Where would we be without Lyft? We call them when we’re late for work. We call them when we’ve had a little too much to drink. We call them when we don’t feel like taking the train home at the end of a long day of work.
And so does just about everyone we know…
But, like all good things, there’s always room for improvement. And apparently Lyft agrees.
Even diehard Lyft fans will tell you that if there’s one thing they could change, it would be the cost. Well, Lyft has listened and answered that call by officially announcing the launch of Lyft Shared Saver.
So what exactly is it? How is it different from the Lyft we know and love? What does it mean for passengers? What does it mean for drivers?
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Lyft Shared Saver.
- What is Lyft Shared Saver?
- How Do You Request a Shared Saver Ride?
- Pros & Cons [For Passengers]
- Pros & Cons [For Drivers]
What is Lyft Shared Saver?
Let’s make this simple: Lyft Shared Saver helps passengers save money.
Unlike a regular Lyft or a Lyft Shared Ride, Lyft’s Shared Saver requires you to walk a few blocks to reach your vehicle.
It won’t pick you up or drop you off at your door. Instead, you’ll get a designated pick-up point and a designated drop-off point. That means you’ll need take a short walk to the pickup spot and walk a bit more to reach your final destination.
As the name suggests, you’ll be sharing a vehicle with other passengers who are nearby. After all, isn’t that what ridesharing is supposed to be about?
You and the passengers you’ll be sharing with will need to walk to the car rather than having the vehicle come to you. The pick-up destination will be within “a few blocks max” of your starting point (or so Lyft claims).
Lyft promises that this new service will be its most affordable means of transportation yet. For the most part, it’s very similar to the Uber Express Pool, which is the most affordable way to travel by Uber.
As long as you don’t mind walking a few blocks to and from the car, Shared Saver will save some money the next time you request a Lyft.
How Do You Request a Shared Saver Ride?
To request a Shared Saver ride, log into the app and type in your destination. Set your ride type to “shared saver.” Tap “confirm ride” to request your car and see how far away your pickup location will be.
Once your Shared Saver ride is confirmed you’ll be notified and instructed on where to walk to find your vehicle. This can take a few minutes, as Lyft needs time to match you with both a driver and with fellow passengers going in your same direction.
Before you book a trip you’ll have the chance to estimate what the cost will be. By entering your pickup and drop-off location in Shared Mode on the app you’ll see the price for a shared ride vs the price for a regular Lyft.
The cost of your trip will vary depending on where you’re traveling and how far you’re going. According to these screenshots, it seems that Shared Saver is about 25% less than the cost of a Lyft Shared ride. (A Shared ride is about 25% less than the cost of a personal Lyft).
To get a better idea of what your trip will cost you, you can also use the Lyft Fare Estimator to compare the prices among different services.
Pros of Lyft Shared Saver for Passengers
While this new service is just rolling out, there are some things we already know about it. And, as with all services, you can bet that it will have its share of both pros and cons.
1. It Will Save You Money
There’s no question that the Shared Saver service is the cheapest in the lineup of various Lyft services. And since they want you to use this new service level, they’re making one additional promise: you’ll never have to worry about surge pricing.
Even during busy times when you would normally have to pay for Prime Time pricing, Shared Saver allows you to lock in low prices.
2. It Offers Yet Another Means Of Transportation
Though we may decide to stick with our traditional personal Lyft service, we like having options. The more options you have, the more control you have over what you pay for transportation. And that’s always a good thing.
3. Option to Compare Prices
As we mentioned above, Lyft offers the option to compare prices of different service levels. So if you’re trying to save a few dollars you can opt for a Shared Saver. If you’re in the mood to splurge (or impress your friends) go ahead and grab that Lux Black.
By being able to compare prices you can determine if it’s worth it to walk a few extra blocks or if you’d prefer to have door-to-door service.
4. The App Will Alert You
The Lyft app can alert individual passengers of a shared ride that might be going your way. Again, it’s all about options, so this alert will give you the chance to select a shared ride and save some money before booking a regular Lyft.
5. Less Cars On The Road
Less cars on the road means less carbon emissions – and that may be the biggest benefit of all. If you care about the environment (and you should) then you can at least appreciate what Lyft is trying to do by getting passengers to share vehicles.
Cons of Lyft Shared Saver for Passengers
1. You Have to Walk
If you want door-to-door service, this isn’t for you. But if you’re willing to take a quick walk a few blocks you can definitely save a bit of money getting from point A to point B.
By having to walk to get to your car and to get to your final destination, Shared Saver feels a bit like taking public transportation. Is the only reason you use Lyft to avoid having to walk to and from a bus stop or transit station? If so, you’re probably not going to be too excited about this new option.
2. You Can’t Make Stops
You can’t make stops, you can’t run errands, and you can’t change your destination. Once you’re on your way, you cannot make any changes to the route or drop-off location.
3. You Have To Share
Sharing a car means sharing personal space – with strangers. Shared Saver rides are for parties of one or two people, so while you might have a friend with you in the car, you might have a stranger or two in there as well.
Sharing also means that you have to be courteous and provide other passengers with equal amounts of space. In other words, don’t bring your dog, ten tons of luggage, or twenty grocery bags. Always assume that you’ll have to be considerate and be willing to share the space.
4. The Timing
It takes a few minutes to get matched with another passenger. But once you know where and when your pickup is, you have to be on time. You can’t expect other passengers to wait on you.
Drivers will only wait one minute past the pickup time. If you don’t arrive within one minute, your driver will leave without you. So if you’re always running late, you’re better off getting a personal car.
Pros of Lyft Shared Saver for Drivers
Lyft drivers are sure to feel some pros and cons as well.
When it comes to pros for Lyft drivers, there are quite a few:
1. Longer Rides = Less Idle Time
With Shared Saver, drivers can expect to drive for longer periods of time with more passengers per trip. And that means less time in between trips and less time you’ll have to spend waiting for requests and not getting paid.
2. You Will Receive Passenger Pickup Fees
If you passenger doesn’t show up, you’ll still be paid for picking them up. As long as you drove the mileage to get to that scheduled passenger you’ll be paid even if they cancel or don’t make it to the pickup point on time.
3. Fares Are Calculated The Same Way
Like all Lyft rides, Shared Saver fares are calculated based on time, distance, and pickup fees (base charges). There seems to be no disadvantage for the driver when it comes to how much money you’ll earn per ride.
4. Easy To Find Passengers
With a designated pickup location established, it’s often easier to locate passengers. And every minute that you don’t have to spend looking for your passenger means more money in route and more money in your pocket.
5. More Passengers = More Tips
With more passengers in your car you have the potential to earn more tips. Of course, there’s no guarantee of tips, but you’ll increase your chances of earning one simply by having more potential tippers in your car at the same time.
Cons of Lyft Shared Saver for Drivers
It goes without saying that Shared Saver will produce some cons for drivers as well:
1. More Riders = More Headaches
The more people you have in your car at once, the more hectic driving can be. And that’s especially true if you’re picking up multiple drunk people from outside a bar.
2. Passengers Might Not Like How You’re Navigating
Lyft recommends navigating to and from the pickup and drop-off points based on where the app tells you to go. It doesn’t want you to take any nav advice from passengers – and you know what that means: angry passengers.
Everybody has their preferred way of getting around town. And it’s fine to take that advice when you only have one passenger in the car.
But with multiple riders in the car at the same time, you’ll have to be firm in telling them that you’re following the navigation app. The last thing you want to do is take navigation advice from one passenger and not another.
Alternatives to Shared Saver
Like the idea of a shared service but want to let other people test this new one out before you try it? Here are some alternatives that you might want to try while Shared Saver is working out the kinks.
Cheaper than a regular Lyft but not as affordable as Shared Saver, with Lyft Shared you can hop in a car with other riders going in the same direction as you.
Uber Pool is very similar to Lyft Shared in that you can share a ride with someone going in the same direction. It’s less expensive than Uber X but not as cheap as Uber Express Pool.
Uber Express Pool
As Uber’s cheapest transportation option, Uber Express Pool is the one that Lyft Shared Saver follows most closely. There’s no door-to-door service. You’ll have to walk to and from your pickup and drop-off destinations
Only available in New York City and a few other select locations, Via is a “corner to corner” service. Like Lyft Shared Saver and Uber’s Express Pool, Via won’t come directly to your door.
If you don’t mind walking a few blocks or sharing a ride with a stranger, you’ll be able to save yourself a chunk of money with Shared Saver. Though the service is new, it’s a viable means of transportation, especially if you’re willing to do your part to get more cars off the road.
And, after all, that’s really what ridesharing is all about.
Lyft’s goal is to reduce the number of cars on the road, and they’ve gone so far as to say they hope 50% off all Lyft rides will be shared by 2020. So do your part to cut down on carbon emissions and save yourself a few bucks in the process. And who knows? By walking those few extra blocks each day you might even be able to skip an hour at the gym.