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Is the future of ride hailing the subscription model?

The Lyft app is seen on a passenger's phone on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
The Lyft app is seen on a passenger's phone on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
Mike Coppola

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In the last month, both Lyft and Uber started experimenting with the subscription model.

Lyft’s “All Access Plan” allows users to pay $299 per month for 30 rides under $15. And then you get 5 percent off any rides that don’t fit that criteria.

Last week, Uber started offering a “Ride Pass” plan for $14.99 a month (or $24.99 for Angelenos) which lets users avoid surge pricing.

The programs are pilots for now, and Uber and Lyft may still be experimenting to find the right balance between enticing passengers and offering a program that’s still lucrative. Meanwhile, the subscription model in transit may gain traction. As reported by Aditi Shrikant in Vox, some experts speculate that the subscription model will play a role in the future of transportation, particularly in combination with driverless cars.

Would you use Lyft or Uber’s subscription service? What kind of subscription service would work for you, or even entice you away car ownership? Are subscription models the future of transit?


Aditi Shrikant, reporter covering travel and transportation for The Goods, a consumer culture vertical at Vox; her recent story is “Uber and Lyft unveiled new subscription plans. But are they really worth the money?"

Robbie Kellman Baxter, consultant with Peninsula Strategies, a management consulting firm that focuses on subscription and membership models; she is the author of “The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue” (McGraw-Hill Education, 2015); she tweets @robbiebax