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Ride-hailing companies are vying to be the number one choice for commuters, pitching their flexibility and low cost as a path to a better commute compared to public transit or driving a person vehicle.
While cities aren’t willing to give in to ride-hailing companies over public transit just yet, they are working more and more with groups like Uber and Lyft to provide a connection with public transit.
Now, one city is teaming with Lyft to pay for part of commuters’ rides to and from its bus stations.
Starting Jan. 28, residents in Boise, Idaho, will only have to pay a $2 flat fee fare for Lyft rides when traveling to and from 14 pre-approved bus stops. Rides can be up to two miles long, and a Lyft ride of this length reportedly costs between $7 and $8 during rush hour — meaning Boise is effectively giving riders up to a $6 subsidy per trip.
“The goal is to get more people using public transit and out of single occupancy vehicles,” said Kaite Justice, program director for the Downtown Mobility Collaborative, according to the Idaho Statesman.
Lyft has started integrating public transit options into its app and will display them to users even if they are faster and cheaper than taking a Lyft. The company hopes to capitalize on the “last mile” issue, which describes the problem of a public transit stop being too far from one’s destination to walk to. Lyft wants to connect commuters to their destinations on this “last mile.”
“There is often considerable distance a commuter must travel to or from their final destination when taking the bus,” said Justice, in a Lyft blog post. “This distance, referred to as first and last mile, can be an inconvenience or even a deterrent to using public transportation.”
Here’s how Lyft Transit Connections works:
- Download the Lyft app and set up an account if you don’t already have one
- Enter promo code VRT19 under the Promos in the app.
- Request a ride to one of the qualifying bus stops (or a ride home from one of the stops). You’ll have to be within the designated service area to receive your $2 fare, and Valley Regional Transit (VRT) will get the rest of the tab, up to $6. Offer is valid from 6am – 9pm Monday through Friday and 7:30am – 6pm on Saturdays.
This isn’t the first town to subsidize rides. Altamonte Springs, Florida, also pays for parts of its residents’ rides, and Lyft recently launched a program for low-income residents to get to and from grocery stores for cheap.
Featured image by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft.
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