Lyft Is Paying People $550 to Get Rid of Their Cars for a Month

Jul 31, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Ride-hailing companies continue on their quest to become the only mode of transportation in cities across the world.

Now, Lyft is introducing a program in Chicago called Ditch With Lyft that will pay car owners $550 to hand over their keys for a month. The catch? The money comes in the form of different credits for ride-hailing and other transportation methods and requires users to only use those services for the entire month of August.

Lyft wants to show city dwellers that it’s possible, and probably cheaper, to just use shared services to get around. The company claims that Chicago-ites spend almost $13,000 a year on car ownership costs like car payments, insurance, gas, parking and maintenance — but they only use their car about five percent of the time. 

Each person who signs up will get $300 in Lyft credit to use on shared (carpool) rides, $105 for L train and bus service (public transit), $100 in Zipcar credit and $45 for a Divvy bike-share pass.

To be eligible, you’ll need to be a resident of Chicago and prove that you own a car. The program is only open to 100 people, so you’ll want to sign up quickly if you’re interested.

The Verge reports that Lyft will rely on the honor system to ensure enrollees strictly use the shared-ride and bike services. And this isn’t a one-time stunt — Lyft says it plans on launching a similar program in Portland later this year, although that challenge may last an entire year.

It’s definitely an experiment, and Lyft wants to learn from the participants about their experiences over the course of the month, they’ll be doing pre and post challenge interviews.

“We want to follow them. We want to hear their stories,” David Katcher, Lyft’s general manager for the Midwest told The Verge. “We want to see how their feelings about driving have changed. We want to see if they’re saving money. We want to see if they’re having less stress. We want to see if they got more work done or were able to read a book because they didn’t have to drive.”

The challenge will test Uber and Lyft’s investment in last-mile services like electric bikes and scooters and their hope that city-dwellers really don’t need a car. Lyft recently purchased bike-sharing company Motivate and Uber acquired JUMP Bikes and made a massive investment in Lime scooters.

Featured image courtesy of Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.