Lyft and Maven, GM's catchall brand for its car-sharing programs, will be rolling out a short-term rental program for Lyft drivers in Chicago later this month. Called Express Ride, the program is the first of two parts of GM's strategic partnership with and $500 million investment in Lyft and comes just two months after the companies formalized the relationship. The second part — an on-demand network of autonomous GM vehicles on the Lyft platform — is still a few years down the road.
The idea behind the program is simple: People in Chicago (and later in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore) who don't have vehicles that meet Lyft's qualifications can rent a vehicle on a weekly basis with no commitment. Under Express Ride's three-tier fee system, a driver who completes fewer than 40 rides a week pays a weekly base fee of $99 plus 20 cents per mile; those who complete more than 40 rides only pay the base fee; and those who complete 65 rides a week don't pay rent at all.
In other words, Lyft will be subsidizing the rental fees for drivers who complete 65 rides a week. "On the rides business, Lyft gets all the revenue," Lyft co-founder and CEO John Zimmer told Re/code. "On the rentals business, that's Maven, so we will make sure that GM is getting paid for those rentals, whether it's coming from the drivers or us."
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