Lyft Wants to Plan Your Route

Lyft is rolling out a new app feature that will connect its ride-share customers to public transportation, continuing the company’s recent expansion of its transportation services.

Through a partnership with Trafi, a transit mobility platform, Lyft announced it will pair Lyft riders with buses and trains to transport them to their desired destinations along the quickest and cheapest routes.

The app’s new interface functions much like the directions feature on Google Maps, but it also allows the user to book a ride with a Lyft car. Lyft aims to create a route-planning one-stop-shop for its customers, who might otherwise need to use a combination of apps and maps to get from A to B.

This ‘Nearby Transit’ feature launched last week in Santa Monica, California. If all goes well, Lyft plans to extend the service across the U.S.

In partnering with public transportation, Lyft seems to be coordinating with competitors. So what’s in it for Lyft?

According to the company’s own findings, public transit stations are some of the most popular destinations for Lyft customers. By co-opting a service its customers already use, Lyft makes its app that much more useful — and its customers less likely to seek transportation help from other services.

Lyft recently debuted a scooter service in Denver. Participating in one of the latest metropolitan trends, Lyft now offers its own brand of electric scooters. Using the Lyft app, urban travelers unlock scooter rides for a dollar and pay an additional 15 cents per minute of the ride.

Currently, the scooter service is only available in Denver and Santa Monica, but Lyft says it plans to expand to other cities.

Citing the problem of traffic congestion in urban areas, Lyft has said it is endeavoring “to make transportation more equitable and enhance mobility options while taking cars off the road.”

Along with “Nearby Transit,” Lyft also announced it has hired Lilly Shoup, a former Department of Transportation official and policy advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden, as “Senior Director of Transportation Policy.”

Shoup’s hire, Lyft said, will help “to develop policies and public sector partnerships to test new approaches to urban mobility.”


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