Lyft Now Shows Public Transit in Its App, Even If It's Faster and Cheaper
Ridesharing is quickly becoming a part of our daily lives — and that's exactly the way Uber and Lyft want it to be.
On Wednesday, Lyft added the ability to see public transit in its app as it becomes more synonymous with mass transit.
The program, dubbed "Nearby Transit," will begin to show public transit options to Lyft passengers in Santa Monica, California. Powered by transit information platform Trafi, the Lyft app will display routes and schedules for the Big Blue Bus, LA Metro and Metrolink. Lyft says it has plans to expand the program to other cities.
Last week, the company launched Lyft Scooters in Santa Monica, adding just one more option for customers to get around. Ridesharing companies are trying to diversify outside of cars and offer more choices to customers, including dockless scooters and e-bikes.
In some cases, taking the bus or subway will be faster (and likely cheaper) than ordering a car, and Lyft's app will show you that. While it may seem that Lyft is displaying options for what's essentially its competition, the company hopes riders will use Lyft for the "first or last mile" of their trip when connecting to public transit.
"According to our Economic Impact Report, 21% of Lyft passengers already use public transit more frequently because they can rely on Lyft to get them the first or last mile when their starting point or destination isn’t directly along a transit route," Lyft wrote in a blog post. "We consistently strive to increase that percentage."
In April, Uber said it would integrate public transit options into its app and even wants users to be able to purchase tickets for government-funded transport. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has stated that he wants the rideshare giant to "run the bus systems for a city," and some towns have even started subsidizing Uber rides as replacement for public transit.