Lyft is officially discontinuing shared rides, the latest change the ride-hailing company’s new chief executive officer is making in a bid to revamp the platform to compete with Uber Technologies.
“The problem with shared trips is that they take people out of their way,” David Risher said in an interview Thursday. “At some point you have to pay attention to what your customers want.”
It’s one of a slate of product changes Risher is making since taking over as CEO in April and marks the end of a feature that came to define the ride-hailing industry. San Francisco-based Lyft was the first to launch shared rides in 2014 and Uber later followed with Uber Pool.
The companies halted pooled rides during the pandemic and had gradually been re-introducing the service in select markets last year. Uber is still moving forward with reviving its carpool service, now dubbed UberX Share. “I think that’s an example of two different companies looking at a problem and coming to two different answers,” Risher said. “I think we came to the one that customers like better.”
Lyft is also focusing on boosting airport rides, which comprise about 10% of all trips, by making it easier for customers to pre-book a trip. Riders will now have the option to hail a Lyft the moment they land from a flight, as opposed to ordering when arriving to the ride-share pick-up area, Risher said at a company event in New York showcasing new features ahead of the summer travel season. Lyft also announced a new calendar integration feature that pulls flight details and sends customers push notifications to book a trip.