Yesterday, popular taxi-hailing app Uber unveiled the beta test of UberPool, a new carpooling feature that aims to match up Uber users who share a similar route and promises an additional 40% off to each rider compared to normal prices. Now Uber’s major competitor Lyft is also introducing its own carpooling feature, Lyft Line, which basically has the same carpooling function. Uber might have won attention from the press, but since its UberPool won’t be ready until next week, Lyft Line, which is already in use in San Francisco, leads in this lap. Whether the new carpooling features will help further erode car ownership remains to be seen, but competition is always good for the customers.
In Singapore, commuters are taking advantage of a new, shared transport network called MyRideBuddy. The peer-to-peer rideshare provider allows people to get to where they want to go faster – while meeting new people – by matching drivers with riders for carpooling, and it sells itself by suggesting that it allows riders to link with other like-minded individuals to share a ride. To do this, participants register as Car Owner, Ride Taker, or Both, and the system matches people based on their desired journey requirements and mobile numbers. Riders are charged a ride fee plus a small transaction fee, which are passed on to car owners to offset transportation costs. In Singapore, over 1 million rides take place in more than 500,000 vehicles every day, and so MyRideBuddy facilitates more than formalizes the informal exchange of getting a ride while adding security, user agreements, and payment transaction benefits to the experience while, upon hitting a certain threshold of users, reducing traffic congestion, pollution, and personal driving expenses.