Lyft is experimenting with commuter ride sharing by debuting a new "Shuttle" option, which offers pickups and drop-offs along select routes, much like a metro bus would do. The company is trying out the new option in San Francisco and Chicago, but if all goes well, we might all be ordering a pickup soon through Lyft's new Line ride share option.
Users who frequently order the Shuttle through Lyft will also get the benefits of "increased reliability," according to TechCrunch. The Shuttle won't be affected by any surging fares during rush hour, either. Lyft's new option will be based on a fixed rate, allowing users who need to travel during peak hours to get to work without having to pay extra.
According to The Verge, riders will be offered a discount for the service util April 30. Shuttle drivers will be paid normal Lyft Line commissions, and if a surge does occur, Lyft will pay out of pocket to cover the expenses—not the consumer.
If you aren't nearby one of the Shuttle tests routes, it won't show up on your Lyft app. If you are close to one, though, you can book the Shuttle through the app's "Line" booking option.
Lyft believes that Shuttle will make commuter's rides a whole lot easier. A Lyft spokesperson, in a statement to TechCrunch, noted:
Lyft Line is the future of rideshare, and we often test new features that we believe will have positive impact on our passengers' transportation options. We look forward to feedback on Shuttle from the Lyft community; we see a number of commuting use cases that this mode will make easier.
Lyft Line was previously reserved for carpooling, but now, it looks like the company is gearing up to expand commuter ride sharing options beyond that. In many ways, Shuttle will be similar to an average city bus, which picks you up then drops you off for a fixed fare.
Both Uber and Lyft have been testing out ride sharing options for consumers. Uber tested out its own version called Uber Hop in 2o15 in Seattle. The concept is also similar to Chariot, the commuter ride-sharing startup acquired by Ford in 2016. If Lyft's Shuttle option or other commuter options spread nationwide, it's easy to imagine a future where not only cab drivers are fighting to keep their taxis in service, but maybe even bus drivers.