Forty-seven percent of Lyft drivers don’t have a college degree and the Silicon Valley-based transportation service has a notoriously low retention rate. To address both of these issues, Lyft has rolled out a new pilot program that will make it easier for drivers to further their education and, in turn, potentially deter them from working for competing ride-sharing services like Uber.
Through a partnership with Guild Education, Lyft is offering drivers discounts between 5% to 20% off of online college courses and programs. On average, Lyft drivers working to earn a degree will save $4,220 each year, reports TechCrunch.
“The first of its kind, the new Guild and Lyft partnership gives drivers exclusive access to tuition discounts and financial aid at thousands of nonprofit universities and programs around the U.S., aimed at helping them go to school debt-free,” reads a statement from Lyft.
Through the partnership, drivers can choose from thousands of classes from more than 80 online, non-profits, universities, and institutions, including edX, Bellevue University, University of Denver, and Wilmington University. They can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificates in data science and HTML, and GEDs.
Lyft says that the new program will help their workers achieve long-term career goals. Most drivers—over 90%—work part-time and average less than 20 hours a week. “We know that many Lyft drivers are working to achieve personal or professional goals, which often include continued education and learning,” said Lyft Co-founder and President John Zimmer. ”We’re happy to offer this resource to help drivers succeed both on and off the platform.”
In turn, the program may help Lyft retain their drivers, who don’t receive traditional worker benefits like paid sick leave or healthcare. For instance, Shanae Watkins, a driver based in Baltimore, who also drives for Uber, GrubHub, and Amazon Flex told NPR that if Lyft helps her realize her dreams of becoming a social worker, then she may shift her loyalties.