Remember how, just back in April, Lyft decided to launch a luxury SUV service in order to compete with Uber SUV? Well, it seems it didn't go so well, and the Chronicle reports that many of the 70 drivers the company recruited to launch Lyft Plus are now either stuck with white Ford Explorers that get 14 miles to the gallon, or they're selling the cars with Lyft's help.
The idea for the service was not only to allow Lyft users to travel in larger parties via SUV, but also to provide a more luxe level of service in tricked out vehicles, leather interiors, etc. But Lyft customers didn't take too well to the concept, and in response Lyft started having SUV drivers take regular fares in addition to the marked-up Lyft Plus fares, something the drivers said they couldn't afford to do because of gas mileage. Now the SUV rides are being offered at 1.5 times regular fares, further eating into drivers' incomes.
Lyft has offered to pay the drivers a $10,000 bonus in compensation or to help them sell the Explorers and cover any depreciation (the drivers all had to purchase the $34,000 cars in order to participate in the service). Some of the drivers are fine with it, but as one driver says, "They pulled the plug, leaving us high and dry."