Ride hailing service, Lyft is launching its own luxury black car service, Lyft Lux and Lux SUV. The service which will be available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, New York and Chicago, on Thursday, however, is a higher grade version of the ''Premier'' offering Lyft debuted last year that allowed passengers to book rides from drivers with vehicles from higher-end makers such as BMW and Audi.
With Lyft Lux, passengers will be able to book a black car or luxury black SUV from the Lyft app.
Pricing will depend on the market, but drivers can expect to earn around three to five times the fare of ordinary Lyft rides, and nearly double the fare of Lyft Premier rides, Lyft said.
To drive for Lyft Lux or Lux SUV, drivers need to have one of several dozen vehicles that qualified for the service, such as a Tesla Model X, a Porsche Cayenne, a Rolls Royce Ghost or a number of models from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and BMW.
According to business experts, it made sense for Lyft to diversify its offerings, though it might seem to run counter to the trend of increasingly cheaper rides.
Meanwhile, according to a Reuters/Ispsos opinion poll published yesterday, nearly a quarter of US adults sold or traded in a vehicle in the last 12 months, with most getting another car.
However, 9 per cent of that group turned to ride services like Lyft Inc and Uber Technologies Inc as their main way to get around.
About the same percentages said they planned to switch over to ride services disposing off their cars in the upcoming 12 months.
According to commentators, though the figure of people switching to ride services was small it could be early evidence that more consumers believed that ride sharing could replace vehicle ownership.