Lyft rides Uber's coattails with fare-splitting feature


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Lyft riders, a new fare-splitting feature will help you avoid that awkward moment at the end of a group trip.

The feature is nearly identical to the one introduced by rival Uber last year. Once the ride commences, the person who ordered the Lyft can choose up to five contacts from the app's ride options menu to divvy up the fare. All the contacts have to do is open the app and confirm the split.

Just like Uber's version, splitting the fare incurs a $0.25 surcharge per participant. The only difference is that Uber limits fare splitting to four riders in smaller cars, but allows six riders to share a fare in larger vehicles.

The story behind the story: While the fare-splitting feature is a useful addition for Lyft users, behind the scenes the ride-sharing business is getting increasingly ugly. Lyft has recently accused Uber of dirty tricks to siphon away drivers, but both companies are facing new questions about gaps in their insurance coverage that could leave drivers and other motorists with unpaid expenses. The two startups have also tried to offer new carpooling services, but they were cut off by California regulators who deemed these services illegal. A new feature or two won't make the sledding any smoother in 2015.

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