Lyft is introducing two new features to help people get to vaccine appointments and other essential destinations. The first, Rides for Others, allows you to order a trip for one of your friends or family members. As the person paying for the ride, you'll get a notification when a driver picks up your loved one and you'll be able to follow their trip progress. Lyft notes the feature will also reduce the inevitable driver confusion that occurred when you ordered a ride for someone else in the past.
Rides for Others is available today across the US. But in California, Oregon and Washington state, the company is piloting another feature called Lyft Family that, as you might have guessed from the name, gives families more robust functionality when it comes to sharing rides. The feature allows you to add up five other family members to your Lyft account and set a single payment method for everyone to use. The idea is that anyone with access to your account can use that payment method if they need help paying for a ride. As the account holder, you have one place where you can see all your family's travel expenses and trip details. You also have the option to request a ride on behalf of your family members.
While not an exact match for the features Lyft announced today, earlier this week Uber detailed an initiative with the similar goal of helping people get to their vaccination appointment. In Uber's case, its partnership with Walgreens aims to help those who live in underserved communities and may not have easy access to pharmacies and clinics.