Competing directly with Uber may be a bear, but it gets a tad easier when you have General Motors behind you. Lyft, which recently received a $500 million investment from the auto giant, will work with GM on the launch of a short-term car-rental service called Express Drive that's geared towards Lyft drivers. Lyft and GM say that 60,000 people who've signed up to drive for Lyft in Chicago didn't have cars that "qualified," so there's obviously a need for this service.

Express Drive, the first ride-hailing service directly involving a specific automaker, will debut in Chicago and offer rentals of Chevrolet Equinox SUVs for as little as $99 a week. As a bonus, drivers who pick up at least 65 riders a week will get that weekly rental fee waived. Maintenance and insurance is also included. Baltimore, Boston and Washington, DC, are also earmarked for the service (the above picture includes GM President Dan Ammann flanked by Lyft co-founders Logan Green on the left and John Zimmer on the right).

Today's Express Drive announcement follows up news yesterday that Lyft is working with the San Francisco Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) on a program that will involve adding Lyft drivers to the 511 Rideshare program (read more about the program here). That system lets commuters use 511's RideMatch system to locate carpools and vanpools going in the same direction. Folks can sign up at lyft.com/carpool, with more details slated to be released during the next few weeks.

As for GM, the automaker in January also unveiled a new car-sharing brand called Maven, which lets customers use apps to reserve cars for as little as $6 an hour. You can read Lyft and Uber's press release below.
Show full PR text
Lyft and GM Launch Express Drive Program
Launching in Chicago and other major U.S. Metro Areas throughout 2016

SAN FRANCISCO – Lyft and General Motors today announced the launch of their Express Drive short-term rental program exclusive to the Lyft platform. The program will make cars available to Lyft drivers at affordable rates with insurance and maintenance included.

The launch of Express Drive comes two months after GM entered into a strategic alliance with Lyft to develop an integrated on-demand network of autonomous vehicles.

Express Drive begins later this month in Chicago and will soon roll out to additional cities including Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore and others. With Express Drive, the more you drive, the less you pay. Express Drive will start at $99 USD per week including insurance and maintenance making Express Drive the most flexible and affordable option. When drivers complete 65 rides a week in Chicago, drivers will be able to access a vehicle at no weekly rental cost. In addition to affordability, Express Drive offers flexible terms for drivers who can rent cars on a weekly basis for up to eight weeks at a time.

There is a definite need for access to high-quality GM cars for Lyft. In Chicago alone, there were 60,000 people who applied to drive on the Lyft platform, but did not have a car that qualified. Express Drive directly addresses this need for millions of Americans who do not have access to a qualifying vehicle.

In Chicago, Express Drive will provide access to Chevrolet Equinox crossovers equipped with OnStar, additional connectivity features as well as ample cargo space and flexible seating for up to five.

John Zimmer, Lyft's president and co-founder, said: "Launching Express Drive is another way we treat drivers better, in addition to Power Driver Bonus, tips and same day payouts. We're making sure everyone who wants to be a Lyft driver can be, by providing ultimate flexibility at incredible rates."

GM President Dan Ammann said, "We're very pleased with how quickly the GM and Lyft team collaborated to create the Express Drive program, which we will be implementing using our Maven mobility infrastructure."

For more information about Lyft and GM's partnership, visit Lyft's blog post on the investment here.

To learn more about GM's initiatives in the personal mobility space please, visit: media.gm.com

About Lyft

Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to reconnect people and communities through better transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S and is available in more than 200 cities. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to affecting positive change for the future of our cities.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


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