Driving for a ride-sharing service normally means you have to own a car, however Express Drive, a joint venture between Lyft and General Motors, is a way around that. That service is now expanding to both California and Colorado, starting in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver.
Express Drive kicked off back in March, and followed a hefty $500 million investment from GM in Lyft. At the time it launched in Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, and Baltimore.
While the service is a type of car rental program, it’s not like the others. The more trips a driver completes for Lyft, the less they actually have to pay in rental fees. Not only that, but if you complete 65 trips in a week, you’ll only have to pay for gas. Of course, you might not even have to pay anything, or much of anything, for gas — the cars that are available will include the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, which is fully electric, and the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which is a hybrid.
According to GM, the available cars for the Boston area were all rented within four days, proving that there’s a demand for something like this. And, according to Lyft, 130,000 people have applied to be Lyft drivers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver, but did not have qualifying cars, so it’s likely that a good number of those people will be interested in the Express Drive program.
Of course, Uber has its own program with Enterprise, however the Lyft/GM deal seems to cut out the middleman between the manufacturer and the ride-sharing service. Not only that, but the Lyft partnership with GM goes beyond car rentals — the two companies are working on technology for autonomous driving, and it will be very helpful for Lyft to already have an arrangement with a car manufacturer once autonomous cars do become commonplace.