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Lyft's new service lets your workplace pay for your commute (updated)

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 13, 2014
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Now that carpooling services have made ridesharing cheap enough to use for day-to-day commuting, wouldn't it be nice if your workplace could easily pay for that ridesharing? Apparently, Lyft thinks so -- it's launching Lyft for Work, an initiative that lets companies buy credits for your app-based transportation. The option allows for either one-time codes (say, for job interviews) or monthly balances. Your employer can limit the credits to certain ride tiers, such as Lyft Line, and even determine where you're allowed to go on the corporate dime. You may get a free trip to the office or a holiday party, but you'll probably have to pay for some barhopping.

The program is getting off to a modest start. A total of 29 companies are using Lyft for Work from day one, including Adobe, Stripe and Yelp. More likely than not, you'll have to cajole management into signing up. It also makes sense only in areas where Lyft is particularly popular, like San Francisco; a monthly balance won't help much if you can't usually hail a car in a timely fashion. If everything falls into place, though, you may avoid commuting costs without losing the perks of a private car.

Update: Adobe says it hasn't signed up for Lyft for Work despite earlier claims. The software developer says it's "always looking for opportunities" to improve its staff's commuting experience and will have more info on new options "as they are solidified," but there are no concrete plans just yet.

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