AUSTIN (KXAN) — From ride-share to ride-care, Austin Lyft drivers now have a 28,000 square-foot center to cater to their needs.
Lyft opened the building Tuesday morning. They say it will “save drivers time with the most efficient vehicle service in the industry… all under one roof,” per their press release.
The space offers comprehensive maintenance services. The center will function like a “race car pit stop” lead by multiple Lyft technicians who will work together. This will save drivers time and money so they can get back on the road “as fast as humanly possible,” the release says.
The maintenance is not free, though the center provides “honest” prices without upselling their drivers on services they don’t need.
Vehicle services include:
- Conventional or synthetic oil changes
- Tire rotation and replacement
- Brake pad, wiper blade, spark plug and battery replacement
- Filter changes
- Free diagnostic inspections
- Collision and body repair (coming in February 2020)
The driver center serves as a “home base” for the Lyft transportation network with many amenities such as:
- Access to clean bathrooms
- Spots to “rest and recharge”
- Coffee and refreshments
Lyft regional director for Texas, Sam Bond said of why it’s important to offer driver support in the video below:
Lyft Driver Sal Lightbourn, who travels from Jarrell, Texas to Austin to drive, called the center his “home away from home.” He shared what the center means to him personally.
Letting the tension out… It just releases all of the energy you get bottled up when you’re behind that wheel all of the time. It can be exhausting… I consider myself and a lot of people out there consider being a ‘road warrior.’ The road is exhausting. It’s good meeting people, wonderful people throughout this city, but getting here is a chance to recharge, relax.Lightbourn
Lightbourn has been driving for Lyft since 2017. He compared his driving experience before and after the center existed.
“Before the place existed, it was kind of difficult when we had the small hub areas. We didn’t have much help. As it is, we have so many drivers throughout the country and the call centers are just overloaded,” Lightbourn said. “Having the center here now, we can come and unwind. Let’s say ‘recharge,’ and we’re able to fix any glitches or online stuff with our apps.”
Lyft is also extending its branch to employees offering Express Drive, Lyft Direct and Openbay.
Express Drive is a program that connects drivers to rentals with standard maintenance and insurance coverage. Those interested can learn more on their website.
Lightbourn said the program is a plus:
“Saving on maintenance, saving on a lot of extra expenses out there… When it had come to change tires and affordability, the leasing, oil changes, any kind of maintenance — it’s all taken care of with Lyft.”
Lyft Direct is a bank account for drivers that will have no fees, be linked to a debit card and feature instant access to earnings. Drivers can also receive cash back on specific purchases.
Openbay is a future concept. The company will open centers close to where drivers live and drive in their largest markets. This comes with a catch. The centers won’t be available to 100% of drivers. Those who do not live nearby will be offered other options. Those who do and can use the centers will be able to receive exclusive vehicle service discounts all around the city.
Austin Lyft Drivers can schedule an appointment by visiting their driver center website, through the app under the “service” tab or simply by walking in.