Following in the footsteps of Uber, ridesharing company Lyft is updating its app to bring all of its transportation services under one roof and give them equal weighting on its opening screen.
It means that in cities where they’re available, Lyft’s app will soon show options not only for car rides, but also for bikesharing, scootersharing, car rental, and public transit — all on the same screen. If you know the type of transport you want to take, you can hit one of the relevant buttons for a more specific search.
The move is part of Lyft’s effort to transform into a multi-modal urban transportation company and comes amid growing criticism that ridesharing services are causing greater traffic congestion as people ditch public transit for lifts in cars operated by the likes of Lyft and Uber.
But Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer sees the update as a way of putting the word out about all of its available services. Indeed, Zimmer realizes it could cut the number of rides taken in Lyft cars as people will be able to more easily consider alternative methods for getting around.
“At Lyft, we’re working toward a future where cities are centered around people, not cars,” Zimmer said in a release this week, adding, “The changes we’re making today will unlock better transportation solutions — whether that’s a trip on public transit, a bike ride, or a shared Lyft — for people in cities around the country. ”
Lyft currently offers bikesharing services in 8 cities and scootersharing services in 20 cities across the U.S. This year it also started testing car rentals in its home city of San Francisco, which includes free Lyft rides to its rental depot.
By folding in all of its services, as well as public transit information, Lyft hopes its app will become a one-stop-shop for city folks looking for the best way to get around town.
“You shouldn’t have to own a car to get around your city, and you shouldn’t have to open nine different apps to find the best ride for your next adventure, whether you’re busing to work, biking to burritos, or sharing a ride with friends,” Lyft said in a blog post about its latest app update.
Uber pulled a similar move recently when it gave its bikesharing and scootersharing services greater prominence within its main ridesharing app.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said last year that he was keen to create an “urban mobility platform” that lets users easily hop between various transportation offerings to get around the city or select the best single ride if that’s more suitable.
Uber’s focus on building a multi-modal transportation service is already having an effect. Earlier this year, for example, Uber-owned Jump said that its bikesharing service in San Francisco is so popular that it’s resulted in people taking fewer trips in Uber cars, though the overall trip frequency of a Jump ride combined with an Uber car journey is on the up.
In a similar fashion, Lyft will be hoping its latest update leads to increased customer loyalty as it continues its battle with arch-rival Uber.
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