Following Uber and Split, rideshare company Lyft is breaking into the District’s carpooling market with Lyft Line, to launch Nov. 19.
Next Thursday, D.C. will become the sixth U.S. city to have Lyft Line, joining New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Austin. Similar to UberPOOL, which launched in D.C. last month, Lyft Line allows riders traveling in the same direction to split trips as well as fares, meaning that a ride through Line could cost up to 60 percent less than a regular Lyft ride. While dynamic pricing will still apply for carpooling (called “Prime Time” rather than “surge pricing” in the company’s lingo), prices are fixed up front after passengers input their destinations. In other cities, only two people are allowed in a Lyft Line car at once; drivers will learn about the service soon.
“We’ve been expanding our Lyft Line operations across the country, and I think it’s just coincidental that UberPOOL launched before we did,” Lyft’s D.C. General Manager Steve Taylor says. “I think they created a big splash. We’re looking forward to following it up and providing more exposure to Lyft.”
The service will launch at first during rush hour in “hot zone” areas, where riders will receive a 35 percent discount to incentivize usage between 5 a.m. Monday and 5 p.m. Friday, from Columbia Heights down to the Southwest Waterfront. In New York and San Francisco, Line makes up more than half of all Lyft’s rides, according to company spokesperson Paige Thelen. (Uber, too, registers about half of all its rides in San Francisco through UberPOOL.) In D.C., a fifth of Lyft rides start or end near major transit hubs like Union Station.
Lyft first appeared in the District in 2013.
Map via Lyft