The battle among the ride-sharing apps is getting ruthless.
Uber competitor Lyft announced on Wednesday a way for people to get cheaper rides. It’s called Lyft Line.
You set your destination, and Lyft will match you with someone who’s on your route, offering up to 60% off the price of the ride. If it can’t match you up with someone else on the route, you’ll still get a discount on your ride.
Lyft Line will launch on iPhone in San Francisco first, and will branch out to Android and other cities soon.
That’s because Lyft competitor Uber seemed to have caught wind of the announcement: Uber announced UberPool Tuesday night, and it’s basically the same thing.
Uber will match you up with another person who happens to be requesting a ride at the same time along a similar route. You’ll get a notification that gives you the name of your co-rider, and you two will split the fare. And if it can’t find a co-rider, you still get the discount.
The move to scoop Lyft out of its own announcement doesn’t seem out of place for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Ruthless tactics seem par for the course, but that’s how Uber has become so successful.
“There is absolutely no way this business would have gotten where it is without Travis and his arrogance,”
an acquaintance of Kalanick’s told Business Insider’s Alyson Shontell back in January. “Not without him being like, ‘I’m going to take over the world.’ He has the Steve Jobs mentality that ‘It’s my way or the highway.'”
He even got into a Twitter war with Lyft, calling them a “clone” and saying they have some catching up to do.
Don’t feel sorry for Lyft, though. As TechCrunch points out, a few months ago Lyft announced that it would offer insurance for drivers in between rides, right before Uber announced something similar.
Lyft isn’t the only company that Uber scooped. On Wednesday, another ride-sharing app called SideCar, unveiled Shared Rides. It, too, will offer people on a similar route up to 50% off their rides if they share. Shared Rides will launch in all markets by the end of the year.
On the sidelines there are other apps that offer similar services. Taxi Magic is playing catchup to both companies, even though it’s been around for years.
Taxi Magic, a taxi-hailing is taking on both Uber and Lyft with an updated app, a new name, and a new CEO. It’s now called Curb, and it’s branching out, allowing people to hire not just taxis, but limos and sedans, as well.
“Uber and Lyft are our frenemies,” new CEO Pat Lashinsky told The San Francisco Chronicle. “They have helped us focus on moving faster to innovate. The industry needs to get better. We will help taxis evolve from within instead of disrupting from the outside.”
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