On-demand ride startup Lyft has been pushing its shared-ride feature Lyft Line pretty hard since announcing it earlier this summer. After introducing Lyft Line to Los Angeles in September, the service is entering its third market by expanding into New York City.
With Lyft Line, the company hopes to increase the number of people who share a ride when going in the same general direction. It means lower prices for passengers, more revenue for drivers, and — in the long term — potentially fewer cars on the road as more people ride together.
It’s still early, but the product has shown it has traction: According to Lyft, about one-third of all rides in markets where it’s available are Lyft Line rides. It’s looking to boost that even further by sending SMS messages asking passengers if they’d like to convert a normal Lyft ride to a Lyft Line in October. And at least in some markets, it’s looking to recruit more casual drivers as a way to boost supply in times of high demand — like during commute hours, when they could make a few extra bucks just going to work.
The “casual driver” model won’t work in New York City, which generally has pretty strict rules about licensing and enforces them. And Lyft is playing ball there, making sure its fleet is comprised only of those legally allowed to pick up and drive around passengers.
Lyft Line will be available in all five boroughs beginning Friday, December 12. That’ll help it get more people to more places and get them sharing cars. This will be great in places like Staten Island and the Bronx, which are generally desolate wastelands when it comes to getting around — meaning everyone needs a car.
Anyway, how about this rain, huh?