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Car maker, renter, forge pact

Baltimore, MD - On March 15, Lyft and General Motors announced that they will be launching a program that will allow Lyft drivers to rent GM cars. The ride sharing service plans to launch the pilot program this month in Chicago.

Dubbed Express Drive, the program will offer GM vehicles for current Lyft Drivers for $99 a week for up to eight weeks. If a driver should exceed more than 65 rides per week, Express Drive has pledged to waive the fee. Additionally, GM and Lyft stated that they will cover insurance and maintenance costs.

According to a Lyft spokesperson, the program will be making its way to Baltimore, Washington, and Boston later this year.

To start, the program will use Chevrolet Equinox Crossovers that are equipped with OnStar, GM's signature connectivity system. Chevrolet is one of the world's most popular vehicle brands, with cars on the road in two-thirds of the globe. Because they come with added safety features and high fuel efficiency, the Chevy Equinox may be a cost-effective vehicle for Lyft drivers to use.

In January, GM announced that it was investing $500 million in Lyft. Since the initial announcement, this is the first step the auto maker has taken in its partnership. Ultimately, the two companies plan to offer rides through autonomous vehicles, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"Launching Express Drive is another way we treat drivers better, in addition to Power Driver Bonus, tips and same day payouts," said John Zimmer, Lyft president and co-founder, in a statement. "We're making sure everyone who wants to be a Lyft driver can be, by providing ultimate flexibility at incredible rates."

Lyft was founded by Zimmer and co-founder Logan Green in 2012. Since then, it has become the second largest driving service in the U.S. after Uber, with services offered in over 200 cities.

"These drivers can lower their costs by providing customer service to a large number of passengers," said Karl Brauer, industry analyst with Kelley Blue Book. "Assuming the financial structure pans out for GM and Lyft drivers it's basically a win-win-win ride-sharing system."

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