On Tuesday, on-demand ride company Uber unveiled UberPool, a new service that allows users to split fares with strangers who are planning on traveling on a similar path. With UberPool, one single Uber ride can stop numerous times in one "trip" and carry multiple people to their destinations.
Not to be outdone, rival Lyft is also unveiling a new carpooling service. It's called Lyft Line, and it does pretty much the same thing as UberPool.
"Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Lyft Line — shared rides along shared routes, priced for daily use. Simply set your destination, and we’ll connect you with a ride already going the same way for up to 60% less than an original Lyft ride. Lyft Line will roll out first in San Francisco on iOS, with Android and other cities to follow," says Lyft.
That 60 percent is quite an eye-popping number. Chances are, it'll be a bit to a lot less of a discount than that – considering Lyft will calculate the discounted rates based on the likelihood of any given route finding a match for someone who wants to hop on.
Still, the discounted and split fares could make for some cheap rides. Lyft says they're pioneering what they call "personal transit" – which I assume align the benefits of on-demand rides with the added bonuses of cheaper rates and that sense community you feel when riding the bus with strangers.
"Lyft Line is a system that is flexible, lightweight, and constructs itself in real-time. This is a transit system with infinite routes — and it becomes stronger, more affordable, and more efficient the more it’s used. It will grow as we grow, and change as our cities change," says Lyft.
I guess at this point we just have to start debating names – UberPool vs. Lyft Line. UberPool kind of sounds like UberCool, but Lyft Line sounds like a "lifeline" and has that sweet alliteration. Plus, UberPool is too heavy-handed on the whole carpool aspect of the service. The winner is Lyft Line.* That's it – game over. We're done here.
*The author of this post users Lyft more than Uber, he thinks.
Image via Lyft, YouTube screenshot