If you’re willing to do some walking and share your ride with someone you probably don’t know, you can save some money with Lyft’s new Shared Saver option. The new ride-sharing option isn’t subject to Lyft’s surge pricing, even during peak times, Lyft said in a blog post. You just have to be willing to walk to both your pick-up and drop-off locations and share the ride with a someone else, says Lyft. The new mode is just a slight tweak on the Lyft Line, where you carpool with other users whose routes are kind of on the way with yours. If you’re cool with a little walk, you could save money on your next Lyft ride.
Lyft says you shouldn’t have to walk more than a few blocks to get to your pick-up and drop-off spots; the screenshots in the Lyft blog post made it look like around a two-minute walk. And when you get dropped off, the Lyft app will show you where to walk to get to your actual destination, according to the blog post.
If you’re having a little déjà vu reading this news, that’s probably because Uber’s version of this program, Uber Express Pool, launched in 2018, according to The Verge. After three years of running Uber Pool, says The Verge, Uber learned a lot about the pros and cons of offering carpooling as a ride-share option — like sometimes people got matched up for rides even if they were going to places that weren’t anywhere near to each other. Situations like that caused a lot of inconvenience for pretty much everyone involved, so Uber worked out some of those kinks and launched Uber Express Pool on Feb. 21, 2018.
Uber Express POOL is a lot like Lyft’s Shared Saver. According to the news release, you walk to both your pick-up and drop-off locations and share a ride with someone else. According to The Verge, Lyft’s Shared Saver is currently only available in Denver, Colorado, and San Jose, California. Uber Express POOL has been piloting in San Francisco and Boston, and is currently available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. More cities will be added to both ride-share services in the future.
Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber have aimed to reduce the number of cars on the roads by offering more carpooling services, AP News reports. “Lyft is focused on making personal car ownership optional by getting more people to share a ride, helping to reduce car ownership, and partnering with public transportation,” Lyft spokesperson Adrian Durbin told AP News in a statement.
Rideshare options are certainly quite affordable and accessible in comparison to some modes of public transportation, especially in cities where public transport is unreliable, so more work needs to be done to understand why people are deciding to use certain kinds of transportation. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers change as more people choose to carpool through their favorite rideshare services.
Whatever you decide, you’ve got options. Both Lyft’s and Uber’s carpooling options look like great ways to get around, and if they’re not in your city yet, they’re sure to be really soon. Just watch your rideshare app for when the option becomes available for you to save some money by sharing a ride with a fellow rider.