Imagine a busy New York street. What forms of transportation do you see? Buses, bicycles, busy pedestrians, most are likely to see a sea of yellow cabs. However, recently this image has started to take a different form. Taxis have become a thing of the past and the transportation equivalent that has taken its place are the services known as Uber and Lyft. With these services, people no longer have to waste their time calling a cab service or waiting on a street corner flailing their arms around hoping someone pulls over. With Uber and Lyft, the user creates an account on a smartphone app where the user plugs in their credit card information and immediately has access to nearby drivers.
With both services one can set a pickup based on their location and the user is given the estimated arrival time for a driver to reach that location. With the Uber app you have a choice of four car combinations, three of which have a separate option for a bigger vehicle that can fit more than four people. An added benefit within the uber app is the ability to enter your destination and also get an estimated price range for your trip, whereas Lyft does not have this feature. All of this makes getting a ride an easy process that newcomers can easily understand. As a user of both services, I have found that it is easier to find a nearby Uber driver than a Lyft driver in suburban areas like Marin.
While Uber is easier to navigate for the more inexperienced rider, props must be given to Lyft for striving to be be the best by having a stellar advertising campaign throughout the Bay Area. Lyft attracts customers by having having real people go out and support Lyft by giving out free ride cards and handing out their plush signature “pink mustache. There is something about this personal form of advertising that makes it far more effective than a billboard or ad in a newspaper. For those making their way through San Francisco, Lyft might be the easier option because unlike Uber drivers that have a barely recognizable sticker in the window, a Lyft car is easily recognizable. When looking for the car one will see a lighted pink mustache on the dashboard. This simple feature makes a huge difference in finding your ride faster and not looking around for a generic looking car on a busy street.
When it comes down to which is the best and the safer option, it all depends on personal preference. With both services, safety is a number one priority. The best advice would be to download both apps and always check reviews on who your driver is. Depending on your destination prices may differ and without a price estimate on Lyft one might not know if Uber was a cheaper option. For the more courteous customers, Lyft has a tipping option at the end of a ride. When is comes down to basics, both services provide the same service that will always be far more efficient than a taxi cab.