Lyft is now offering cheaper fares for essential trips

Lyft is expanding its Wait & Save pilot to most locations across the U.S. and Canada, enabling cheaper trips so long as you don’t mind waiting a little longer than usual for the driver to show up.

The ridesharing company launched Wait & Save after pausing its other cost-effective option, Shared Saver, in an effort to keep passengers apart to reduce the chance of coronavirus infections.

While ridesharing trips across North America have tanked since lockdowns were imposed in recent months, Lyft said it’s noticed that trips to and from essential locations such as supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, laundromats, and banks have increased by more than 100%.

Considering that 40% of Lyft rides in the U.S. start or end in a low-income area, Lyft said it’s more important than ever “to ensure those who need rides are able to access one affordably.” And so it’s rolling out Wait & Save more widely.

“Riders who choose Wait & Save will always pay less than they would for a standard Lyft ride, and typically the longer they need to wait, the more they will save,” the company said in an online post announcing the expansion.

It said that the new service “allows for the rider to be matched with the best-located driver,” adding, “For riders that need a quicker pickup, a standard Lyft ride is still available and prices and ETAs are always shown in the Lyft app.”

Lyft said that as the impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer, it will evaluate all of its options “to make sure Lyft riders are able to get where they need to go affordably and responsibly.”

The company previously offered Shared Saver as a cut-price option for riders. It meant you had to walk to a pick-up point and, as the name suggests, share the trip with others heading in the same direction. But social distancing measures introduced during the coronavirus crisis prompted Lyft to pause the service in mid-March. At the same time, Uber made a similar move, suspending all Pool services in the U.S. and Canada until better conditions prevail. As Uber looks ahead to life after lockdown, it plans to ask both drivers and riders to don masks during trips.

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