Uber vs. Lyft | Which Ridesharing App Goes the Distance?

Uber vs. LyftLightpoet/Shutterstock

It looks as if many years in the past that the ridesharing revolution started. It was innocent sufficient at first. Uber used the burgeoning app market to launch an on-demand automobile service that quickly grew right into a multibillion-dollar sport changer, and it’s now a publicly traded firm. Lyft wasn’t far behind, launching its personal taste of ridesharing in its residence market of San Francisco quickly afterward. In the present day, the query of selecting Uber vs. Lyft is a debate many people face every time we want a experience.

Whereas there are different ridesharing apps comparable to Curb and Juno, Uber and Lyft command the best chunk of the market. Ridesharing is so common that a number of main automakers are both partnering with Uber and Lyft or making ready their very own competing companies, maybe an acknowledgment that automobile possession isn’t as necessary because it was once. As an alternative of a company automobile, firms compensate staff for utilizing ridesharing. Persons are commuting, procuring, and hitting the fitness center in an Uber or Lyft. Private autos are reserved for weekend expeditions.

There are nonetheless some holdouts. These with out smartphones — a share of the inhabitants that shrinks every year — name for cabs. Those that favor the privateness of their very own automobile received’t commute with a stranger. These with entry to good public transportation received’t sit in site visitors. These are the exceptions, nevertheless, not the rule.

So which one is best? Though Uber remains to be the largest title within the business, Lyft is scorching on its heels. A rash of dangerous publicity for Uber has folks contemplating their various. So which one do you have to use? On this article, we’ll examine the 2 so you possibly can experience smarter.

At a look


Reserving a experience

The passenger expertise

Providers and charges

How drivers are handled

The place are you able to discover a experience?

Which app is much less controversial?

Total winner

Reserving a experience

Each Uber and Lyft rely closely on location-based information, which suggests you’ll want a very good web connection, both by way of Wi-Fi or your mobile service. As soon as the app hundreds, it is going to drop a pin in your present location. If the pin is off the mark, you possibly can alter its place to get an correct place to begin. If you wish to be picked up from a distinct spot, merely enter that deal with within the textual content field.

Lyft Aptiv ride experienceAlex Kalogianni/Digital Tendencies

The subsequent step is to enter your vacation spot. Like Google Maps, each Uber and Lyft can work with avenue addresses or factors of curiosity. When you’ve enter your vacation spot, the apps estimate your experience price primarily based on the service you select, the time of day, and the way far you’re going. Each Uber and Lyft will even provide you with an estimate of how lengthy it is going to take to your driver to reach on the designated pickup spot.

Each enable you the potential to set a number of stops alongside your route, helpful if you’ll want to drop somebody off, decide somebody up, or to seize one thing at residence earlier than persevering with to your vacation spot. You may even do a spherical journey if you’ll want to. Each give you an estimated time of arrival at your closing vacation spot, in addition to the power to schedule a pickup for a later time.

After you request a pickup, each Uber and Lyft present a real-time visible of your driver’s progress to your location.

Winner: Tie

The passenger expertise

As soon as your experience arrives, it’s time to hop in and go. Should you’re nowhere to be discovered, Uber and Lyft drivers should wait 5 minutes earlier than they’re allowed to cancel the experience. Uber will start billing the passenger (per minute) after simply two minutes of wait time. With Lyft, the experience routinely begins one minute after the driving force arrives.

Should you’ve by no means used a ridesharing service, you may not make certain the place to take a seat. Whereas Lyft encourages passengers to experience shotgun, frequent apply is to take a seat within the rear passenger seat. Most drivers is not going to thoughts if you happen to sit within the entrance seat so long as you ask. In both case, you’ll seemingly be greeted by your driver. Whereas it’s necessary so that you can verify that you simply’re stepping into the appropriate automobile, you should definitely additionally present your title to the driving force and make sure that the individual driving you is the one within the image.

There’s not a lot distinction whether or not you must discuss to your driver or she or he talks to you between the 2 companies. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re not the gabbing sort, Uber just lately added a function to let you alert the driving force forward of time that you simply don’t need to discuss.

Requesting an Uber ridecharlesdeluvio/Unsplash

Each Uber and Lyft require bank card data to be saved within the app, so passengers needn’t fear about fumbling for a card on the conclusion of the experience. When you attain the vacation spot, you’re free to go away. Nonetheless, you continue to have some homework. The subsequent time you entry the Lyft app, you’ll be requested to price your driver on a scale of 1 to five and supply suggestions — you’ll even have an opportunity to tip her or him (please do in the event that they do a very good job!). Uber’s course of is comparable. Uber and Lyft drivers even have a possibility to price their passengers. This tells different drivers who’s a troublesome buyer. Each driver and rider rankings are seen from the second a experience is requested.

Your rankings are simply as necessary as the driving force’s: if you happen to perennially are rated low by drivers — particularly on Uber — you might be banned from the platform. Simply be respectful and communicative, and the journey will go nice.

Winner: Uber (for higher management of your experience expertise)

Providers and charges

Now we’ll get into the numerous companies supplied by Uber and Lyft, and the usual pricing construction for every app.

Uber has a broader vary of companies (automobile varieties). Right here’s how they work:

As much as two share an Uber with others heading in the identical route. (least expensive choice).

E-book an on a regular basis automobile with seating for 4.

E-book an on a regular basis automobile with seating for six.

E-book a extra premium automobile with seating for 4 (cheaper than UberBlack).

Uber’s authentic service composed of black livery autos that seat 4.

UberBlack SUV
E-book a premium SUV with seating for six.

Uber Lux
Uber’s luxurious automobile service with skilled livery drivers.

Lyft has a relatively streamlined service:

Lyft Shared
As much as two share a Lyft with others heading in the identical route. (least expensive choice).

E-book an on a regular basis automobile with seating for 4.

Lyft XL
E-book an on a regular basis automobile with seating for six.

Lyft Lux
E-book a extra premium automobile with seating for 4.

Lyft Black
Essentially the most luxurious experience alternative pairs black vehicles and SUVs with extremely rated drivers.

Utilizing Los Angeles as a pattern market, right here’s how the payment construction for a fundamental experience with UberX and Lyft compares as of June 2019:


Reserving/Service payment

Value per minute

Value per mile

Minimal cost

Cancellation payment


Reserving/Service payment

Value per minute

Value per mile

Minimal cost

Cancellation payment

As you possibly can see, pricing is barely completely different between the 2 apps. Whereas Lyft has the decrease price per minute, it has the upper price per mile. Sitting in site visitors — a ceremony of passage in LA — goes to price you extra in an Uber. Nonetheless, over an extended journey in lighter site visitors, you’ll really pay much less within the Uber than you’d a Lyft.

Throughout many different cities, there’s a comparable dynamic. So you should definitely take these components under consideration when requesting a experience. The apps don’t think about site visitors properly — solely utilizing common site visitors situations to find out the speed you see. However you additionally want to pay attention to surge pricing — which Uber calls “Surge” and Lyft “Prime Time” — which may make your experience way more costly.

When an space will get busy, surge pricing kicks in. Whereas Uber’s warmth map is normally a big space, Lyft’s warmth map tends to be a lot smaller. For Uber riders, this usually means it’s a must to chunk the bullet and pay the upper fare if you happen to’re in a busy space at a busy time. Lyft riders, nevertheless, might have the chance to stroll exterior the warmth map and return to regular charges. Additionally, Lyft worth will increase are normally lower than Uber’s.

So which is cheaper? That varies, particularly in occasions of excessive demand. Nonetheless, as a rule Lyft will find yourself being the cheaper of the 2 choices.

Winner: Lyft (for its smaller surge pricing areas and decrease minimal cost)

How drivers are handled

We’ve touched on a number of the driver expertise because it pertains to tipping and rider interplay, however what else do drivers think about earlier than choosing a platform?

Uber and Lyft have each applied insurance policies to make sure drivers on their platforms are secure drivers, driving in newer vehicles which can be secure for you the rider. Your driver ought to seem in a automobile no older than 15 years outdated (in some markets they’re required to driver even newer autos), and free of great site visitors violations and/or a felony file. That is to your security.

lyft takes on uber in toronto 3

Whereas a background verify is required in all places, in addition to correct inspection and registration, in some markets drivers are required to have their vehicles inspected. All drivers are despatched a welcome package with decals to put on their automobile. After a sure variety of rides, Lyft will ship a light-weight up Lyft emblem to drivers to make use of as an alternative of the decal. These decals are necessary below taxi and limousine legal guidelines, failure to have them in your automobile can imply an enormous superb.

Which rideshare service drivers resolve to drive with is dependent upon revenue. In massive cities, whereas it’s most typical for drivers to drive for Uber, some drive completely with Lyft. In suburban and rural areas it’s quite common for drivers to drive for each companies. Nonetheless, drivers discover that general, driving for Uber is normally extra profitable, with considerably shorter drive occasions to select up passengers.

Neither firm will get excessive marks for therapy of drivers. With Uber, price cuts in city markets have reduce pay for a lot of drivers, nevertheless it does supply lengthy pickup charges for exceptionally lengthy drives to get passengers. Lyft doesn’t — which permits it to supply cheaper charges. Clients know this, and have began to make use of Lyft to flee the lengthy pickup premium.

Drivers, in return, have begun to more and more reject these rides, so you’ll have tough getting a Lyft within the sticks. However general, Lyft’s strikes have been much less crappy for drivers, in order that they get the sting right here — however barely.

Winner: Lyft, barely

The place are you able to discover a experience?

To this point it’s been pretty shut, however Lyft has a noticeable edge. However the place Uber does extraordinarily properly is its protection space, and your capability to discover a driver rapidly. Over the previous yr, each firms have lined a lot of the populated areas of the USA. Should you’re going overseas, likelihood is you’ll be utilizing an Uber if you happen to resolve to make use of rideshare.

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And as we talked about within the final part, as you progress away from the massive cities, the best way Uber and Lyft pay their drivers for the longer pickup occasions in additional rural areas make it a lot simpler to seize an Uber — or get a experience in any respect. Right here Uber has a transparent benefit, maybe probably the most clear win in our matchup to this point.

Winner: Uber

Which app is much less controversial?

When disrupting an business, you’re certain to interrupt a couple of eggs, however Uber — and to a lesser diploma, Lyft — has constructed an extended rap sheet of main controversies. We’ll begin with the problems that plague each Uber and Lyft.

The very idea of a peer-to-peer transportation service utterly undermines the taxicab business, which has led licensed taxi drivers to protest each ridesharing app. Uber and Lyft’s security requirements, background checks, under-regulated procedures, and insurance coverage have come below probably the most fireplace.

Surge and Prime Time pricing have been frequent factors of criticism, with the potential for a $20 experience turning into one which prices tons of of . Huge will increase in regular fares aren’t the worst of it, although. Throughout emergency conditions comparable to Hurricane Sandy and a bombing in New York, Uber was slapping surge charges on individuals who have been making an attempt to flee harmful conditions. Lyft isn’t resistant to PR hassle, both. Although the app capped Prime Time will increase at 200%, the corporate lifted the ceiling in 2016, upsetting many customers.

Each firms have since applied controls to make sure that surge pricing makes these $100-plus rides unusual, particularly over brief distances.

uber request ride for loved one 1

Aside from these broader factors of competition, Uber takes the cake for controversy. Listed below are simply a number of the headline-grabbing moments within the app’s historical past:

For the reason that app launched in 2009, Uber has skirted the problem of worker advantages by contemplating its drivers “contractors,” however that line within the sand has led to dozens of lawsuits by drivers who declare they’re entitled to conventional advantages. In the UK, a court docket dominated drivers are in actual fact staff, however the jury remains to be out elsewhere.

There have been a number of accusations by Uber passengers of assaults by drivers through the years. Two impartial lawsuits have been filed by girls who say they have been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers: A girl in Los Angeles accused her driver of kidnapping her, and one San Francisco Uber driver allegedly smashed his passenger’s head with a hammer. The general public and authorities have cited these situations and others throughout requires improved driver background checks. Uber has been compelled to pay tens of millions for deceptive security charges and advertising associated to its “gold customary” of background checks. Whereas Uber does require driver names and Social Safety numbers, it doesn’t use fingerprinting, which might reveal when a driver has been charged with a criminal offense.

Each Uber and Lyft have introduced their selections to finish a controversial coverage concerning sexual assault, by which customers have been required to resolve such circumstances by way of arbitration, fairly than by way of the felony justice system.

Whereas hitching a non-public experience anytime, anyplace could also be handy, it does contribute to one of many best ecological issues of our time: Greenhouse fuel emissions. Lyft accounted for over 375 million rides in 2017 alone, whereas Uber — which operates in quite a few international locations around the globe — reached four billion rides. And whereas the age of Teslas might quickly be upon us, transportation remains to be a large supply of air pollution: A 2016 EPA report labeled the transportation sector as the most important contributor to greenhouse fuel emissions.

In April, Lyft launched a program to offset its carbon emissions, buying carbon credit to steadiness out each ton of carbon the corporate’s rides emit. It’s necessary to notice that carbon credit are a controversial resolution to local weather change; in any case, Lyft’s operations will nonetheless be placing gases into the ambiance, the corporate will merely be paying to maintain different carbon grounded.

Nonetheless, it’s one thing. Should you’re involved about environmental points, you might need to go for Lyft, as Uber has but to announce the same program.

Winner: Lyft

Total winner: Lyft

Whereas the creator of this story can let you know firsthand as a part-time Uber and Lyft driver that to the driving force there’s not a lot of a distinction — they’re each two sides of the identical grasping coin — to the passenger, Lyft will get the sting.

With Uber, you’ll get general extra dependable service, however for a very powerful components — worth and expertise — Lyft is certainly the higher alternative. However they’re pretty shut — it actually comes right down to the place you reside. Usually although, Lyft can be higher in cities, with Uber your finest wager within the rural areas.

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