In a move that might have you choosing Uber from now on, Lyft customers are no longer available to split fares with a friend through the ride-sharing app. Lyft abruptly announced that they removed the feature this week.
The company has emailed riders with an update, stating: “We wanted to give you a heads-up that you’re no longer able to split the fare for your ride in the Lyft app.” A spokesperson confirmed this to SmarterTravel without providing any additional explanation, saying only that “Split Pay is no longer available in the app.”
The spokesperson did say that Lyft “[will] have more to share next year about even easier and smoother payment options going forward.” Uber, for comparison, currently allows riders to split fares for a 25-cent fee per person.
While ending Lyft’s split fare option may not be a huge deal to all Lyft riders, the timing for this is odd to say the least. The holiday season is full of travel to and from airports, train stations, and all sorts of social gatherings where groups are likely to ride together. From the outside, it seems logical to remove or replace the Lyft split fares feature after the holidays.
For fans of the Lyft split feature, it does sound like the company is working on an eventual replacement. This is pure speculation, but perhaps the plan is to partner with Venmo or an existing money transfer app that most people already have, and integrate that service into the Lyft app. In the meantime, riders can use a variety of apps (or cash, of course) to pay each other back. Or they can (and many probably will) just choose Uber instead.