It reads like the plot of an awful but inevitable romantic comedy: two strangers share a Lyft Line. Sparks fly; love blooms. Just as passenger No. 2 is working up the guts to ask passenger No. 1 on a date, passenger No. 1 arrives at their destination — in a rush, of course — and disappears into the night. LOVE LOST.
Or is it?
Lyft is experimenting with allowing Line passengers to reconnect after the ride is over. It’s currently testing the feature in San Francisco, we’ve learned.
While it has the potential to be awful and creepy if done wrong, they’re doing it in such a way that ought to keep the creep factor to a minimum.
It’s really two test features in one:
- Co-Passenger Ratings: After the ride, Lyft Line passengers are able to rate each other. No stars involved, just “:)” or “:(“.
- Notes: In addition to the rating, you can leave a note for the other passenger. A “Nice meeting you!”, perhaps — or a “Let’s grab coffee! Here’s my number.” If (and only if) you both rate each other positively, your notes will be shared. If one passenger doesn’t rate the other, or if one rates the other negatively, the notes disappear into the ether.
This opt-in setup should keep Lyft from turning into an endless source of frustration for anyone who just, you know, wants a ride to work. If one person isn’t interested in sparking up a friendship or what have you, they simply do nothing. Don’t rate the other person, and their note will never be displayed.
You can also rate other passengers negatively — at which point you’ll be offered a link to Lyft’s support line if complaints are in order. The option to rate other passengers currently only appears in the post-ride email receipt for Lyft Line users in SF.
So why might they do this? If nothing else, it fits with their early messaging. From the goofy ‘stache to the now mostly abandoned fist bump, they’ve always played on this idea that you’re sharing a ride with a network of friends; now, with Lyft Line notes, you’re making new friends. Hurray, friendship!
And for the curious: outside of general data collection and the sending of notes, Lyft tells me that the passenger-to-passenger ratings currently have no impact on the service. So if you get a bunch of “:(” just because you don’t like to talk on the way home from work, you’re not getting booted from Lyft Line.
[thanks for the heads up, kulveer]