Lyft on Tuesday upped its business offering by announcing the expansion of its Concierge service.
Concierge, first launched to a small group of partner businesses in 2016, allows organizations to provide courtesy rides for their customers. Now, Concierge is available to businesses of all sizes, and it will enable them to schedule rides for other people, access real time ride tracking, and 24-hour customer support, Lyft said in a blog post.
Concierge was used by hospitality groups, car dealerships, and insurance companies to transport customers during its testing phase last year, Lyft said. With its business offering, Lyft envisions that organizations can also provide employees a travel solution that has easier expense tracking and visibility of travel.
To begin using Concierge, businesses can signup for a Lyft Business account and add their payment details. After, team members can be added to begin requesting rides for customers and fellow employees.
Lyft said Concierge also has use cases in the medical field, with organizations utilizing the service to help patients attend medical appointments.
Last year, health insurance provider Blue Cross began offering free Lyft rides for patients on some of its insurance plans, and healthcare companies like CareMore, National Medtrans Network, and Denver Health Hospital used Concierge to provide patients with rides during the trial period.
"Thanks to our partnership with Lyft, our hospital and clinics can now provide rides to patients who face challenges in obtaining transportation. Today, we're positively impacting the lives of patients across our community," said Amy Friedman, chief experience officer at Denver Health Hospital, in a statement.
On Tuesday, Lyft said it doubled rides year-over-year in 2017, reaching 375.5 million rides in the US and Toronto. It saw 23 million different passengers, a 92 percent year-over-year increase. Lyft launched in its first international market in December 2017, and it's looking to capitalize on competitor Uber's missteps last year.
Uber offers a similar service for businesses, called UberCENTRAL, which enables businesses to pickup the tab on a ride for customers and manage a fleet of rides through a central dashboard.