Taxi Tech

Lyft Introduces ‘Happy Hour,’ the Opposite of Surge Pricing

Perfect for all your transportation needs on Tuesdays at 4:30 a.m.

(Lyft)

Look how happy all those Lyft customers are about their cheap fare! (Lyft)

Dynamic pricing is one of the reasons we tend to shy away from rideshare apps, because it’s only ever made the cost of our cab rides go up — that is, until now.

Yesterday, your friendly neighborhood rideshare app Lyft introduced its new “Happy Hour” feature, wherein fares will be cheaper when demand for cars is lower. 

Here’s how they explained the new system in a blog post:

“Here’s how it works. During slower times on the road, you’ll receive from 10% to 50% off your ride, so a trip that normally costs $14 would be as low as $7 when Happy Hour is in effect. You’ll be able to see when it’s Happy Hour as soon as you open the app!

We created Happy Hour as a straightforward way to keep Lyft busier for drivers and more affordable for passengers. For instance, a driver who would normally have one ride per hour at $12 may now see two or more rides per hour at $9.”

Getting to the airport at 5am on a Wednesday morning will be cheaper now, we guess.

Like Uber, Lyft still increases fares when demand for cars is higher; they call it their “Prime Time” feature. In other words, you’ll still have to pay more for a Lyft ride when, say, everyone in the city’s trying to get home after a day of St. Patrick’s Day binge drinking.

The company does point out, however, that their Prime Time pricing increases are capped at 200 percent — and when they combine that with the new “Happy Hour” pricing system, they claim that Lyft is “the most affordable option.”

We’re just going to go ahead and assume that means “more affordable than Uber.” 

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com