Got somewhere to be, but no way to get there? Enter ridesharing apps, which crowdsource your commute through your smartphone. Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular ridesharing services, with millions of users worldwide and more signing up each day. Before you pick one over the other, read on to learn their key differences and benefits.
Safety & Accessibility
Lyft and Uber both require their drivers to undergo a vehicle inspection as well as background checks of their criminal and driving history. However, each app has unique features that enhance the safety of both the rider and the driver.
Every Lyft vehicle houses a bright, pill-shaped light called an Amp on its dashboard. The color of the amp changes at pick-up points to match the hue displayed in the app on the rider’s phone, thus ensuring that no one gets in the wrong car by accident. These kind of mix-ups happen more often than you’d think, and they pose a major safety threat to riders.
Uber has a beacon for its drivers much like Lyft’s Amp, but it’s currently only available in select cities. However, the Uber app does have fully-fledged safety features — namely Ride Check, which uses smartphone sensors to detect extended stops and crashes. In the case of such an emergency, the app will launch a safety toolkit with options to call 911 or Uber’s Critical Safety line. The best part? Key details including location, vehicle make and model, and license plate number are automatically sent to the 911 dispatcher.
In addition to preventative and protective safety features, each app has accessibility options for those who need them. Uber offers door-to-door service for the elderly and those with disabilities with UberAssist as well as wheelchair-accessible rides through UberWAV. In the same vein, Lyft’s app has an Access Mode that filters vehicles by wheelchair accessibility.
Vehicle Options & Locational Coverage
The two apps have near-identical choices when it comes to car size and style. Uber has 4-seater cars through UberX, higher-end 4-seater sedans via UberSelect, 6-seater SUVs through UberXL, and larger luxury vehicles via UberBlack. Similarly, Lyft has Lyft XL for 6-seaters, Lyft Lux for high-end vehicles, Lyft Black for black car service, and Lux Black XL for larger black cars.
Lyft and Uber are both available 24/7 in all 50 states. However, they differ in that it may be easier to get an Uber in certain areas. Uber is known for having a higher coverage area than Lyft, with a larger fleet of drivers and a lower average service time. Plus, Lyft is only available in the U.S. and Canada. Uber can be used in over 60 countries and 6 continents including Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Unlike Lyft, Uber boasts services beyond ridesharing. If you’re a traveler and prefer to switch up your modes of transportation, an Uber account can unlock a multitude of options. These include bike-sharing through UberJUMP, water taxi trips via UberBOAT, and motorcycle rides by UberMOTO. A shared air transportation service called UberAIR is even in the works. There’s also UberEATS, the fastest-growing meal delivery service in the country, where drivers bring food directly to your front door. Depending on your needs, the availability of these options could have a considerable impact on your experience.
Rates & Payment
The apps both have a surge pricing model, which increases the trip cost based on the level of demand. Because of this, costs tend to soar during rush hour or after big-ticket events like sports games and concerts. However, both Uber and Lyft prices are relatively steady during non-peak hours with an average charge of a dollar per mile.
Both Uber and Lyft are taking steps to give customers the best possible deal, though. Lyft offers Shared Saver, a budget-friendly feature that gives riders the lowest possible price in exchange for a longer wait time and a drop-off point within walking distance of their final destination. Similarly, Uber has an Express POOL option. It saves riders money by having them walk to a nearby pick-up location and ride with other users.
No matter which app you choose, BestRides can help you find the best price — and protect you in the process. Along with instant ride-sharing pricing, BestRides provides real-time updates to your contacts when you’re traveling to ensure you arrive safely. Ride smart and download it for iOS or Android, free of charge. 🚗📱👍