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Lyft Introduces ‘Wait & Save’ Pilot Program in Canada Offering Cheaper Rides With Longer Waits

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Lyft is launching its “Wait & Save” pilot program across Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the ride-hailing company, the program is the “most affordable Lyft ride for households and individuals.”

A press release from the company explains that the program, which is now active in both Canada and the Unites States, allows users to choose a cheaper option should they be willing to wait a bit longer than usual. Lyft says the longer customers wait to be matched to the best located driver, the cheaper their fare will be and that users will pay less than they would for a standard ride.

“To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we paused Shared Rides in all markets. This was the right thing to do but it also removed our most affordable ride option. 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.”

Lyft is introducing the pilot program in a bid to help Canadians find an affordable way to get to essential locations like supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and laundromats during the pandemic.

“Now, more riders than ever will see Wait & Save as an option in their Lyft app alongside our standard ride modes,” the press release explains. “Riders who choose Wait & 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. 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 it has seen the percentage of rides to essential locations more than double and hopes the new program will alleviate some of the troubles Canadians find while commuting during the pandemic. The company says that pricing will vary by ride and demand of the market while using “Wait & Save.”

The ride-hailing business has suffered a near-total collapse as large parts of Canada and the United States remain shut. Lyft has halted its ride-sharing services in response to social distancing protocols put in place to prevent the spread of the disease.

Lyft, which operates only in some Canadian cities, has an active global rider customer base of 22.9 million, according to its latest fourth-quarter results statement.

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