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US citizens can book shared rides first time since pandemic on Lyft

Since Pandemic, things are slowly getting back to how they were earlier. Lyft had opened the ride-sharing option to its customers in Philadelphia, Denver, and Chicago. It is the first time since the pandemic that Lyft opened that option. In the coming months, the ride-sharing option will be available in other states as well.

Ride-sharing apps: Taxis for the 21st century

Image credits- CNET

Prior to Pandemic, Lyft ride-sharing was available in 18 states of America. From March 2020, the option was not available in every ride-hailing company even after the lockdown was lifted. Now, the company will start with 3 states. Mask will be mandatory for both drivers and passengers, where ride-sharing is open only for two passengers. Both the middle and front seats will be left empty. And having consumables is prohibited.

Lyft President John Zimmer said in a statement, “As the country reopens, we want our most affordable ride option to be available to our riders.” The shared ride option will be open depending on the local pandemic situation and policies. It will also depend on the demand and availability of drivers.

As a highly contagious virus, Delta Variant is spreading there are concerns of safety that are to be addressed accordingly. Currently, 59% of US citizens are fully vaccinated against COVID. So Lyft will be flexible depending on the local situation.

Originally ride-sharing option was preferred only by a small percentage of people. They have shown higher losses than private rides. However, Lyft announced that they will be offering more efficient rides where time is reduced for riders and also the cost.

Ride-hailing during pandemic

Sharing rides after the pandemic might be a convenient option.  According to a research firm Rakuten Intelligence, it was observed that Uber ride fares are 40% more than the fares in April 2020. Controlling the ride prices wouldn’t be possible considering the situation. However, Lyft’s option of cheaper choices would be attractive in the current scenario.

On the other hand, Lyft’s biggest rival Uber is not open to Uberpool options yet. It was expected that Uber will open the option soon. But Lyft announced the ride-sharing option first. Companies are facing pressure to manage their losses which are continuing since March 2020.

Before the pandemic, the ride-sharing option was going to be permanently disabled considering the losses. But it is considered a better option now that the regular cab fare has increased. According to Business Wire, people are still hesitant to ride in shared cabs. But expect that people come back to regular routines in the coming months.

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