Here’s a video Lyft just posted:
New York magazine is reporting that Uber tried to steal Lyft’s thunder by putting out its blog post on UberPool last night. More about how Lyft Line will work from Kevin Roose:
To get a ride on Lyft Line, you simply request a ride through the app’s “Line” feature, type in your destination, then wait while Lyft’s algorithm matches you with one or two other Lyft riders who want to go in the same direction. The driver picks each rider up in order of proximity (curbside wait time for the second and third rider is limited to one minute, to prevent dawdling), and drops all the passengers off at their desired destinations.
Why carpool instead of ride solo? Well, for one thing, it’ll be cheaper. Riders who choose the carpooling option will be guaranteed a lower fare than passengers who opt to ride alone, even if they don’t get matched with any other riders. And if they do, fares will be significantly lower than comparable single-rider fares. (Lyft says its drivers will still get the same cut of each group fare as they do on solo trips.) A trip to the airport that normally costs $40 could cost $20 or $25, depending on how many riders are accompanying you.
The part about Lyft drivers still getting the same cut should be reassuring news to the rapidly expanding community. Ryan Lawler at Techcrunch has a good piece on the new system, which he thinks will be beneficial for drivers. Lawler reports that Lyft tried to steal Uber’s thunder a few months ago:
When Lyft gathered together a group of the San Francisco tech press to demo the app and to discuss the idea behind Lyft Line, it’s unlikely they expected Uber would announce the same product a day before their launch. After all, even Uber admits in its blog post that UberPool is “rolling out in private beta” with an expansion of that beta occurring 10 days from now.
(For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time one of these two companies has apparently tried to steal the other’s thunder. A few months ago, Lyft announced that it was adding insurance between rides the day before Uber was set to announce something similar. One good turn deserves another, I guess.)
There’s more about Lyft Line on this page, and here’s a screenshot of their explanatory graphic:
For now, both services will only operate in San Francisco, but expect them to spread quickly to other cities.