Remember the days when hailing a ride meant you got a car to yourself? One of Uber and Lyft’s fastest growing features is matches multiple riders headed in the same direction with a cab driver near by. This week, Lyft will be bringing its version of the service, Lyft Line, to six more U.S. cities, including Denver, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, and Newark.
The expansion isn’t totally surprising — according to Lyft, Line accounts for 40 percent of rides where it’s available. The service’s popularity is partially due to the lower fare prices. Now that it’s in 15 cities, Lyft Line will likely pick up even more passengers.
Lyft even beat Uber to Denver and New Jersey with its carpooling service. It may be a small victory against UberPool, but it’s a victory nonetheless.
Of course, while the service may be great for riders, some drivers aren’t so sure. The more people that share a ride with other riders, the fewer drivers that will ultimately be needed. Not only that, but services such as this may affect a driver’s rating, since some riders will be taken out of their way for other passengers in the car. Despite this, Uber and Lyft say that as more riders start using the service and get used to carpooling, ratings will improve.
Uber and Lyft have been investing millions in these services, as they could ultimately save millions. Putting multiple passengers in one ride helps out with any driver supply issues, and keeps drivers active for longer, because they have to make multiple stops. Even critics of Uber and Lyft suggest that carpooling services could help rescue their image in the face of protests by taxi drivers.