Fare-splitting with friends in the ride-sharing app world isn't new, but matching up total strangers who pay their share is. Brooklyn-based Bandwagon already allowed travelers to locate others going to the same place, even creating "priority zones" for its users in places with long wait lines for cabs or car services.
A company statement says it could reduce the cost of a cab or private car by up to 65%, and it will cut down on your carbon footprint to boot.
"If we can make better use of all those existing empty seats in vehicles that are designed for transportation, we can build a new instant kind of social transit network," David Mahfounda, Bandwagon chief executive officer and founder, said in the statement.
And yes, the timing of the rollouts plus other accusations sparked more controversy in the what the Wall Street Journal calls "Tech's Fiercest Rivalry." The New York Times also wrote about life in the arch competitive world of "Uber vs. Lyft. vs. regular taxis vs. car ownership."
In a rare moment of agreement, Uber and Lyft last week supported a California bill that dictates how much insurance and what kind of coverage they should provide, over and above their drivers' private auto insurance. Gov. Jerry Brown was expected to sign the bill.
But back to Bandwagon and Hailo. Here's how it works: Bandwagon app users drop a pin on a map at their starting point and another at their destination. They'll be matched up with ride partners and pay a calculated split fare on their smartphone.