Update: Lyft is replacing “All Access” with Lyft Pink for $99/year. The below article is an overview of Lyft All Access. Lyft Pink offers “free priority pickup upgrades, 5% off Standard, Lux, Preferred, and XL rides, relaxed cancellations, and a free year of Grubhub+ ($0 delivery fees)”. There’s also “Lyft Pink All Access” which adds some bike and scooter passes for a $199/year membership price.
When I first heard that Lyft was going to be offering an “All Access” monthly subscription plan to “deliver on our goal of making car ownership optional“, I was intrigued. I thought to myself, “hmm… perhaps this is something that could cut the cost of transportation for a lot of my readers, by allowing them to get rid of their pricey cars altogether”.
Then, the plan details were released.
This past week, Lyft officially announced the specifics of their new plan, which are:
- an upfront customer payment of $299 every 30 days
- up to 30 rides per month (up to $15 each, and if you go over, you pay the difference)
- 5% off additional rides
It’s not exactly unlimited “All Access”, as the name implies, is it? I guess “30 rides of $15 or less access” doesn’t sound as sexy. Deceptive.
Lyft then goes on to claim that:
“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.”
I like the idea of getting rid of your car for cost savings, but this claim is deceptive for many reasons. I’ll save your time today by not going through all of them. But, for starters, people overspend for their cars and insurance, so comparing to the average is not really helpful. Secondly, if you go over 30 rides in a given month, you’re paying all but 5% of the additional cost. And if you’re commuting daily, both ways, 5-days a week, you’re going to need at least 40 rides each month to cover just your commute. I’ll stop there.
Next, let’s simply look at whether this could be a good deal versus no plan at all.
At best, if you’re able to maximize the deal (exactly 30 $15 rides = $450 in rides per month), you can come out $151 ahead (vs. 30 non-“All Access” Lyft rides). But… that’s going to be the use case for exactly zero subscribers.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why this Lyft offering is not going to be a great deal (and maybe even a net loss) for those who subscribe:
- If your rides are less than $15 you don’t get to use unspent funds on a given ride towards your next ride.
- If your rides are all over $15, you’re paying all but 5% of the difference, so there’s not much incentive to plop down $299 upfront.
- Tips are, sadly, not included within that $15 per ride allowance. If you’re taking 30 rides per month, they can add up quickly (i.e. 30 rides x $3 tip = $90 per month).
- No rollover from month-to-month for unused rides. You’re paying for 30 rides even if you only use 1, 5, or 20.
- You’re locked in to Lyft. There’s no incentive to competitively compare on-demand pricing with Uber and other rideshare services – and sometimes Uber can be notably cheaper than Lyft for the same ride.
Looking to Lyft “All Access” for commuting cost savings? You should look elsewhere. If you’re doing $15 or less rides, you’re probably within a few miles from your destination, which means that you likely have “all access” use of a bike, your feet, and/or public transportation – which all could cost next to nothing. Car vs Lyft is a false dichotomy. You should start with get a bus or rail pass, biking to work, and investing in a nice pair of walking shoes.
Yeah I spend roughly $360 a month on my commute to and from work using Uber. I’d rather just prepay the Uber account myself with terms like that. Walking to work is a 4 mile trek I can’t do at the moment. It’s about $9 bucks each way. The Uber pass , if you’re lucky to get invited, gives you 15% off for a month. You pay $9 to get it, and long term that’s saved more than it cost to get it. The rides are unlimited as long as you’re in the service area. I live in the Tampa Metro Area and everywhere is in that service area. I wish they’d make that something you just get automatically as a high frequency user instead of a kind of drawing of high frequency users. I can afford the service though , and I don’t own a car or plan to , so ill take whatever discounts they throw at me.
I agree that this program, specifically, isn’t a great deal but it’s a first step. Perhaps Uber will see what Lyft is doing and offer its own program that makes more sense, and then Lyft improves its All Access to be more competitive, maybe even a third competitor steps in and makes some noise. Wouldn’t shock me if this is the first domino and eventually there’s something that’s economical over owning a car for many people.
The winning model here where the company makes money, and it’s affordable for regular users, would probably be like gym memberships. Those who take use it regularly probably cost the company money. But a big enough proportion still pay the monthly fee and don’t take advantage of it, subsidizing the regular users.
You’re right, this is deceptive. With all the fine print I would feel duped going for this “all-access” promo
Fairly sure you misread the promotion. I have the cheaper all-access plan ($189), and Rides > the $8 allowance (the $299 one is for $15 allowance) simply subtract 8 dollars per ride.
Thus, if someone is indeed taking rides 15 and up, it’s arguably a good investment if Uber is equally priced or more expensive (which has been almost every time the case due to distance for myself in multiple towns during the commute hours).
In addition, in my area(s) at least, uber charges an additional flat fee for larger trips.
It’s not for everyone, but if it’s too cold to walk or bike /// Snowing (both far from uncommon maladies in the northeast or midwest), it could save money.
My daughter signed up. I was excited to see her $5 cost, in what should have been a $20 fare. However, I noticed that her estimates, and actual costs, were higher than expected. The next day, we both requested a Lyft, and sure enough, it appears that Lyft is charging her more than me.
Could it be that Lyft is charging subscribers more, and therefore they’re getting less of a benefit than they thought?
It’s terrible, don’t do it. Wish I’d done some research before I bought the plan. Totally regret it! AND it auto signed me up for another month. ARGHHH!
Well all access save me a lot of money. This new pink is going to cost me a lot of money I will try I’d for a month .if it does I will. Be going back to uber because they are cheaper.