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Uber and Lyft Both Launch Carpool Services

Uber and Lyft Both Launch Carpool Services NYMag


Here's a parable about what it's like to compete with Uber in the car-hailing business:

Back in April, Uber's smaller, mustachioed competitor, Lyft, quietly acquired a company called Rover, which made real-time tracking software for buses, trains, and taxis. Together, Lyft and Rover started a project that would ultimately become known as "Lyft Line" — a carpooling service that would match Lyft riders going along similar routes and group them together in one car, charging each rider a reduced rate in exchange for sharing the backseat with a stranger. The company beta-tested Lyft Line among its own employees, then, when it was ready, prepped it for the public. It planned to announce the news officially this morning.

Yesterday, before the Lyft news had landed, Uber put up a blog postannouncing "UberPool," which appears to be a virtually identical service to Lyft Line. By moving up its announcement to preempt Lyft's, Uber had both stolen its competitor's thunder in admirable dog-eat-dog fashion and introduced what it hopes will become the digital-age equivalent of the carpool.

Them's the breaks!

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It's as if Uber knew Lyft was going to announce.