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:
Rideshare Earning Survey – Here’s a short survey I’m hosting that aims to see how rideshare drivers are earning their money. It only takes a second so please fill it out if you get a chance.
UberPool: A new way to split Uber fares with strangers riding on the same route – Even though Uber recently announced the launch of UberPool it will only be available for beta users in San Francisco starting Aug. 15.
Introducing Lyft Line, Your Daily Ride – Lyft Line is available today in San Francisco for iOS devices only but your first ride is free so get crackin’ and let us know how it works. Other cities and an Android version should follow.
Some Uber Drivers are Gaming the System – I don’t think this is really fair but I do applaud these drivers for thinking out of the box. I’m sure a quick software patch will be able to fix this though. If it really becomes a problem, a threatening e-mail would also do the trick. By the way, who would sit in a parking lot for hours without getting one request? Maybe you should move around dude haha.
Lyft Taps Virgin America’s Design Honcho to Transform Its Goofy Image – I don’t really understand why Lyft hired this guy but maybe they’ve got some money to burn. Virgin America is all about being hip and cool while Lyft is more friendly and community oriented so we’ll see what their future marketing looks like.
Uber Referral Card Editable Template – Lyft lets drivers order new referral cards here but with Uber, there is no such service. If you want to hand out passenger referral cards you have to make them yourself. This cool template allows you to edit the referral code field (or feel free to use mine!) and get them printed for cheap from somewhere like VistaPrint.
Ride Share News – The Magazine – Here’s a cool online magazine I found that has a lot of cool rideshare news and stories. It’s also updated pretty frequently so be sure to check it out.
Uber driver has seizure, hits pedestrian in S.F. – I’m not sure why this story was such a big deal this week but a lot of people seemed to use this accident as an opportunity to jump on Uber. This could have happened to anyone and I don’t see why Uber’s insurance won’t fully cover everything. And now that it’s primary, this driver won’t even have to deal with his own insurance company and risk losing his personal insurnace.
SF Now Has Uber For Weed – If you’ve ever been to SF, you know how abundant weed is. Just walk down the street or through Dolores Park and people are lighting up everywhere, it’s awesome. I guess it was only a matter of time before the two hooked up.
Here’s a list of all the other rideshare articles I read this past week.
Readers, what do you think about Uber and Lyft’s new carpooling service? Is it a good thing or a bad thing for drivers and do you expect to make more or less money with it?
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-The Rideshare Guy