Lyft is feeling particularly bullish about its rate of growth in New York City, so the company is deciding to share the wealth with riders and drivers alike. Starting today, all weekday Lyft rides in Manhattan will be 50 percent off. Meanwhile, all of Lyft’s New York City drivers will get to keep 100 percent of their fares before the discount, as the company says it will forgo collecting per-fare commissions for a limited time.
Lyft won’t say how long each promotion will last, but suffice to say the company is happy to keep burning through the $2 billion it raised in its most recent financing round as it continues to nip at the heels of its main rival Uber. Lyft says the number of rides in New York City has grown tenfold over the last year. And nationwide, the company is doing 11 million rides a month, a figure that was also reported in Bloomberg last month. “We’ve had a fantastic year of growth and increasing market share,” a Lyft spokesperson said. “The passenger promotion and driver incentive are also our way of saying thanks to the two sides of our community that have made this unprecedented growth possible.”
And since summer is right around the corner, Lyft says it plans on launching in the Hamptons — except East Hampton and Montauk, which has also banned Uber for failing to acquire an operating license — as well as Cape Cod and the Jersey Shore. And for those thinking of attending one of the many summer music festivals around the New York City area, Lyft wants you to know that it’ll be partnering with SummerStage, Celebrate Brooklyn, and the Northside Festival in Williamsburg.
So it’s clear that the ride-sharing wars are showing no signs of cooling off. Both Uber and Lyft recently reduced fares in most major US markets, which sparked a backlash from drivers who complained that the price war was eating into their earnings. The rivals are also pursuing their own carpool services — Uber Pool vs. Lyft Line — and are experimenting with things like flat flees and smart routes to promote these products as complements or alternatives to public transportation. And both are testing self-driving cars — Uber just revealed its prototype in Pittsburgh, while General Motors, Lyft’s partner in autonomous driving, is testing self-driving Chevy Bolts — as they both race toward the next big battle.
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