Lyft Launches Corporate Ridesharing Program to Compete With Uber

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Lyft, the ridesharing service known for the fluffy pink mustache its drivers attach to their vehicles’ grills, on Thursday announced its move into corporate accounts with Lyft for Work. Companies will be able to buy Lyft credits employees can use commuting to and from work and special events. The program is similar to Uber Perks, a corporate benefits program that launched in February 2013 by Uber, Lyft’s top ridesharing competitor.

The differences between Lyft and Uber were already small, with both companies offering services that link riders and drivers and allow payment through a smartphone app. In August, both companies launched carpool-like services in their home city of San Francisco, allowing strangers to group up for car rides at a discounted price.

Lyft’s program launches Thursday with 29 corporate customers, including Adobe, Yelp and Stripe. Many companies were already reimbursing employees for commuting to work with Lyft, a company spokesman said; Lyft for Work aims to make the process easier.

With Lyft for Work, companies will be able to issue employees a monthly credit balance that can be applied exclusively to rides the employer deems appropriate, whether to and from the office, from one event location to another, or between certain public-transit stops. Yelp, for example, is using the service to help employees get to their annual year-end party, while Stripe is offering credits for late-hour workers that can be used only at night. Companies can also create credits usable only with Lyft’s carpooling service, Lyft Line.

The service is being rolled out in all of Lyft’s markets in the U.S.