Lyft offers discounted ride sharing

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Lyft is a ridesharing app famous for the big pink mustaches on its drivers' cars. (Lyft)

SAN DIEGO — Lyft and community leaders Friday unveiled the Lyft Line ridesharing platform in San Diego, which allows customers of the ride- hailing firm to share their rides with others, and get a discount in return.

According to Lyft, passengers can get up to 60 percent off the normal cost of their trip. Lyft says it will honor the lower rate even if it cannot find another passenger.

According to Lyft, 80 percent of the seats of vehicles on the roadway at a given time are unoccupied. Around 40 percent of Lyft passengers are choosing Lyft Line in other cities where the service is available, company officials said.

“My feeling is, with options like Lyft Line, we can significantly reduce congestion and make rides more affordable,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

The program will also help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

The unveiling came at a time when ride-hailing companies are facing criticism for problems with security and impacts on the traditional taxi industry. In Los Angeles, the number of taxi trips has fallen by one-third since Lyft and Uber began business there in 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times.