In recent years Lyft has become a freaking juggernaut in this newly carved market of on demand transportation, but the genesis of this platform, Mark Kalanick of Uber, is a monster of an entirely different caliber. Recent valuations post Uber absolutely slaughtering Lyft, raising money in the $40-60 billion range while Lyft rakes in nearly a tenth of that (literally, a 10th.) A large contributor to the stark difference in usage is customer loyalty.
Uber originally launched in 2009 as UberCab, a taxi hailing service that became wildly popular before converting to it’s new platform, Uber X, where the company now recruits regular civilians with their own personal ride. Having already beat Lyft to the punch in that respect, the similarity in usage fees is water under the bridge.
Uber charges $1.70 base fee, 0.20 cents a minute, $0.90 cents a mile and a $1.20 booking fee. Lyft charges $0.20 cents a minute, $0.90 a mile $1.70 booking fee and a base fare of $1.70. In that respect, the two companies are identical but Lyft has one huge difference, the in-app option to tip.
Since this new ride-sharing platform is a definitive service, tips are definitely called for. On average, Lyft drivers make $20-$35 in tips daily during the work week, and a considerable $50-$70 in tips during the Friday night life and the same goes for Saturdays. So it creates the illusion of costing more than Uber, since there is no option to tip Uber riders through the app, and Uber discourages asking for and accepting tips.
Lyft also has more stringent qualifications to partner with them. The one that truly filters out the majority of prospects is their policy on minor traffic occurrences. Lyft disallows more than 3 minor traffic violations within the past 2 years. This also bottlenecks their amount of potential candidates along with having to have been licensed for at least a year in the state you wish to operate, passing their 20-point vehicle inspection and using a vehicle 10 years old or less. Uber has a different set of rules, not even referencing the driver’s driving history for candidacy. They do not check for driver history, they only require the license be valid and in possession for at least a year. Uber also has a 20-point vehicle inspection and require the vehicle be 10 years old or newer.
At the end of the day, drivers will have an easier time signing up with Uber and getting on the road to earn some quick cash as opposed to Lyft. But, should prospects be cleared for clearance, they have the opportunity to make a significant amount more through tips. It looks like keeping your record clean has it’s payoff in this arena.
As far as being a passenger, there is little difference in the two. You could opt for either one, but it is rather evident that Lyft looks out for their driver’s a bit more. Ethically, perhaps Lyft has the edge, but economically, Uber is the way to go!
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