Los Angeles has a nasty reputation as the most traffic-congested city in North America. Getting from one side of town to another in rush hour is basically a prison sentence in your car.
Hoping to chip away at this problem, Lyft on Tuesday said it is expanding its carpooling feature to Los Angeles, its second largest market. In August, Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar all debuted cheaper carpooling options for passengers. Lyft Line offers discounted fares 30% to 60% lower than a regular ride. However, when Uber and Lyft began their carpooling services, users complained of logistical problems–kinks the companies said they were ironing out.
To prepare for this launch, Lyft garnered the support of people in Los Angeles, including L.A. Council member Mitchell Englander, who said the service has “enormous potential to lessen traffic gridlock, improve air quality, and increase affordable transportation options.” Juan Matute, associate director at UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, said fuel use could decline by 713 million gallons if ridesharing in California increased by 3%.