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Ways to catch rides on your smartphone grow with Lyft Line - Metro US

Ways to catch rides on your smartphone grow with Lyft Line

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When it comes to getting around Boston on four wheels, there’s an app — apps, actually — for that. The question, in this competitive and fraught market, has become: which one should you use?

The list of options was set to grow by one this week, as ride-hailing underdog Lyft announced a new service called “Lyft Line,” offering carpoolers discounted rides – for $7 or less to start,provided they’re heading in the same direction and have destinations in aLyft-approvedzones (Harvard Square to the South End, Allston to the North End). It launches in Boston on Thursday.

RELATED: Uber launching water taxi service

But lots of companies are doing the same thing.

Uber launched a similar carpooling service in August, called “UberPOOL.” Sidecar, the least known of the three, has one, too: “Shared Ride.”

The Lyft announcement comes as changes brew in Massachusetts to the ride-sharing scene.

The Legislature is mulling new rules for ride-hailing companies, which could tighten requirements for insurance, background checks, among other provisions.

RELATED: Braintree halts ride-hailing crackdown

And Boston cab drivers, who’ve seen their business crippled by smartphone-enabled services, plan to welcome the launch of a cab-friendly app sometime soon: Way2ride. The app, by Californian e-pay company Verifone, is live in New York, and the company said on its website it would launch in Boston and three other cities before a nationwide rollout in all U.S. Verifone marketsin 2016.

Uberis already doing its own version with “UberTAXI.

Outside Boston, there are other apps to watch that hook riders up with old-fashioned cabs.

RELATED:Uberand Lyft opponents push for more ride-share regulation

For example, here’s a name you may not have heard before:Flywheel, another taxi-hailing app that isn’t in Boston but is active in cities on the West Coast.Curb, a similar company, operates in 60 cities, but again not in Boston.

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<p>Remember Hailo?</p>
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<p>Remember Hailo?</p>
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<p>But the battle for dominance in ride-sharing is never over because new tech in the industry isn’t a sure thing</p>
<p>Remember Hailo, the London-based service connecting riders to cabs? It <a href=pulled out of North America in 2014, saying it couldn’t compete.

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