Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Zimride Turns Regular Cars Into Taxis With New Ride-Sharing App, Lyft

Here’s one to watch: The ride-sharing service Zimride, which has focused on matching riders and drivers for long trips, is launching a new on-demand ride-sharing app called Lyft.

With an interface like Uber, Lyft users will be able to find nearby drivers and hop in for a ride, paying a suggested donation that’s approximately 30 percent less than a cab fare.

Drivers will be vetted by Lyft, and both riders and drivers authenticate via Facebook. Lyft is only in San Francisco and on iPhone for now, where there’s also a competing service called SideCar in beta testing.

Asked about the licensing and insurance issues that come with effectively turning regular cars into taxis, Zimride COO John Zimmer said, “I’m sure people will get upset about more competition. But our understanding is that when it’s ride-sharing, you can use your personal insurance policy. As for regulation, a lot of state laws are supportive of carpooling and ride-sharing and want to make that work.”

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus