Ridesharing company Lyft went public today to much fanfare. With all the hullabaloo we decided to examine the capabilities of the Lyft for Business program. The question we asked ourselves was: is Lyft a valid option for corporate travelers? And how can businesses partner with Lyft to solve a variety of transportation challenges?
In this article we examine these questions and more and posit some ideas on how corporations might leverage the Lyft for Business to solve a variety of ground transportation and corporate travel challenges.
How businesses might use the Lyft for Business Program
The Lyft for Business service helps solve several different use cases that various businesses might encounter. Here’s a few ideas:
Companies with frequent travelers can partner with Lyft to simplify ground transportation options while traveling for work. Riders can receive personal rewards for participating in the program and (perhaps more importantly) companies gain access to employee ridesharing and transportation behavior / data.
Lyft notes on its website: “Turn ground transportation into growth with clear visibility into transportation trends.”
Lyft claims to have helped a major (unnamed) consulting firm reduce it’s travel costs by 15%. They note in a case study about this firm:
“In the past, partners had to use personal corporate cards to book rides, collect receipts, and waste valuable time completing expense reports. The company calculated that this was costing nearly $30 per report, impacting project costs and hurting margins.”
Speaking of corporate travel, you might be interested in our article 147 Business Travel Tips – the ultimate list of road warrior tips & tricks – the single largest collection of business travel tips ever collected.
Commuters / Carpooling
Companies using the Lyft for Business service could offer discounted rideshare programs to commuters that pool fellow employees together along common routes. This additional fringe benefit could be meaningful part of an overall benefits package companies offer staff.
This capability could provide a safer and simpler way to move employees home or to employee events.
For example, Lyft notes in a case study on their Lyft for Business site where Slack leverages this service to provide options for employees working late as part of a safety program. Employees who sign up receive a $150.00 credit, according the case study. Lyft also uses the program to move employees to and from special events.
This option makes it easier (and safer) for employees to get their journey started without having to walk to mass transit options or flag a cab.
Customers / Special Events / Courtesy Vehicles
Companies who regularly move customers from point A to point B could use the Lyft Business program to simplify and streamline this activity. For example, it could be as simple as retrieving a customer or client from the airport or moving VIPs to and from a special event.
Healthcare organizations and related industries can leverage the Lyft for Business program to more seamlessly pick up and drop off patients to appointments, deliver meals and more.
In particular, Lyft has focused on the Healthcare vertical experienced significant success. Lyft’s platform offers customized integration into EHR systems and claims to have partnered with 9 of the top 10 largest health systems in the country.
In March of last year, CNN featured this capability on their site in Lyft doubles down on helping patients get rides to the doctor.
General Features of the Program
Companies using the Lyft for Business service receive dedicated 24/7 account management and access to reporting tools that can be used to gather transportation trends on employees.
Lyft has also been testing a subscription model as noted in a Wired.com article that describes the following options:
“They can subscribe to the “All-Access Plan” for $299 per month and get 30 rides of up to $15. If a ride costs more than $15, a rider will be charged the difference. Or, they can subscribe to the “Commute Plan” and pay $3.99 month in exchange for 45 Lyft rides between work and home, set at one personalized price.”
How to sign up for the Lyft for Business Program
Click here to learn more about the Lyft for Business Program and sign up here.
What if my company doesn’t participate in the Lyft for Business Program? How can a Lyft Business Profile (for riders) benefit me?
Individual travelers whose companies do not participate in the Lyft for Business program can still take advantage of Lyft’s platform to simplify their business travel.
By creating a business profile (as a rider, not your company) users can simplify their expense management through Lyft’s integration with common expense management platforms like Concur, Zoho and Expensify.
Furthermore, riders with business profiles can tap into a network of other employees and discover potential rideshare pooling options, tap into rider credits and special discounts. Lyft also allows readers to connect their calendars and add common routes as “Shortcuts” – like “home” or “Downtown Office,” etc…
Riders can sign up here.
For riders who already have a Lyft non-business profile, Lyft allows you to convert your profile to a Lyft Business Profile following the steps described here.
Note: it also appears that riders using a business profile can take advantage of the aforementioned All-Access Plan regardless of whether their company is participating in the Lyft for Business program.
Lyft vs Uber?
Check back in in the next few weeks as we compare the Lyft for Business Program to Uber’s business program and offer some unique insights on which might be better for businesses and corporate travelers.
Did you get in on the Lyft IPO? We didn’t…but Lyft certainly has made a splash providing a competitive product to Uber. And with the Lyft for Business program, companies now have some unique options at their disposal that allow them to serve their customers and employees in new and perhaps better ways.
Speaking of ground transportation you might be interested in our article 9 Secret Rental Car Hacks Rental Car Companies Don’t Want you to Know.
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