Mobile Commerce

Lyft Shutting Down Carpooling Service

Lyft, the ride-hailing app taking on Uber, has moved to shut down its carpool feature located in San Francisco, five months after announcing it in March.

With Lyft Carpool, drivers could make up to $10 per ride by picking up other commuters heading in the same direction. While it would make life easier for commuters, Forbes reported not enough drivers opted into the feature, prompting Lyft to shut it down. The report noted that Lyft notified the engineering team that was responsible for Lyft Carpool that the service will be paused and the engineers will be moved to other products within the company.

“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 spokesperson told Forbes in the report.

When Lyft launched the Carpool service in March, the startup said carpooling was rife for disruption, citing statistics that 76 percent of Americans drive to work solo. What’s more, San Francisco commuters spend an average of 75 hours a year sitting in traffic.

There’s already a startup in the carpooling market in San Francisco that is doing brisk business. It’s called Casual Carpool and is an informal system of rider pickups. Lyft and others are trying to get into the market, which they think will be huge. In China, Uber is testing a carpooling system dubbed uberCOMMUTE. Google launched Waze Carpool in May. Lyft Carpool is just one of many initiatives the company has launched to take on its bigger competitor, Uber. Earlier in the year, Lyft got a multi-million dollar investment from General Motors.

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