Lyft, the ride-hailing platform, recently launched a new update to their mobile app in an effort to offer more mobility options.
The app now allows users to compare the time and cost of transportation routes across mobility options, including public transportation, scooters, bikes, car rentals, shared rides, and traditional ride-hailing.
John Zimmer, the Co-Founder of Lyft, told Citylab that the interface changes convey the company's "commitment to those other modes." To include public transportation, for instance, Lyft mapped 80% of public transport routes in the US. The company also developed software to more accurately predict public transit arrival and departure times. To promote micromobility services, the mapping interface displays bike lanes in green. The changes come amid Uber's announcements of similar micromobility and public transportation additions to Uber's app.
Lyft will steer some customers away from ride-hailing due to these changes, but that could help the company diversify its revenue streams. The new interface gives users more-visible alternatives to ride-hailing, with Lyft seeing a 50% increase in usage of modes outside of ride-hailing during a pilot of the new app.
This could steer the company away from reliance on ride-hailing. The ride-hailing segment may ultimately become less attractive to Lyft due to forces like the legislation passed in California, which would significantly increase the labor cost of drivers. Even outside of the legal landscape, micromobility could make Lyft more accessible from a price standpoint, as the expense of ride-hailing has limited its prevalence — Goldman Sachs projects that, between 2019 and 2030, ride-hailing will cost more than four times as much per mile compared with rental cars, public transport, and driving personal vehicles.
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