Uber vs. Lyft – the ultimate driving service review
Uber vs. Lyft has long been the best option for frequent users of car ride services. These convenient book-a-ride companies have made it safer and easier to go to places, especially for those who can’t drive or don’t own a car. Although Uber came years before Lyft, the two have become the most effective transport service in the country with millions of devoted users.
But what exactly makes these services so popular? Apart from being convenient, they are also relatively cheaper than renting a car for yourself for the day. Not to mention, they aren’t just beneficial for riders but drivers as well. These companies employ thousands of drivers, and you can even sign up to become one if you’re qualified. To know more about the two-car service companies, read on below.
The difference between Uber vs. Lyft
The two quintessential transport service companies, Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., have been vying to be number one for a long time. These two may seem interchangeable, but there are notable differences between them, for one, their scope of services in and outside of the United States. Lyft is only available in the U.S. and Canada for now, whereas Uber provides services in many cities and countries all over the globe.
This has made the latter all the more popular to tourists visiting North America. Plenty of people are already familiar with how Uber works, so they tend to lean towards it. This doesn’t mean Lyft isn’t doing its best to even out the competition. Both are hailed as the top choice for most Americans when it comes to hiring short-distance transportation.
Uber was first founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. The company was first known as UberCab but dropped the cab from its name a year later. The founders of the company came up with the idea of booking a cab from their phone when they were in France and couldn’t find any taxi to give them a ride. They took home the picture to the streets of San Francisco, not knowing it would soon become a multi-billion dollar company.
Compared to Lyft, Uber is a much larger corporation. They employ thousands of drivers around the globe. The company has also ventured into other services such as food delivery (Uber Eats), high-end rides (Uber Lux), same-day parcel deliveries within the same area, and share-a-ride. Users can share their Uber with another user.
Operations and Services
Available in hundreds of cities and countries worldwide, Uber has one of the most significant operations in the transport industry. Their market share is significantly more significant than Lyft or any other relatively new service similar to theirs. Uber’s services may also vary according to your region. Here are Uber services that may or may not be available in your area:
- UberX — the basic sedan service for everyday rides; fits up to four people
- Uber Comfort — newer and larger car units that provide more legroom
- UberXL/Uber SUV — dispatches SUV units for larger groups of four to six
- Pool — this share-a-ride option allows users to share rides and the cost of the fare with another passenger if they are going to or within the same vicinity for the pickup and drop off points
- Uber Black/Uber Black SUV — an option to ride with professional drivers in black town cars that can fit up to four people
- WAV — makes use of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and drivers that are trained in assisting passengers who make use of wheelchairs and the like
- Select/Uber Lux — stylish, high-end rides with top-rated drivers that is perfect for special occasions
- Uber Taxi — cab drivers, can also work for Uber to reach passengers via the Uber app
- Pet — affordable rides for you and your furry friend
- Uber Eats — food delivery service that is partnered with hundreds of food chains and restaurants all over the world
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The Uber app is compatible with most mobile devices and systems like iOS, Android, and Windows. You can download the app from your phone’s app store for free. It will ask users to sign up using their real names and contact numbers. This information will remain confidential and will only be shown to drivers when they accept the ride request. The app also indicates passengers’ driver’s profile, real-time update of the driver’s route, estimated fare, and ETA.
Fares are usually the deciding factor when passengers book car ride services. Uber’s fares are calculated with a base fare plus a time and distance rate. The fares vary by vehicle type, even by your location. If your city is more populated and the average cost of gas is higher, Uber rides may be more expensive. There is also the matter of surge pricing during peak commute hours or the holidays. You can pay via cash or a credit card linked to your Uber account.
Lyft Inc. was launched way back in 2012 by its founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, only a couple of years after Uber. It was at first a sub-company of Zimride, a carpool service that was quite popular among students and working professionals. Zimride was then sold, and Lyft became a transport service made to cater to the same market as Uber and other transport services.
Not exactly new to the market, Lyft has skyrocketed to success after being labeled as the top competitor to Uber. The two have gone toe to toe since the demand for their services has increased in recent years. Many users will agree that both apps have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs.
Operations and Services
Providing service in all 50 states in the U.S. and the entirety of Canada, plus the District of Columbia, Lyft has millions of users every day. To become a driver, one must pass two background checks, and their vehicle must also meet specific requirements. The demand for more options also put pressure on the company to expand its list of services available. These services may also vary by city or area:
- Original Lyft — regular car rides for up to four passengers
- Lyft XL — provides rides in larger vehicles to fit up to six passengers
- Lux Lyft — premium black car service in luxury vehicles for special occasions
- Black Lyft — excellent black car service including luxury vehicles and professional drivers
- Lyft Black XL — the equivalent of Lyft Black but with the use of larger premium vehicles to fit more passengers
- Lyft GrubHub — Lyft’s food delivery service became available sometime during the pandemic as the demand for door-to-door delivery significantly increased; the app shows options for restaurants as well
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The Lyft app works pretty much the same as the Uber app. Once downloaded, it will ask users for relevant data that will be kept confidential. When you request a ride, you will be connected with Lyft drivers around the area, and you can spot their vehicle using a system called Amp. The Amp is a small device that sits on the driver’s dashboard and lights up a specific color that will match the one indicated in your app. The app is also free and available in countries that have Lyft.
Lyft fares also vary according to the city, the distance of the ride, base fare, and the base charge for your driver. Premium Lyft services will be more expensive compared to regular car rides. On average, a Lyft ride can cost around $12 to $13 and will increase parallel to the distance traveled. Passengers can only pay via the app.
Is Lyft cheaper than Uber?
Uber and Lyft are in direct competition. This means that they have to constantly market themselves better than the other and cannot one-up each other when it comes to pricing or services, for that matter. If one were to charge too much, then they would lose customers to the other.
The primary costs for both are approximately $1 to start, $2 per mile, and $0.25 per minute. Your actual fare may still vary depending on vehicle availability, your destination, your route, traffic, and other factors. The best way to save money is to look up fare prices between both and see which one will cost less. Since fares fluctuate, you may save some coins by choosing one over the other.
Which driving service is safer?
Most of the time, the experience of using Lyft and Uber, and other rideshare apps direct are more meaningful generally the same. With Uber vs. Lyft, both use secure phone apps that help keep passengers and drivers protected by keeping confidential information. Drivers are also screened and must pass specific tests to work for the company.
To put it plainly, both apps are generally safe, but they also pose their risks, as in most services. There have been multiple cases filed against both companies against unsafe drivers or passengers. Both companies have also been doing their best to deter such situations. As a passenger, it is still your responsibility to become alert while riding with a virtual stranger. Driving for Uber or Lyft, you must also be cautious of sketchy passengers.
Both services offer innovative alternatives to long hours of commuting via unreliable public transportations like trains, busses, and cabs. These private transportation services provide a range of perfect services for anyone who needs a comfortable and generally safe carpool or transport. Whichever one you prefer, the chances are that both Uber and Lyft will have an option that will suit your needs.