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Lyft is also building an ‘Amazon of transportation,’ just like Uber

Lyft is building a Google Maps-like feature that lets you find multiple ways to get to your destination.

A Lyft driver takes two passengers to their destination. Lyft

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said his company wants to become the “Amazon of transportation.” Now Lyft is following that lead.

The company wants to be the one-stop shop for any city’s transportation options — even those that don’t include a Lyft ride. Companies like Uber and Lyft have long wanted to become viable first- and last-mile solutions that connect riders to transit and other modes of transportation.

Part of that is because it continuously brings riders back to the app by owning that consumer interaction and relationship.

To that end, Lyft is doubling down on shared rides and is also introducing a feature that allows riders to choose a route to their destination that may include multiple modes of transportation, like walking and public transportation.

Think Google Maps, if Google Maps was better at incorporating a Lyft or an Uber into your route. Riders choose their destination and then Lyft will give them multiple options for how to get to that destination. Those routes can include a combination of walking, public transit and taking a Lyft.

Lyft’s multi-modal routing feature, like Google Maps, will give you turn-by-turn directions for each method of transportation: From walking to a train station, to when to get off the train, to walking to where a car will meet you.

The company is beginning to partner with transit agencies across the U.S. like the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Big Blue Bus of Santa Monica to find ways to integrate elements like bus schedules and routes into its app. Ideally, the company hopes to eventually get a cut of each ride.

Uber is working on a similar effort. It recently acquired Jump Bikes and also started working with Masabi, a company that lets you book transit tickets via an app. The idea is Uber wants a piece of virtually every transportation transaction that happens in a given city — even if it doesn’t include an Uber car.

Lyft is also reportedly close to acquiring Motivate — the company that operates bike-share programs like Citibike, Ford GoBike and Capital Bikeshare across the country. This would seamlessly fit into Lyft’s plans to integrate multiple methods for transportation into its app.

A big part of getting multi-modal transit right is getting shared rides right because they are more cost-effective and efficient.

It’s certainly helpful that it’s good for business: More shared rides means higher utilization of each car, which means drivers are giving more rides and, if the routes are efficient, Lyft will get more money.

The company hopes that 50 percent of all its rides on the Lyft platform will be shared rides by 2020. Today, 35 percent of rides in cities where Lyft Line exists are shared.

The $11 billion company is also adding more efficiencies around shared rides, akin to Uber’s new feature called Express Pool. Lyft riders will be prompted to walk to and from rides when it’s more cost-effective and can save time. Lyft is also beginning to work with cities to designate pickup and drop-off spots along busy routes.

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