Lyft is hoping to make its Lyft Line commuter route service even more appealing by expanding commuter benefits, which allows riders to use pre-tax dollars via a benefits card from a number of providers to pay for their ride. This can result in savings of up to 35 percent vs. paying for the service the usual way.
Lyft Line currently operates in 18 cities across the U.S., and Lyft says that in total around 42 percent of its users are using it for their daily commute, at least in part. Lyft Line is an attempt to capitalize on that, offering something with capacity for up to six passengers designed to pair riders going in the same direction. Lyft Shuttle, a more recent experiment, is a subset of Line that offers a similar ridesharing model, but with fixed routes and more regular scheduling.
This commuter benefits option is a way to help further increase the cost incentive aspect of shared ride service. Line is a product with strong potential for Lyft, because it works well from an economics perspective in terms of Lyft’s revenue, payout for drivers and cost for riders when there’s high utilization. But, sharing a ride obviously isn’t as convenient as having your own, so additional incentives, including tapping into benefits offered to commuters from employee benefits packages, is a smart move.
Again, you’ll need to have benefits from specific providers (WageWorks, Benefit Resource, Commuter Benefit Solutions, Navia, Zenefits, and Ameriflex, to be specific) and live in one of the 18 markets where Line currently operates to take advantage. But Lyft needs levers to make its shared ride services more popular, and this could definitely be that.