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The company wants to show how expensive car ownership can be.
The fight between Lyft and Uber has been fierce. Both companies offer generally the same service — peer-to-peer ridesharing system — though there have been some differences in strategies. In an effort to boost awareness and show off the benefits of ridesharing and other similar services, Lyft is starting a new promotion in Chicago. The company will pay 100 people $550 to ditch their cars for 30 days.
According to The Verge, it's not as simple as handing over a check. The money is broken down into four parts: $300 in Lyft shared ride credit (carpool trips only), $45 for a monthly Divvy bike-share pass, $100 in Zipcar credit, and $105 for use on Chicago's public transit system. Those that receive the credit must agree to not drive their cars for 30 days, though Lyft says it's counting on the honor system.
The goal is to show that people can live without cars in major cities. It's also meant to show just how expensive car ownership can be. $550 sounds like a lot to drop on ridesharing, but if you add up the cost of a car payment, insurance, parking, fuel and other consumables, it might come out to far more than $550. Lyft estimates that owning a car in a city like Chicago can cost more than $13,000 a year.
Lyft will conduct pre and post interviews on the 100 people selected to receive the credit. Those people are also being encouraged to share their month on social media. This also might not be a one-off project. The Verge says that Lyft is exploring a similar 30-day credit system in Portland, Oregon.