Lyft drivers in Chicago can borrow GM cars for free. This could expand Lyft's fleet of drivers to better compete with industry leader Uber. Fred Katayama reports.
You no longer need to own a car to become a driver for Lyft. The ride-hailing app launched a car rental program under its new alliance with GM. Lyft drivers in Chicago can borrow a Chevy. Under the Express Drive program, the more they drive, the less they pay. Costs start at $99 a week and 20 cents per mile. That includes insurance and maintenance. But it's free if drivers complete 65 rides a week. That gives drivers an incentive to pick up a lot of passengers, meaning more business for Lyft. And the rental program could help Lyft expand its fleet of drivers to better take on industry leader Uber. Uber offers a similar rental program but at a higher cost of $210 per week. Express Drive also makes it easier for drivers to join Lyft. More than 60,000 people in Chicago alone had applied to work as drivers, but their cars didn't qualify. Lyft requires cars to have four doors, and the vehicles can't be too old, among other things. The program is the first to come from the two-month old partnership between the auto manufacturing titan and the startup. They say it's the first step toward building a network of self-driving vehicles.