks like ride upgrades, access to more experienced rivers, and double points days.

Following the December 2018 rollout for select riders in various cities, Lyft Rewards will be available to more riders in the new year. The company says it will begin sending out email notifications to those eligible for the December phase of the program sometime soon.

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Lyft’s All-Access Subscription Plan Rolling Out Nationwide, $300/Month for 30 Rides

In March, Lyft began testing a monthly subscription plan for select high-frequency users, and today the company announced that a version of this plan will now be available to everyone in the United States by the end of the week. Called the "All-Access Plan," passengers will be able to pay upfront every 30 days, locking in a set price for their rides and not having to pay out for each individual Lyft trip.


Subscribers of the All-Access Plan will get 30 rides (for up to $15 each) for a monthly fee of $299, and can cancel their plan anytime. If a ride goes over $15, subscribers will have to pay the difference. If the 30 ride limit is exceeded, Lyft will offer five percent off additional rides. Additionally, unused rides will not roll over to the following monthly pay period.

During its test, Lyft tried out plans that cost $200/month, $300/month, and $400/month for different amount of rides and incentives, but it appears that the company landed on $299/month as the sweet spot. At the time, Lyft CEO Logan Green discussed the subscription plan tests, saying, "We are going to move the entire industry from one based on ownership to one based on subscription."

In today's press release, Lyft says the nationwide rollout of the All-Access Plan is the first step toward "delivering on our goal of making car ownership optional."
When you spend less time driving (and parking), you have more freedom — and more savings. Americans who use the All-Access Plan for all of their personal car needs can save up to 59%* per month compared to owning a car.

This is the first step toward delivering on our goal of making car ownership optional, and we’re constantly looking for more ways to provide passengers with the easiest, most convenient options possible.
Lyft launches its subscription plan after rival Uber trialed its own similar monthly subscription payments in 2016, without following up with a full launch. Lyft has also partnered with Google's Waymo "to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream."

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Lyft Removes its Apple Watch App From the App Store

Lyft is the latest company to ditch support for the Apple Watch, eliminating its Apple Watch app in an update that was released this morning.

Lyft did not announce the removal of the Apple Watch app in the update's notes, but the Lyft Apple Watch app is no longer listed in the App Store nor is it available as an app to install through the Watch app on the iPhone. There's also no longer a mention of the Apple Watch in the App Store description.


It is not clear why the Lyft app was removed from the App Store, and we've asked Lyft for comment, but this continues a trend where major companies are removing their Apple Watch apps due to low usage or Apple's requirement that all apps adopt the watchOS 4 SDK.

As of April, all Apple Watch app updates submitted to the App Store must use the watchOS 2 SDK or later. Apple Watch apps that use the watchOS 1 SDK are no longer able to be updated. Lyft has been updated several times since April, though, so it's not clear if the requirement is the reason why the app was removed. Lyft first introduced support for the Apple Watch in September of 2016.

Lyft joins several other major companies that have abandoned development for the Apple Watch and eliminated their watchOS apps, including Twitter, Google Maps, Amazon, Instagram, and eBay.

Update: Lyft customer support told MacRumors reader Alec that the company is "testing the integration" for a new Apple Watch app, but does not have a timeline for when it will be available.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
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Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Lyft Testing Monthly Subscription Plans With Prices Reportedly Starting at $200/Month

iOS and Android ride-hailing app Lyft has begun testing monthly subscription plans for "high-frequency users," in a style comparable to services like Netflix, Apple Music, and MoviePass.

According to The Verge, the terms of each "All-Access Plan" vary and an overall detailed report from Lyft has yet to come out, but prices appear to start at $200/month for 30 standard Lyft rides. Standard rides are defined as those costing up to $15 for each ride. Higher tiers are priced at $250, $300, and one for $400/month provides 60 rides.

All-Access Plan image via Hunter Owens

Images of the ads for All-Access Plans promote "predictable pricing," the ability to cancel anytime, and auto-renew payments.

Lyft CEO Logan Green discussed the new subscription plans this week, saying, "We are going to move the entire industry from one based on ownership to one based on subscription." As is typical for these tests, it's still unclear if and when Lyft will launch subscription plans for all of its users.
“We’re always testing new ways to provide passengers the most affordable and flexible transportation options,” the spokesperson said. “For the past few months, we’ve been testing a variety of All-Access Plans for Lyft passengers.”
Lyft recently expanded to Toronto at the end of 2017, which marked the company's first market outside of the United States. Earlier in 2017, the ride-hailing company partnered with self-driving startup Waymo in an effort "to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream."

The company has had an ongoing rival in similar ride-hailing app Uber, which itself trialed monthly subscription payments for its users back in 2016 but never launched the service on wide scale.

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Lyft to Launch in Toronto Next Month as Uber Competitor Expands to First City Outside of United States

Lyft today announced that it will launch its ride-hailing service in Toronto next month as its first market outside of the United States.


Riders in Canada's largest city—and nearby Hamilton, Ontario—will be able to hail Lyft or Lyft Plus vehicles that hold up to four or six passengers respectively, as well as fancier Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux, or Lyft Lux SUV rides.

Lyft hasn't disclosed passenger rates, payouts to drivers, or any other specific details ahead of the December expansion.

Lyft's biggest competitors in Toronto will be Uber, which launched in the city over five years ago, and traditional Beck Taxi cabs. The city also operates the TTC subway system and a network of streetcars and buses.

Beck Taxi, which has already heavily protested Uber, naturally isn't happy about Lyft's arrival. "It's another reason to encourage cars to cruise the streets of our city — many of them who come from outside it — who otherwise wouldn't be there," said the company's operations manager Kristine Hubbard.

In an interview with the Toronto Star, Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said he expects Toronto will likely become one of the ride-sharing company's top five markets overall in North America.
We see it as a world-class city. It will likely become one of our top five markets overall. We expect that to happen, and we see it as a city that really shares the values that we have at Lyft — focusing on people taking care of people, treating people well, treating people with mutual respect and promoting both inclusion and diversity.
Zimmer said 50,000 people in Toronto downloaded the Lyft app this year despite the service not being available in the city. He also subtly suggested that Lyft will be a fresh alternative to the scandal-clad Uber.

Lyft's app can already be downloaded from the App Store [Direct Link] in Canada for iPhone and Apple Watch.

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