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Metro May Add Lyft To Its Trip-Planning App
Your commute may soon become a lot smoother, thanks to a proposed deal between Lyft and Metro. Transit officials are now negotiating a deal with the pink-mustachioed ride-share company to learn more about trips that are taken to and from Metro stations, reports the L.A. Times. The agreement, which would be one of the first of its kind in the country, would give the public transit agency a rare look at data that would otherwise be kept private. In exchange, Metro would advertise Lyft's service to riders and is considering adding Lyft to a trip-planning feature on the agency's mobile app. The added feature would help make travel plans smoother by coordinating an itinerary using both services.
Besides making commutes smoother with both services, Metro primarily wants to learn more about how to address the challenge of the "first mile, last mile" gap. In other words, what to do about that pesky distance between stations and destinations that is a bit too far to walk for most people and can be a deterrent to taking Metro, an issue they're also trying to address with the help of their new bike-sharing program. To do so, Metro wants to look closely at stations at the end of lines, as well as major employment centers where riders often commute. Overall, they want to find out more about users' needs and behaviors.
Lyft, for their part, has been advertising its services lately as a supplement to public transportation, and has said that nationally transit stops are the most common drop off locations. According to Lyft, the most-requested destination in L.A. is Union Station.
On the flip side, some transportation officials have suggested that Lyft and Uber have replaced some Metro rides entirely, and consider it a contributing factor to the controversial reports that ridership is declining.