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Lyft is adding the ability to make multiple stops on a trip

Good for dropping off a friend or picking up a bottle of wine

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Amelia Holowaty Krales

Once upon a time, Lyft customers who needed to make multiple stops during a trip needed to explain this to their drivers using spoken words. Starting this week, such verbal interactions will be a thing of the past, thanks to a new feature offering riders the ability to input an extra destination within the app.

Like Uber, Lyft does allow passengers to change destinations mid-trip. But this new feature allows customers to add a second destination before the driver even arrives, removing the need to input a new stop during the ride.

Lyft says this will make for an easier ride for passengers, while offering more context for drivers, ultimately allowing them to shorten the time between rides. And because Lyft often pairs drivers who are about to end a current ride with a new passenger located nearby, this new feature should help drivers to increase earnings, while helping give passengers shorter ETAs.

Of course, passengers should expect to pay more for these multi-stop trips, as Lyft calculates its fares based on a route’s total time and distance. In other words, if drivers are waiting for you to buy a bottle of wine at the liquor store, that wait time will be reflected in your final fare.

Lyft says that around 5 percent of its trips involve a passenger manually updating the destination — and while that may sound like a small metric, it’s actually many hundreds of thousands of rides every month. (Lyft reported completing 14 million trips last July, a record for the company.)

The company claims it is the first time any ride-hail service has offered the ability to make multiple stops. Indeed, Uber does not presently allow for the inclusion of multiple stops in its app — but considering how closely the two competitors tend to follow each other, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Uber rolling out a similar feature sometime soon.