General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Lyft are launching a car-rental program to help bringing more drivers to the ride-hailing service company.
The new program is called Express Drive, which is launched to help people who want to be Lyft drivers but do not have a car or its car is not eligible. The program will allow Lyft’s driver to rent a car for a base price of $99 a week, plus 20 cents a mile. The company said that the program is set to start in Chicago later this month.
The move comes two months after GM invested $500 million into Lyft. GM said that this partnership would help them with the projects related to self-driving cars.
Lyft is the biggest rival of Uber Technologies Inc. in the U.S. market. Uber operates in about 400 cities world-wide—more than twice as many as Lyft, which operates in 190 cities in the U.S, according to The Wall Street Journal. Lyft is still growing at a rapid pace.
The company hopes that the program will expand Lyft’s pool of drivers. In an interview, Lyft President John Zimmer said more than 150,000 people have applied to be a Lyft driver but don’t qualify because their cars are too old or don’t have four doors. There are 60,000 such people in Chicago alone, he said.
The company also provides some benefits for the drivers who use the program. When a Lyft driver has a 40 or more rides a week, the 20-cent mileage charge can be waived. When a driver gives 65 or more rides a week, both the 20-cent mileage charge and $99 weekly fee can be waived.