Ride-hailing company Lyft will offer a slew of perks to its drivers in an effort to encourage them to be more loyal and stop switching to other platforms, according to reports.
Lyft, which is expected to soon be a publicly traded company, said it will offer incentives to help drivers economically, such as no-fee bank accounts, debit cards and special prices on rentals. The company will also open centers where drivers can get car washes and discounts on car maintenance.
The initiative, called Lyft Driver Services, aims to help drivers financially without the company having to raise fares or reduce the amount it takes from them for each ride.
“Our primary aim is to increase pay and for us to become the platform of choice for drivers,” said Jon McNeill, Lyft’s chief operating officer.
By increasing pay, McNeill means introducing a branded debit card that offers cash back incentives of 4 percent on restaurants, 2 percent on gas and 1 percent on groceries. Lyft drivers will also have the opportunity to access earnings through an online bank account with no monthly fees or minimum balances through a partnership with Oklahoma-based Stride Bank.
Uber made similar moves recently when it introduced Uber Pro, a rewards program for drivers who have high ratings and low cancellations. The perks include cash back on fuel, maintenance help and roadside assistance. McNeill said that was just a gimmick that puts drivers into different categories and only rewards a segment of them. With Lyft, he said, “it’s not like there are hurdles for you to increase your earnings.”
Last year, Lyft introduced driver “hubs” for affordable vehicle maintenance and car washes, but did not offer the services, mostly helping drivers with basic questions and tax issues. The company said it will now turn those hubs into driver centers.
“If you need support, you come for support,” McNeill said. “If you want to rent a car, you can do that. If you need your car repaired, you can do that. And we’re also adding community space for driver education, driver meetups and those sorts of things.”