Lyft wants its new hubs to be a ride-hailing driver’s sanctuary

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Who doesn’t want to kick back, relax, and get their oil changed? 

It’s the dream, or what Lyft envisions as the dream for its drivers at 30 new “hubs” going up around the country, in locations still to be announced. The first of the new facilities will break ground in a few weeks and be up and running in a few months.

The new hubs are part of a $100 million investment in support of Lyft drivers. At 15 existing “support locations” throughout North America, operating hours will double starting Wednesday, which means there will be no wait for some of the improvements.

The new facilities will feature heavily discounted oil changes and other car repairs, and Lyft hopes these spots will also become a community center for fellow drivers to meet up, chat, and learn from each other. In reality, they might be more of a reprieve from crowded streets and needy passengers. There will be coffee and other drinks available, along with clean bathrooms and resting areas. It’s a win-win: This sort of offering looks good to riders concerned with driver treatment, and it’s certainly not bad for Lyft’s bottomline to have drivers spending their Lyft-earned money back on Lyft services.

Get your car fixed at the new Lyft hub.

Get your car fixed at the new Lyft hub.

Lyft wants to add support services like tax and career sessions, along with help desks and driver gatherings. Drivers will also be able to reserve space to host meet-ups. Established partnerships with Intuit and Guild will continue, and new partners will be announced as the “retail” side of Lyft grows at these hubs. Geoffrey Bain, from Unilever and Nike, has been brought on as head of retail experience just to oversee this new aspect of the Lyft driver experience.

Lyft’s COO Jon McNeill made sure to point out that this isn’t part of a 180 Days of Change campaign like that from the ride-hailing app’s major competitor, Uber. Instead, he emphasized in a blog post how Lyft has “led the industry” in how it treats drivers: “We’re not doing 180 days of change. Lyft has been committed to drivers since our beginning.”

Lyft has offered in-app tipping for drivers since its start. Uber added the feature less than a year ago. 

Now Lyft’s hoping that a coffee and bathroom break entices even more drivers to its platform — and, in turn, that those drivers will be even more committed to Lyft. 

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