Lyft’s New Feature Asks Riders to Walk a Few Blocks for Cheaper Fare

February 21, 2019, 9:00 PM UTC

Lyft launched a new Shared Saver feature Thursday that banks on the assumption that riders are willing to walk a couple blocks to save a couple bucks.

Promising to provide the app’s lowest prices, unaffected by surge pricing, Lyft wrote on its blog that Shared Saver gives riders a “pickup spot that’s a quick walk (a few blocks, max) from you to meet your driver and co-riders. And ditto for your drop-off—you’ll be just a short walk to your destination.”

Although Lyft is expected to beat Uber to an IPO—the pink-emblazoned ride-sharing app is expected to go public in late March—Uber was first to Lyft’s carpooling model.

Shared Saver is very similar to Uber’s Express Pool, which first started testing in June, as well as Via, a ride-sharing app that’s only available in New York City. Although both platforms require a longer waiting time to find an appropriate driving route, they make up for lag time in monetary savings.

According to the Verge, Uber’s Express Pool is 50% cheaper than UberPool (which comes directly to users’ point of departure and arrival) and 75% cheaper than UberX. Although Lyft has yet to provide numbers, screengrabs on the company’s blog indicated that standard Lyft rides that would have cost $10.71 would cost $4.56 on Shared Saver.

This is just one of the Lyft’s many attempts to reduce car ownership and increase carpooling.

The company hopes that 50% of its rides will be shared by 2020, Lyft’s VP of Government Relations Joseph Okpaku told TechCrunch in June 2018, when shared rides accounted for 35% of its overall business.

To further reduce people’s carbon footprint, Lyft has previously offered to pay people $500-$600 ride credits to stop driving their car for a month, expanded its bike sharing initiative, and even briefly introduced a shuttle service—although that so-called innovation was quickly mocked on the Twitterverse due to its similarity to, well, buses.

Lyft’s Shared Saver isn’t claiming to have reinvented the wheel—it’s only promise is that it will save riders money.

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