Lyft adds black-car service, chases high-end Uber customers

Lyft will chase Uber Technology’s high-end clientele by adding its own black-car service that features leather seats and other goodies, in an expansion of its offerings that includes Santa Clara County and San Francisco.

The ride-hailing company is offering two new services: Lyft Lux, described as the company’s most luxurious ride experience “with a black exterior and leather or leather-like seats,” along with Lyft Lux SUV, which is Lyft Lux in an SUV that seats up to six.

The Lux and Lux SUV services are now available in Silicon Valley, as well as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, the company stated in a blog post.

“Other cities are coming soon,” Lyft stated in the post. Those cities weren’t immediately identified.

Some of the appeal seems to be directed towards the ostentatious among us.

“Make a statement the moment you pull up — and when the cameras start flashing,” Lyft said in a post on its site.

The new black vehicles are more fancy than the ones that are available on the company’s previous high-end service, which is called Premier. The Premier service is still available even amid the rollout of the Lux offerings.

Lyft on Friday also announced three product updates in a blog post. The company said its drivers inspired these new features: improved scheduling, ways to earn money and a new drivers-only app.

“When a passenger schedules a ride, we’ve historically notified a driver just minutes before it’s time to depart,” the blog post stated. “With scheduled pickups, a first in the ride-sharing industry, drivers can view those rides the moment they’re scheduled, up to seven days early.”

The company also offered its drivers new ways to get paid.

“With Power Zones, drivers can get paid more for every ride within a defined zone during eligible hours,” the company said. “It’s our easiest incentive yet, with no restrictions on car year, ride count, or acceptance rate.”

And the company said it’s also introducing a new app for drivers, although it isn’t available yet. But features in the new driver-oriented app will become gradually available through the summer.

The San Francisco-based company, which has been locked in a fierce battle with Uber throughout the existence of the two firms, believes these new features will provide wide-ranging benefits.

“Passengers enjoy better transportation, drivers are more financially stable, and both are more active in their local economies,” Lyft said.


Above: Images promoting the new Lux and Lux SUV services appear on Lyft’s blog.


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