Lyft Line is a new service offered by Lyft that expands upon their basic service by pairing multiple passengers on similar routes. By combining rides, Lyft Line is able to offer discounts of anywhere from 10% to 60% to Lyft passengers. The discount rate depends on the likelihood of your route being matched with another riders route, and is applied regardless of whether you end up getting matched with another rider. This makes Lyft Line ideal for passengers in high-density areas during times of surge pricing.
It is also only designed for one or two passenger groups, as groups any larger than that do not leave space for pairing another group. Lyft Line is also designed specifically for routes from point A to point B, and these locations must be entered in the app prior to the ride. Passengers should only request a Lyft Line when they are ready to go. As a driver, you are instructed to wait only one minute at the pickup location once you arrive, after waiting a minute at the location you are instructed to move on if the rider has not shown up. A standard cancellation fee will apply to no-shows.
Lyft is now testing an added feature that allows for triple matching in Lyft Line rides. Rather than matching just two passengers, triple matching allows for the combination of up to three rides. The triple match feature is currently only offered in the San Francisco area, and it accounts for 20% of all Lyft Line rides in that area. Another interesting feature on Lyft Line in San Francisco is the ability to leave feedback on other riders in your Lyft Line. You can choose to leave positive feedback or alert Lyft support that the other passengers conduct was not up to accepted Lyft standards. If both you and the other passengers leave a positive comment about each other, both parties will be able to see each other’s notes. The shared information is limited to the rider’s first name, photo and the note. This experimental review feature shows some Tinder-like attributes, and it is unclear at this point whether such a feature will be well received in larger markets.
Experimental features aside, in my opinion the Lyft Line service is a great innovation. Not only does it increase the efficiency of Lyft cars on the rode, passengers are able to save money on this carpool option while also lowering the environmental impact of the ride. Uber has introduced a similar service, UberPool, which they ultimately plan on making a perpretual ride system. In San Francisco, Lyft Line services now account for the majority of Lyft’s business. But it appears that drivers are not going to be paid more for driving a Lyft Line, they will be paid for the trip from point A to Point B just as any other ride. While the service saves money for riders, makes more money for Lyft (doubles the $1 safety fee), drivers do not pull out a win with the new service. We will have to wait and see with feedback from drivers as the Lyft Line program expands in to new markets.