Lyft and GM launch a short-term rental program image

General Motors and its ride-sharing partner announced the launch of their Express Drive, a program that will make cars available to Lyft drivers through a rental plan.

Two months back, General Motors and Lyft announced a partnership to develop an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles, as well as a 500-million-dollar investment by the automaker as part of a 1-billion-dollar fund-raising round by the ride-sharing service. Now, both companies are launching their first joint program, through which Lyft drivers can rent a GM car with insurance and maintenance included. Express Drive begins later this month in Chicago and will soon roll out in other cities including Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore and others. The rent starts from 99 dollars per week, plus mileage and gas costs, with insurance and maintenance included in the fee. However, more rides mean fewer costs and if a user of Express Drive makes 65 or more rides per week he will be able to access a vehicle at no weekly rental cost. “Launching Express Drive is another way we treat drivers better, in addition to Power Driver Bonus, tips and same day payouts. We’re making sure everyone who wants to be a Lyft driver can be, by providing ultimate flexibility at incredible rates,” John Zimmer, Lyft’s president and co-founder, said.

In Chicago alone, there were 60,000 people who applied to drive on the Lyft platform, but did not have a car that qualified and in all four cities where the program is starting, Lyft has received 150,000 applicants, Zimmer said. Express Drive will provide its users access to Chevrolet Equinox crossovers equipped with OnStar and additional connectivity features, as well as flexible seating for up to five. It also offers flexible terms for drivers who can rent cars on a weekly basis for up to eight weeks at a time.