Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft just launched a new version of its All-Access Plan monthly ridesharing subscription. The plan will be available throughout the U.S. by October 19.

With the All-Access Plan, subscribers pay $299 each month for 30 rides that cost up to $15 each. If you call for more than 30 rides in a month, Lyft discounts the extra rides by 5 percent.

There’s no option, or obligation, that is longer than one month for the All-Access Plan, and you can cancel at any time. If you don’t cancel, however, you will be charged for the next month’s subscription.

The subscription plan is not guaranteed to save on individual rideshare trips, though. The convenience of buying Lyft rides in bulk each month might help with budgeting, but you could still spend more for rides with the All-Access Plan than by paying for trips as needed.

If an individual ride costs more than $15, you pay the additional amount. If a ride costs less than $15, though, the extra doesn’t roll over to the remaining rides for the month. Also, unspent money from unused rides and trip charges of less than $15 do not roll over to the next month.

Like other rideshare companies, Lyft views itself as a mobility company that augments or replaces other forms of transportation. Lyft presents the All-Access Plan as a way to save money, though the savings are in comparison to the monthly expenses of car ownership.

The Lyft subscription plan is Lyft’s “first step toward delivering on our goal of making car ownership optional.”

According to Lyft, “Americans who use the All-Access Plan for all of their personal car needs can save up to 59 percent per month compared to owning a car.”

To determine car ownership costs, Lyft referred to the annual American Automobile Association (AAA) Your Driving Costs report. According to the AAA, it costs $8,849 to own and operate the average priced new car, truck, or SUV in 2018. AAA includes fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, fees and taxes, interest, and depreciation in ownership costs.

Because the AAA bases ownership costs on driving 15,000 miles a year, the Lyft All-Access Plan savings estimate could be hard to achieve unless Lyft’s $299 monthly charge would cover 30 trips that total 1,250 miles (15,000 miles divided by 12). Lyft’s mileage charges alone as figured in individual trip costs would blow right by the subscription’s $15 allocation per trip.

The point of Lyft’s All-Access Plan isn’t to compete to the penny, but to offer its ridesharing subscription as a mobility option to car ownership. The latest version of Lyft’s plan follows earlier versions with various price points and features, although previous plans were limited to frequent riders.

Automakers also see individual car ownership dwindling in the future. In response to the impending market change, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, Lincoln, Volvo, and others have launched their own vehicle subscription plans.

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