Lyft announces new perks for drivers

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SAN DIEGO — The ride-booking company Lyft announced a suite of new features Tuesday that are available to its drivers across the country, including in San Diego.

“Lyft Driver Services” will offer perks to Lyft drivers such as free bank accounts and the use of vehicle service centers, allowing drivers to circumvent bank accounts and debit cards with fees and standard vehicle repair shops. The incentives are designed to make it easier and more expedient for drivers to access their payments.

According to the company, 91 percent of Lyft drivers drive for 20 hours or fewer each week.

“The economic anxieties preventing Americans from getting ahead have never been more apparent than they are today, when more than half of adults still have less than $1,000 saved to cover an emergency,” Lyft COO Jon McNeill said in a blog post to announce the perks. “We’re humbled that in 2018, nearly two million people used Lyft to fill this gap, and we take seriously our responsibility to provide a modern workforce with a renewed sense of flexibility and security.”

Lyft’s new debit card, Lyft Direct, allows drivers to access their ride earnings immediately and offers up to 4 percent cash back on purchases of gas, groceries and food from select restaurants. The card is tied to a bank account with no minimum balance or maintenance and monthly fees, according to Lyft.

The company announced it will expand its Express Drive program to more major cities around the country. The program allows drivers to save up to $100 per week in fuel costs by using an energy-saving rental vehicle.

Lyft drivers will also have access to dedicated Lyft driver centers, offering discounts of up to 50 percent on regular car maintenance. The company aims to make repair services 50 percent faster than standard repair shops as well.

Lyft, headquartered in San Francisco, doubled its annual revenue to $2.2 billion in 2018 and filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in December.

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