Are you more of iPhone or Android person? Tinder or Coffee Meets Bagel? Uber or Lyft? In our technology-filled world, these are the markers that divide us into our respective, self-identifying camps. So let's breakdown the pros and cons of Uber and Lyft and see which ride-sharing app is the best for your lifestyle, your conscious and your wallet in this app inundated world.
Which one is cheaper?
In terms of cost, both UberX and Lyft operate on very similar rates so a basic ride will probably cost you approximately the same amount. At times when cars are in high-demand (a snowstorm, 2 a.m. on a Saturday) both companies increase pricing to what they call "prime time" or "surge pricing." Lyft caps its "prime time" pricing at 200%, which comes out to three times the cost of a normal ride. Uber does not have a cap on its surge pricing and has been known to increase fares by as much as seven or eight times the normal cost. But the company has started capping surge pricing during natural disasters and high-stress scenarios. Both apps also have car-pooling options that function in very similar ways.
Which one is quicker?
In terms of sheer numbers, Lyft is only a fraction of Uber's size and though it is competitive in many major U.S. cities, chances are that at any given time there are probably more Uber drivers available. So if you need a car immediately, you're more likely to get quicker results using Uber. At 9:00 a.m on a weekday in New York's financial district the wait time for both an Uber and Lyft were 1 minute. At 3:30 p.m. an Uber's estimated arrival time was 5 minutes vs. Lyft's 8 minutes. At 5:30 p.m. the estimated arrival time for an Uber was 3 minutes vs. Lyft's 6 minutes. So not huge a difference, but still a difference. In terms of app functionality, both apps are fairly user-friendly but the Uber app makes it slightly easier for users to estimate fares.
Which one is more comfortable
One of the main differences between Lyft and Uber is the actual rider experience. Uber rides are generally more professional. You request your ride, you get in the backseat and your driver may or may not strike up a conversation with you. The Lyft riding experience has more of a "I'm just a friend who's giving you a ride" vibe. With Lyft you're encouraged to sit in the front seat, fist bump your driver and chat away. In all of my Lyft experiences, the drivers have been very talkative and very quick to talk about Lyft and its super chill culture. With its pink mustache logo, Lyft really emphasizes its corporate cool culture whereas Uber markets itself as more of a personal chauffeur service. So really, it's a matter of preference. Are you someone who likes to chat with your hairdresser or do you like to zone out and text on your phone? Chances are if you prefer the former you'll like Lyft better and if you prefer the latter you'll prefer Uber.
Which one is better for my conscious?
Oh Uber, it's the company you love to hate and hate to love. From trying to sabotage Lyft drivers, to proposing the publishing of journalists' personal secrets, to executing surge pricing during the hostage situation in Sydney, the PR Uber has gotten lately has been so bleak that it's hard not to contemplate the moral implications of pressing the "request Uber" button. So is Lyft any better? The company hasn't really empirically proven that its management is better than Uber's, but they haven't been embroiled in nearly as many high-profile controversies. It's also worth noting that when NYMag asked drivers who worked for both Uber and Lyft which one they preferred working for, 9 out of 10 preferred Lyft due to Uber's stringent ratings policies. Additionally, many Uber drivers are complaining that the company offers no tipping feature in its app. With the Lyft app, after each ride the user is prompted to tip their driver with gratuities of $1, $2, $5, or a custom amount.