Lyft and Lyft Line are an archetypal example of how Silicon Valley is going straight at the hard problems, in this case transportation. A growing number of people know about the amazing consumer utility and convenience created by “a ride on demand whenever you want”. And in parallel, services like Lyft make it possible for people who may otherwise not be able to make car payments to keep their cars.
In many cities, this results in a triple win: Consumer convenience, driver economic benefits, and improved business/tourism environment. But beyond that, as Lyft and its peers grow, ride sharing becomes increasingly convenient and affordable as *alternative* to owning a car. This leads to environmental benefits: Fewer cars needed -> less natural resource utilization; Network efficiency -> fewer miles driven.
Online supply/demand matching eliminates the need for cars-for-hire to drive around & look for riders. Network optimization in bits not atoms. Lyft Line is especially environmentally friendly: Facilitates multiple people riding together on the same route, still with high convenience! Everyone in world wants equivalent to upper-middle-class American lifestyle. Services like Lyft make it possible without destroying planet.
Few new techs deliver so much to so many: riders, drivers, car owners, cities, environment. And to think it just looks like an app :-). Closing note: Lyft Line is the classic “peace dividend of smartphone wars” — not possible pre universal smartphones.