Lyft issues a new high-end service challenge to Uber

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 4 years ago

Uber’s high-end “Uber Black” ride service has a new rival. Lyft announced Thursday that it, too, will start offering a luxury-class car-share experience. Its two new services, “Lyft Lux” and “Lyft Lux SUV, mirror Uber Black by offering passengers more room and more comfort for a slightly higher fee.

Lyft drivers will be authorized to conduct Lyft Lux rides if their cars are 2011 models or above, have actual black exteriors, have leather seating, and can fit six passengers comfortably. The drivers themselves will also have to meet high standards: Their ratings will have to be 4.7 or higher, compared to the 4.6 minimum that regular Lyft drivers are expected to keep.

Lyft said that Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV two new high-end offerings will debut first in five U.S. cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and San Jose. After mid-June, rollouts in 15 more cities might follow to encompass 20 cities in totoal.

At present, Lyft has no plans to expand the Lux services outside these initial 20. Uber Black, meanwhile, is available in all cities across the United States. Lyft is still a much smaller industry player than Uber, coming in at $7.5 billion in business value. Uber holds $69 billion total value.

But Lyft has been making efforts to catch up. It first forayed into Uber Black’s luxury rideshare territory last July when it offered a Premier Service, which sets many of the same driver and vehicle standards as the new Lux services do but permits cars that only seat four passengers.