Late Tuesday, Uber announced a new way for people to carpool with others who are riding on similar routes called UberPool.
Today, Lyft is rolling out its own carpooling option with Lyft Line.
Lyft Line, which is now available in San Francisco, lets users share Lyft vehicles with others heading in the same direction and as a result, reduce their ride costs by as much as 60 percent.
Here’s how it works: Those who request a ride with Lyft Line set their destination and the number of passengers they are riding with. Lyft then uses an algorithm that calculates the chance of finding other matches, and notifies the user with an estimated cost of a ride.
Riders are expected to be ready when their Lyft Line arrives, so as to not delay everyone else in the carpool. Drivers will wait a few minutes before leaving.
The new feature is reminiscent of Zimride, the carpooling startup that Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer launched in 2007 before turning the idea into Lyft and selling Zimride to Enterprise Holdings in 2013. Lyft Line was developed by the people behind Rover, a transportation startup that Lyft acquired earlier this year.
Lyft has always prided itself on building community, so Lyft Line fits the company’s mission. When we first met Zimmer last August, he was adamant on both making transportation more efficient for cities (eliminating traffic, saving drivers money) and creating a sense of community with riders and passengers.
“Making systems to connect people unlocks what people really want, which is a sense of belonging,” he said last year.
While Lyft made Lyft Line available to all users in San Francisco starting today — more cities will see the feature soon — Uber is testing UberPool in private beta mode and will make UberPool available on a broader scale in San Francisco starting Aug. 15.