Lyft has a new offering in testing called Shuttle, which is part of its Lyft Line commuter ride sharing option, and which operates along a set route with specific pickup and drop-off points. The trial for Shuttle is currently on offer in San Francisco and Chicago, and is intended to offer increased reliability for users who tend to travel the same path every day.
Shuttle also includes fixed rate fare, which are not impacted by Prime Time, where increased demand causes normal Lyft pricing to rise. It runs during regular commuting hours, too, which is when Prime Time can impact pricing. That’s between 6:30 and 10 AM, and 4 and 8 PM on weekdays – the typical hours for heading towards or away from the rat race.
Users who aren’t nearby one of the few test routes won’t notice any difference within apps, but anyone who does find themselves near a shuttle route will be able to toggle the Shuttle feature active within the Line booking option.
“Lyft Line is the future of rideshare, and we often test new features that we believe will have positive impact on our passengers’ transportation options,” the company told TechCrunch via a spokesperson. “We look forward to feedback on Shuttle from the Lyft community; we see a number of commuting use cases that this mode will make easier.”
Lyft’s Shuttle service is similar in practice to Chariot, the commute sharing startup acquired by Ford last year. Lyft has been a close partner to GM in a number of endeavors, as well as a prior reported acquisition target, and you can bet automakers are on the lookout for anyone doing interesting things with variations on the themes being pursued by their rivals.