Lyft launches "affordable" pilot in Canada amid coronavirus pandemic

May 5 2020, 6:00 am

Lyft is launching its “Wait & Save” pilot across Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the company, the pilot is the “most affordable Lyft ride for households and individuals.”

On Tuesday, the ride-sharing company announced that throughout the coronavirus crisis, it has provided access “to transportation for essential services and is a lifeline for many communities.”

It says that rides to and from essential locations (like supermarkets, convenience stores, police stations, drugstores, pharmacies, laundromats, and banks) have increased over 100%.

“Offering affordable, reliable transportation is more important now than ever, especially as people are relying on transportation services like Lyft to fulfill essential needs,” said the company.

Earlier this year, they stopped the Shared Rides options, considered their most affordable ride, in all markets in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“To ensure riders still had a more affordable option, we launched Wait & Save, a new pilot where riders can opt for a longer wait time but pay a lower fare than for a Standard ride, while drivers earn the same as they do for a Standard ride.”

Riders who choose Wait & Save “will always pay less” than they would for a standard Lyft ride.

Lyft told Daily Hive that pricing will vary by ride and demand of the market while using Wait & Save. They also said the pilot will only be available in Ottawa and Toronto.

“Typically the busier it is, the more the rider can expect to save on a ride, and Wait & Save rides will always be more affordable than a Standard ride,” the company said.

“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.”

Courtesy of Lyft

In the US, Lyft said that 40% of its rides start or end in a low-income area, adding that it’s important to ensure those who need rides are able to access them affordably.

Courtesy of Lyft

“Bringing Wait & Save to riders around the United States and Canada is our latest effort to help riders and drivers who rely on Lyft during this unprecedented and challenging time,” said Lyft.

Less than a week ago, Lyft announced it was laying off 17% of its workforce due to “ongoing economic challenges.”

The termination included approximately 982 employees.

When asked about Canadian jobs lost, a spokesperson for the company said they wouldn’t break down those numbers by region, but that the terminations affect all teams and regions.