Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Tue March 15 2016

GM and Lyft Drop Intriguing Express Drive Service On The Masses

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | March 15, 2016

GM and Lyft Drop Intriguing Express Drive Service On The Masses

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Lyft and General Motors have unveiled their initial plans for what will become something like a rental-car, ride-sharing mix tape of a service.

TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden pulls back the curtain on what these two crazy kids have been doing since coming together for what was a $500 million GM investment at the time.

According to the report, the tandem are rolling out something called Express Drive, which will hit the Chicago market first, followed shortly thereafter in Boston, Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

From first glance, it seems that the burgeoning service is a way to answer the immediate needs for both GM and Lyft.

Lunden explains the service: “GM will provide all-in rental cars to Lyft drivers, who will pay between $99/week plus mileage and nothing at all, depending on how many Lyft rides they provide using the vehicles.”

As noted, the first car to get the Express Drive treatment will be the Chevy Equinox.

So imagine scores of potential Lyft drivers coming to the realization that they can now use someone else’s car for a nominal fee and get paid to do so.

For GM, the move makes tremendous sense as locals and tourists are whisked about town in a new model of a car with which they may just find themselves enamored.

Win, potentially, may just meet up with Win in this scenario.

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer explained to reporters, via Lunden, that there is a giant void of potential drivers that have the will but not the way when it comes to becoming a Lyft driver.

Lunden quotes the co-founder who expounded on the news: “We’ve now made car ownership optional on both sides of the market. Now you don’t need to own a vehicle to make money on the platform, or to give rides to passengers.”

The move comes in conjunction with GM’s rollout of its Maven innovation, which TravelPulse’s Donald Wood explained back in January: “GM’s ride-sharing service will be similar to existing brands like Zipcar and Car2Go in that it will offer customers access to vehicles that can be rented quickly via a mobile app and then picked up from locations throughout a designated area.”

Despite the advent of services of Uber and Lyft working their way into the mainstream, we are still very much in the initial throes of a new era wherein taxi services are on the way out and self-driving cars are on the foreseeable horizon.

GM’s plan seems to be to provide a serviceable fleet that can meet the growing demand of travelers in major metropolitan areas who need immediate transport while maintaining a strong brand presence in this particular section of the industry.

Lyft’s legion of dedicated drivers will become more resplendent as they roll out in their new Equinox cars.


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