Lyft's 'Round-Up' program donates part of your fare to charity

The ridesharing outfit wants to be seen as a kinder alternative to Uber.

Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft

Lyft has been positioning itself as the anti-Uber in light of its rival's mounting controversies, and it's determined to underscore that point. The ridesharing service has introduced a Round Up & Donate program that, as the name suggests, rounds up your fare and donates the difference to charity. Opt in and every ride will contribute some pennies to a good cause, whether it's the environment, equality or veterans. It's not going to contribute nearly as much as a straighforward donation, of course, but this could quickly add up if you're a regular Lyft passenger.

The initiative is currently in a test form and will take a few weeks to reach everyone.

To some extent, this is about polishing Lyft's own less-than-perfect image. It's not immune to driver disputes and legal standoffs over background checks. Even so, the differences between Lyft and Uber are becoming harder to ignore. Between the new donation program and an existing tipping option, you're bound to notice Lyft's emphasis on kindness -- even if you see it as a cynical marketing ploy, it could still make a big difference the next time you hail a car.