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Didi adds mass transit to ride-sharing mix for cheaper options

China's ride-hailer taps buses and trains to increase customer base

Didi's expanded service adds buses and subways, as well as bike-share programs, to the list of options in Beijing and other major cities.   © Reuters

CHONGQING -- China's ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing has combined pooled car rides with public transit offerings in major cities, lowering costs for users and potentially reducing traffic on the country's crowded roadways.

Didi users have not been able to combine shared rides with routes involving public transportion up until now. By adding a cheaper transit option to the mix, the company aims to attract users looking to cut travel costs below even those of a shared car.

The expanded service, announced Monday, has launched in nearly 100 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The service is also expected to encourage use of public transportation and keep some cars off the road, easing traffic congestion in China's major urban centers.

The company's app presents riders with many ways to reach their destination, from a simple shared car ride to routes involving buses, subways and even bike shares. Riders can book a shared car to carry them to or from a transport hub, saving money compared with the cost of a private car.

Didi has more than 450 million users. The company's Didi Express pool service, which puts multiple riders headed in the same direction into the same car, carries over 2.4 million people daily.

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