Lyft steps up competition with up to 20 percent price drops
Days after raising $250 million in funding, the ride-sharing service announces a nationwide price cut.
Lyft appears to be upping the ante in the competitive peer-to-peer car service game. The company announced Monday that it started testing lower prices in all cities it services -- some cities will see price drops of up to 20 percent.
"We're excited to grow the passenger community during one of the busiest seasons of the year, while maintaining driver earnings," Lyft wrote in a blog post. "To provide our growing driver community with peace of mind during this test, Lyft will be taking zero commission."
Some areas, like Orange County, will see modestly lower prices with $1.25 per mile and $0.29 per minute, while other cities, like Seattle will have a bit higher prices with $1.63 per mile and $0.30 per minute.
In addition to these lowered prices, Lyft last month launched "Happy Hour" rates -- fares that are 10 percent to 50 percent cheaper than normal during slow business hours -- to encourage more rides during those periods.
It appears that Lyft and its ride-sharing competitors, Uber and Sidecar, seem to be in a survival-of-the-fittest price war. In October, Uber temporarily cut its fares by 30 percent or more in Los Angeles and San Diego in hopes of increasing rides. And, Sidecar launched a feature in February that lets drivers set their own prices.
Lyft's announcement on Monday comes on the heels of the car service raising $250 million in funding last week to expand its business. The company said that just a year ago it served only two cities, and now it's in 30 cities across the US.