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Lyft's Plan to Make On-Demand Carpools the Everyday Way to Commute

Now it's offering much the same service to everyone going the same way.

Today, the company launched a new feature called Lyft Line that lets ride seekers anywhere in the city get matched up with other would-be passengers traveling a similar route, allowing everyone in the car to pay less. The option will be available as a new tab in the Lyft app, first only for passengers in Lyft's home city of San Francisco.

Shared rides sound like a nice, cheaper, slightly greener way to get around, and the cooperative aspect fits Lyft's image as a fist-bumping, sit-in-the-front alternative to regular taxis, limos, and its more luxe competitor, Uber. But Lyft wouldn't be a San Francisco tech startup in 2014 if it didn't have bigger ambitions. "Instead of public transit, we're building what we call personal transit," Lyft CEO Logan Green said at a private media event to unveil the service. Not to be outdone, Uber scooped Lyft Line's launch last night by announcing a similar experiment in splitting rides called UberPool. As these two duke it out, we could be seeing the future of "ride-sharing" take shape?and this time, contrary to Uber's motto of "your own private driver," this future looks like actual shared rides.

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