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Lyft’s ‘Wait and Save’ rides offer a cheaper fare for essential trips

Lyft’s ‘Wait and Save’ rides offer a cheaper fare for essential trips


The more patience you’ve got, the cheaper the ride

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If your region is under stay-at-home guidelines, it’s best to avoid using ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft. But not everyone has that option. And with both companies having suspended shared rides and carpooling during the pandemic as a safety precaution, some people who need rides are finding themselves left without more affordable, reduced-fare ways of getting to their destination.

Lyft is trying to offer up one solution by expanding its “wait and save” ride option to cover “most” riders in the United States and Canada. The name says it all: if you’re willing to wait a longer-than-normal amount of time to be picked up, you’ll save on the cost of your trip. Drivers make their standard rate no matter what.

“More riders than ever will see Wait and Save as an option in their Lyft app alongside our standard ride modes. Riders who choose Wait and Save will always pay less than they would for a standard Lyft ride, and typically the longer they need to wait, the more they will save,” the company wrote on its blog today. “This allows for the rider to be matched with the best-located driver. Of course, for riders that need a quicker pickup, a standard Lyft ride is still available and prices and ETAs are always shown in the Lyft app.”

Lyft says that 40 percent of its rides in the US either start or end in low-income areas, and the company is very much aware that people are relying on its service for trips to the pharmacy, grocery store, and other necessary trips. “As the impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer we will evaluate all of our options to make sure Lyft riders are able to get where they need to go affordably and responsibly.” For its part, Uber says it’s offering free transportation for frontline workers and helping to coordinate free food deliveries to first responders, among other efforts it’s making during the novel coronavirus pandemic.