Yesterday, Uber announced its launching of its car-pooling feature in a Beta version to begin immediately with an expanded Beta slated for August 15th. The company used a blog post to introduced the service which read:
The idea is simple. With UberPool, you share a ride—and split the cost—with another person who just happens to be requesting a ride along a similar route. The beauty, though, is that you still get Uber-style on-demand convenience and reliability: just push the button like before and get a car in five minutes. When we find a match, we notify you of your co-rider’s first name. Even if we don’t find an UberPool match for you, we’ll give you a discount on your ride.
Lyft follows suit
Not to be outdone, Lyft has followed its competitors lead and perhaps with even bigger savings. In Uber’s post they spoke of Uber being roughly 40% cheaper than a standard taxi with a promise of UberPool knocking up to 40% more off this number. With Lyft Line, savings could be up to 60% less than taking a Lyft ride by yourself depending on the amount of people that are also headed your way.
Lyft co-founder John Zimmer knows that only 5% of the U.S. population used public transit to go to work each day stating, “Trips on public transportation take twice the amount of time, so that’s not surprising.”
Lyft Line users will be riding with up to three other passengers going the same route. Lyft is promising to keep the shared ride going and is only asking drivers to wait a minute or two before moving on and declaring the scheduled passenger a “no show.”
Riders will be given a fare estimate before getting in the car and is promising discounts based on the amount of “no shows.” Even if everyone fails to show up riders will get a 10% discount. It’s just another example of the aggressive business practices that both companies are enacting to take business from the other.
The difference between the two? (From a Lyft investor)
In a biased look at the competing carpooling services, Scott Weiss a Lyft investor and partner at Andreessen Horowitz says, “Lyft was always built with ride-sharing in mind.” Speaking to Uber and others, “None of these services were ever set up from the beginning to complete this vision from the outset, and I think it’s very hard. … But that has been the Lyft network from the beginning,” calling Uber’s plans essentially an add-on.
Lyft Line is only available in San Francisco and for iOS but the company promises an Android version and the addition of other cities in the near future.