Lyft Lux black car ride-sharing comes to Metro Detroit

The new Lyft option caters to business travelers and passengers attending formal events

Stephanie Steinberg

Detroit — A new black car service is coming to Detroit for passengers who like to drive around the Motor City in style.

Starting Thursday, Lyft users in Detroit will be able to request a Lyft Lux or Lyft SUV — a more luxurious ride-sharing option for passengers going to a business meeting, formal event, or as Lyft Detroit general manager Elliot Darvick suggests, the casinos.

“If you’re heading to MGM Grand or any of the casinos, and you want something that’s a lot nicer, you can call and have (a black car) right on demand,” he said.

The company founded in 2012 started offering Lyft Lux and Lyft SUV in May in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and San Jose.

Besides Metro Detroit, the ride will be available on Thursday in 15 additional cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New Jersey, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

“It’s a product we’ve heard demand for over the years in this market,” said Darvick, adding users have expressed interest in ordering a black car for airport transportation.

Lyft drivers have also voiced a desire for the luxury car option. Lyft does not release driver numbers, but says there are thousands in Metro Detroit.

“We have drivers that say to us, ‘Hey, I have this great Escalade, but you don’t have a product for me that I would want to drive on the platform for. Let me know when you have a luxury car service,’ ” Darvick said.

Lyft Lux will cost three to five times more than normal Lyft rides, which means drivers will have an opportunity to earn more in tips.

“Typically, someone that is taking a luxury car or luxury SUV, they appreciate the great service and go above and beyond in providing that gratuity,” Darvick said.

To be a Lyft Lux driver, you must have an eligible vehicle that is 2011 or newer, the color black, leather or leather-like seats and driver rating of 4.7 stars or above. Lyft Lux SUV vehicles must seat at least six passengers.

Uber offers a similar service called UberBLACK, which is available in Metro Detroit.

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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg