Planning things in advance is usually a great idea, but sometimes the spontaneity of things can be fun too. Whether you've had your mind made up for weeks or you're doing things on a whim, when you request a ride from Lyft your only option right now is to set things up the moment you're ready to walk out the door and wait for the driver to show up. Lyft is changing things up a little bit, though, and has announced that soon they'll be allowing users of the app and service to schedule rides in advance, essentially making it easier to plan ahead of time.
To kick things off, Lyft states that the scheduled rides will begin in San Francisco shortly, but they also have plans to make it available to more users in other locations, and are preparing for a wider rollout of the feature this Summer, albeit without mentioning which locations will see it next, when in the Summer they plan to make scheduled rides available to more locations, and whether they'll be rolling the feature out in stages or making it a service-wide feature following the testing in San Francisco.
Users will be able to schedule rides a full 24 hours in advance, so the planning ahead of time is limited, but 24 hours is a lot more time than what Lyft normally offers and should make things easier for passengers, most notably because it should be much simpler to ensure that a ride is available when you actually need it because you can request it well ahead of when you need to leave. Once the scheduled rides feature goes live, a new tiny clock icon will appear next to the pickup location that allows you to set the timer for how far in advance you need it up to the 24-hour time limit. You can also cancel a requested ride or change the time on the ride if you're making a change within 30 minutes of the initial request. Lyft states that rides which are on-demand will continue to be their core business, but that they also wanted to enhance the experience for passengers by giving them an option to request a ride in advance. They also note that this opens up more opportunity for drivers, which is always a good thing if you drive for Lyft.