How transportation options stack up
Taxis have a lot of competition these days. Ride-sharing services – most notably Uber and Lyft – have created new ways for people to get around. For drivers, it’s a flexible job or side hustle. For passengers, it’s often a cheaper way to get around.
While additional options can be great for consumers, it also means you have to decide which type of service you want to use. Here’s a look at how they stack up.
Whether you’re using a taxi, an Uber or a Lyft, you can expect to pay a base rate plus a rate for the distance and time. However, this does not mean that you’ll pay the same amount.
RideGuru compared costs in various cities and found that taxis were almost always more expensive than both Lyft and Uber – sometimes by a lot. A notable exception was New York City, where Uber was the most expensive and Lyft was the cheapest. In many cities, Lyft and Uber cost around the same amount.
In addition to the location, the time can make a difference in how much you pay. Both Uber and Lyft increase rates during periods of high demand.
When you order an Uber, you get a fare estimate. You can also use the company’s online fare estimator. Lyft provides upfront pricing when you book a ride, and you can get an estimate by selecting your city.
While taxi drivers are known for preferring cash payments, Uber and Lyft rides are typically paid for electronically through the app.
Uber operates in countries around the world. However, it does not operate everywhere. In fact, some governments have made efforts to ban the ride-sharing service. Check here to see if Uber serves your city.
Lyft operates in cities throughout the U.S. You can see if Lyft is in your city here. Lyft does not currently operate in countries other than the U.S., but it does partner with ride-sharing companies in other countries.
Various taxi services operate in different locations around the world.
Taxi drivers use a company car, often with a distinctive paint job that makes it very easy to identify.
Uber and Lyft drivers use their own personal vehicles, so the type of vehicle will vary depending on the driver. The car will have a sticker on it to help with identification.
With Uber, you can request a bigger car using UberXL or a more luxurious car using UberSELECT. Similarly, Lyft Plus is suitable for up to six passengers, while Lyft Premier, Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV provide more luxurious rides.
Ordering a Ride:
You can call a taxi company to order a ride, but most people use an app on their smartphone to order an Uber or a Lyft. The nice thing about this is that the app provides additional information, including the expected wait and cost. To get started, simply download the Uber or Lyft app on your smartphone and create an account.
If you don’t have a smartphone, however, this can be a problem. It is possible to order an Uber online using m.uber.com instead of the app. Likewise, you can order a Lyft using Siri, Apple Maps or ride.lyft.com instead of the app.