Here’s a comprehensive evaluation of the two offerings that will help you select your cross-to app for hitching rides.
Uber and Lyft currently made clean that they’re inside the journey-hailing commercial enterprise for the long haul. Shortly after Lyft went public with masses of fanfare closing month, Uber shared its plans for its very own initial public presenting.
So now feels just like the proper time to invite: Is one of the apps definitively advanced for hitching rides?
While both services appearance equal, there are important differences. Uber is richer in capabilities and available in more towns. Yet Lyft is more obvious in its receipts approximately the details of a ride, which could assist consumers recognize while fees increase; Uber’s opaque receipts may want to leave humans at a loss for words.
I even have used Uber and Lyft to affix loads of rides over the last seven years. To take a better look, I made them my only mode of transportation for the final week, using the apps to get around town whilst evaluating their capabilities, rewards applications, pricing systems, reputations and availability.
In the end, I concluded that Uber had a facet, though the nice app for you will rely in large part on in which you stay and the way regularly you want rides. Here’s a rundown of how the apps compare.
Those special functions
Uber and Lyft are, for the maximum part, neck, and neck in phrases in their center features.
To summon an automobile, you tap the app to your cellphone and enter a vacation spot and pickup region. Then you pick out the form of vehicle you want: financial system, luxurious or large motors with extra seats like S.U.V.S. To streamline requests, each apps permit you to store often used locations, like your property or office.
They both also permit you to upload multiple drop-off factors in case you are sharing a vehicle with a couple of friends. And to decrease fees, each apps permit you to hail a car to percentage with a stranger who’s going someplace along your course: Uber calls its characteristic UberPool, and Lyft calls it a Shared experience.
When a journey is entire, charge takes place via the app, and you get an emailed receipt documenting the route.
But that’s in which the similarities end. Here are the super variations:
Uber consists of a button to will let you break up the price of the fare with a couple of riders, that’s reachable when you’re out with a set. Lyft discontinued its fare-splitting function last yr and said it planned to launch an improved model this yr.
In addition to UberPool, Uber includes a car-sharing function known as Express Pool, wherein you agree to walk a short distance out of your real region, like to a avenue nook, and be dropped off someplace close to your destination. In different phrases, you shop money by way of taking walks a chunk to make the path greater green for the motive force. Lyft is presently trying out a similar function in three towns. (This isn’t a game-changing function: In my exams, Uber’s Express Pool choice changed into not to be had in lots of places.)
Most crucial, Uber shall we humans request wheelchair-accessible vehicles in approximately 15 of its top towns. In my assessments in San Francisco, wheelchair-reachable automobiles have been available in lots of regions. Lyft, which declined to comment for this column, has a very confined wheelchair-accessibility program; I wasn’t capable of summoning one right here.
The verdict: In terms of experience-summoning functions, Uber wins arms down. Its broader wheelchair-accessibility function is similar to the option supplied by way of traditional taxicabs. And Lyft’s lack of fare splitting makes Uber the app of preference for institution outings.
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How dynamic pricing works
Fundamentally, Uber and Lyft fee more or less the same charges: Riders pay a fare based on the length and distance of a trip. It’s while the businesses enhance charges that matters get more complicated.
When no longer enough cars are to be had in an area with a high call for, each business uses a system called dynamic pricing, which scales up costs according to deliver and demand. So if you’re outdoor a famous museum and dozens of others are looking to summon vehicles, Uber and Lyft will increase expenses to nudge extra drivers to come back to the place. Uber calls its exercise surge pricing, and Lyft’s version is categorized by Prime Time.
In the beyond, while Uber fares “surged,” the app confirmed a multiplier — as an example, 3X, which means the fare turned into triple the normal value. When costs surge now, Uber does no longer display a multiplier and as a substitute price most effective the better fee up front. Lyft marks up its Prime Time pricing with a percent: If the rate is 50 percent, a fare that would normally be $10 costs $15.
The verdict: Lyft wins, in part for greater transparency. Its receipts getaway information just like the length of the journey and the gap traveled, which allows riders better apprehend standard prices. In its receipts, Uber does not show the period and length of the trip; it shows a fair rate. The vagueness could make matters greater difficult, especially whilst fees are higher due to sudden occasions like heavy traffic.
In addition, because Uber is usually extra famous in maximum cities, in my revel in its surge markup is frequently substantially higher than Lyft’s, that means riders are generally better off summoning a Lyft whilst cars are in high demand.
Uber declined to comment, citing a quiet length before its I.P.O.
Rewards and loyalty applications
Like airlines that reward unswerving clients, Uber and Lyft provide a few sweets to frequent riders.
Uber gives a tiered rewards system. For maximum rides, you earn two factors for each dollar spent, and the points help you climb in the direction of better statuses with unique perks. At 2,500 points, as an example, you attain platinum popularity, which gives you priority get admission to to drivers at airports, amongst different matters.
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Uber also gives Uber Cash, a software that gives reductions to those who buy credit that can be implemented towards rides. So if you buy $one hundred of credits, Uber will provide you with $a hundred and five in Uber Cash, correctly a five percent discount.
Lyft’s rewards program is restricted. Last year, it began a program for people who installation business profiles, a tool that made it easier for riders to expense Lyft rides to their businesses. For each five enterprise rides that humans took, they were given $five in private experience credit.
Late ultimate year, Lyft said it would expand its rewards program so that all rides accrued factors that would earn perks, like savings on destiny rides or enhancements to fancier vehicles. But to this point, the function is to be had in only some towns, and Lyft clients can join this system simplest once they obtain an invite thru email or the app.
The verdict: Frequent riders will advantage more from Uber’s rewards program, that is extra comprehensive and compelling.
What about reputation?
If you are the conscientious form of the patron, check the corporations’ histories.
In 2017, Uber changed into mired in scandal after scandal. Among them: A former employee special a rampant tradition of sexual harassment; the organization changed into revealed to have used a mystery software to pick out cops and avoid sting operations; and it disclosed that hackers had stolen information from 57 million driver and person debts and kept the breach secret for more than a year. Uber’s former leader executive, Travis Kalanick, was forced to surrender.
Lyft has a cleanser song record. Last yr, The Information pronounced that some Lyft employees had improperly won get admission to to user records, which include rides taken by their romantic companions and excessive-profile executives like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The organization investigated the allegations and added regulations to employee get admission to to information.
The verdict: Though neither corporation is innocent, Lyft wins with the aid of a protracted shot.
Where Uber and Lyft are available
Uber has an advantage due to its broad availability worldwide. The agency, which has operations in 63 international locations, is a behemoth in comparison with Lyft, that’s available in just the USA and Canada.
The backside line: In phrases of features, reward applications and availability, Uber has an edge over Lyft.
Even in case you opt for Lyft for your homeland for moral motives, it is able to be sensible to keep the Uber app on your cellphone if you journey someplace like London, Paris or Tokyo.
Or you could attempt to hail a vintage-faculty taxicab anyplace you tour, assuming you can locate one.