Your date nights, late nights, and pretty much any other night out on the town have just received an upgrade. Today, Lyft is launching Premier Mode, a more luxurious way to reach your destination that uses higher-end cars such as the Audi A4 or Lexus ES. Premier Mode will kick off first in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and New York City. The company says the program will expand to other markets in the coming months. Lyft decided to launch Premier because 60% of passengers have requested the option for an upscale ride (usually for business meetings or special occasions), according to Komal Kirtikar, head of product marketing.
A nicer car won't come cheap, though. Lyft Premier will cost about twice as much as a classic Lyft ride (prices may vary depending on the city). However, Lyft is enticing people to try out the service with a summer promotion of 20% off your first 10 Premier rides. With newer car services such as Via and Gett emphasizing reasonable prices over luxury (a strategy Lyft followed in the beginning as well), it's surprising to see Lyft go this route. In fact, it's the exact opposite approach taken by the company's main competitor Uber, which started out with a fleet of stately black town cars. But it appears ride-share service users appreciate variety, and that's what Uber and Lyft are able to offer. (Uber launched its "Arrive By" feature last month, and Lyft recently tested advance scheduling for rides, so users on both platforms can schedule trips in advance.) But with today's Lyft news comes one big question: Is Premier worth the cost? It really depends on what you're looking for. If you want a quick trip home and don't need any perks, it's probably best to save some cash and go with Lyft Line, the app's ride-sharing option, or Lyft Classic. However, if you're having a business meeting on the way to the airport or planning a bachelorette party, the splurge for something more luxurious may be worth it.