Mustachioed ride-sharing service Lyft introduced a carpooling service today in the Bay Area, with plans to expand across the country. Lyft Carpool drivers will be matched with passengers along their route and earn up to $10 per drive, and solo commuters who might otherwise not drive to work can be picked up for between $4 and $10 per ride, according to Lyft. (Each driver only picks up one carpool passenger per drive.)
Lyft says the carpool service is an appropriate response to traffic congestion that plagues today’s commuters, and that innovations such as this “could save the estimated $533 billion needed to expand roads to relieve severe congestion in U.S. cities.” Lyft had originally announced its intentions for the service in December 2015.
Lyft Carpool drivers get advance notifications of requests from passengers whose routes are compatible with their own, so there’s little or no deviation from their original commutes.
Forbes reports that Lyft will not initially take a commission on Lyft Carpool. Per product manager Lev Popov: “Our initial goal is not to make a profit, we’re really focused on our mission of reducing traffic and filling empty seats in the cars, but obviously long-term we expect this to be a strong part of the business.”
The carpool demographic has long eluded ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, the top service in the market, which has a counterpart project in China currently in beta, as it were.