The big news this week in rideshare was the announcement of UberPool, a new way to split Uber fares with strangers followed up shortly by the introduction of Lyft Line, an identical service from Lyft. There’s been a lot of discussion about who came up with the idea first but it’s pretty apparent to me that they both stole the idea from Take Hitch. Take Hitch is a company that we featured in our List of Every Active Rideshare Company a couple months ago that essentially does exactly what Uber Pool and Lyft Line are trying to do.
All three services aim to match up strangers who are heading in the same general direction in order to make the passenger’s fare a little bit cheaper. I think this new feature will benefit passengers but it probably won’t do much for drivers. For drivers, it will mean more waiting time and more hassle all for the same pay. And to top it all off, it looks like participation is mandatory.
The new services are actually great for passengers though since those who don’t mind sharing a ride will get a cheaper alternative and those who want to ride solo can pay a small price premium. In economics, this is called price discrimination: charging a different price for the same good or service.
On to my favorite stories from the week: [Read more…]