The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

1 minute read

June 1, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Commenting on Lyft’s decision to end shared rides, Jarrett Walker writes, “My impression was that they were overselling the product in contexts where it wasn’t appropriate, and they were offering the same discount to the person dropped off first — whose trip is exactly what it would have been if traveling alone — as to the person whose trip was being made much longer,” Walker explains. “They didn’t pay drivers enough to deal with the hassles, including customers not understanding the rules and poor relations between strangers sharing the car.”

Walker adds, “But shared-ride products are still needed, especially when demand appears all at once in high volume,” especially in situations like flights landing at small airports or concerts and events when single-ride taxis can’t handle a sudden spike in demand. “I’m disappointed Lyft couldn’t focus this product on that problem, grouping people only when their destinations were very close together, and thus creating a product that both customers and drivers could be believe in.” 

Friday, May 26, 2023 in Human Transit

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