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​Lyft's Shuttle tests set routes, but don't call it a bus

While Lyft is expanding its carpool feature with predetermined stops, Uber is letting passengers correct their pickup locations.


Lyft is testing a new feature called Shuttle that lets passengers catch rides on a set route.


Lyft is taking its idea of carpooling one step further.

The ride-hailing company said Thursday that it's testing a new feature called "Shuttle" in San Francisco and Chicago. Shuttle lets drivers travel along a set route during commuting hours, picking up and dropping off passengers along the way.

Sounds a lot like a bus, right? The main difference is that these trips will still be with Lyft drivers using their own cars. However, the fare for each ride will be fixed and based on time and distance.

"We look forward to feedback on Shuttle from the Lyft community," said a Lyft spokeswoman. "We see a number of commuting use cases that this ride type will make easier."

Next to Uber, Lyft has long been thought of as second-string in the ride-hailing space. While Uber is valued at $68 billion, Lyft is valued at $5.5 billion. And while Uber is in more than 450 cities in 70 countries, Lyft is in 300 US cities. But competition is heating up as Lyft continues to grow and Uber is up to its neck in scandals.

Uber also added an update on Thursday. Its new feature lets passengers adjust their pickup location after they've hailed a ride. The idea is to make that rendezvous easier.

"Pickups are one of the hardest parts of the experience to get right, and they're especially difficult when riders accidentally request a pickup from the wrong place," Uber wrote in a blog post. "It often begins with a phone call and ends with a canceled ride."

Uber announced the pickups feature, along with a host of other updates, in November. The company said pickup corrections will be available to all passengers in the US, Canada and the UK in coming weeks.

As for Shuttle, Lyft said it will share more details on its San Francisco and Chicago trial runs, as well as possible pilot tests in other cities, in the near future.

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