New Luxury Lyft Options Just Launched in Philadelphia

Will the swanky rides from the ridesharing company allow it to entice even more Uber customers?

Image via Twitter.

As Uber stumbles (it’s CEO recently stepped down amid scandal), competitor Lyft only continues to lure more ridesharing customers with its shiny new developments.

On Thursday, Lyft revealed that it would expand two new premium black car ride options — Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV — into 16 U.S. markets, including Philadelphia, after a successful five-city pilot of the options in May.

The company calls Lyft Lux, a black car driven by a “top driver,” its most luxurious ride experience, while Lyft Lux SUV will have all the amenities of Lyft Lux, in a more spacious black SUV that seats six.

Both options are a step up from their Premier ride, formerly the app’s most expensive option. Through Premier, which launched last summer, riders are matched with a high-end sedan or SUV like a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus ES, or Cadillac Escalade. The decision to launch the services was made after users repeatedly requested the ability to select a black car from the app, and the rides will certainly cost you. They’re projected to cost up to five times as much as a standard Lyft ride, and twice as much as Lyft Premier.

And drivers looking to make more through Lyft Lux and Lux SUV will face the company’s strictest driver and vehicle requirements yet. High-end drivers will be required to maintain a customer rating of at least 4.7 out of 5. They will also need a vehicle from 2011 or later with “leather or leather-like” seats to qualify as a Lux driver, and be able to seat six or more riders to qualify with Lux SUV.

While this news is great for some Philadelphians, it could create a major disadvantage for others. Ridesharing in Philadelphia has already put a massive strain on taxi companies, and as more ride-sharing apps begin to offer luxury options (Uber has offered a luxury black-car services for years), these services may begin to have a similar effect on smaller, local limousine companies. It’s happened before.

Follow @HaleySWeiss on Twitter.