Lyft will reintroduce shared rides, the company shared with Travel + Leisure on Thursday, a feature that was eliminated due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The shared rides option, which pairs customers who are heading to nearby destinations, will begin again on Monday in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Denver, according to Lyft. The company plans to extend the service to additional cities “in the coming months.”
The lower-cost option will continue to match riders together, but will have a few COVID-19-era modifications, including requiring all passengers and drivers to wear masks and limiting each shared ride to two passengers. Customers will not be allowed to eat or drink during their ride.
“As the country reopens, we want our most affordable ride option to be available to our riders,” Lyft’s President and Co-Founder John Zimmer said in a statement shared with T+L. “After a year and a half without shared rides, people are going to love the updates we’ve made — no surprise pickups, know your full route before you get in, and a new option to book ahead.”
Passengers who book a shared ride can now do so in advance, saving even more money the further out they order the car. By booking in advance, Lyft said passengers can also be better matched with fellow riders for a more efficient route.
Additionally, customers who order a car ahead of time can book with the option of “no surprise pickups,” which means they will know the number of stops ahead of time.
While Lyft is bringing back its shared ride option, fellow rideshare company Uber has kept its similar UberPool service on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the company.
For riders who want to split a ride with a friend, Lyft allows customers to pay with Venmo and share the cost with their fellow rider.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.