Lyft Carpool Runs Out of Gas
Looking to hop in a carpool to save a little money when using your favorite mobile ride-hailing app? Here's hoping you're an Uber fan, as Lyft is officially suspending its Carpool service due to lack of interest.
On the plus side, unless you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you probably have no idea what Lyft's Carpool even is. The service debuted in March, and only in the Bay Area, as a means to let participants earn a little extra cash during their normal commutes to work. You, a Lyft Carpool driver, would let the company know about your typical daily commute to your real job -- say, from San Jose, Calif. all the way up into San Francisco (an unpleasant slog in the morning hours).
The night before a given workday, you would receive a notification if someone wanted a Lyft ride the next morning between two points within your daily commute. You would pick them up and drop them off at little inconvenience to you, potentially earning yourself up to $10 for your carpooling efforts. Easy. The rider would pay anywhere from $4-10 based on how far they were going. And, yes, this setup is a little different than Lyft Line, which lets you share the cost of a Lyft with multiple people along a particular route.
As Forbes reports, there simply weren't enough people using Carpool to make it worth Lyft's investment.
"While we think a scheduled carpool feature is the right long-term strategy, it is too soon to scale to a meaningful level where supply matches demand. We learned a lot and will apply it to new and existing projects -- like Lyft Line -- as we drive our vision forward to solve pain points in commuting," a Lyft spokesperson told Forbes.
Ride-hailing rival Uber has yet to throw in the towel on its similarly themed commuting service, though it has yet to expand its UberCommute service beyond its current testing ground of Chicago.
"We can turn every car into a shared car -- the next frontier is the Uber commute," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick back in May.