This may be elementary to some, but I have never used Uber or Lyft before. With an opportunity to try out both while my car is in the shop, I thought I’d see which one I like best. The answer is Uber. Uber Uber Uber.
I had done some research in my job-hunting days about which service is better to drive for, and found a lot of folks prefer driving for Lyft, but usually do both, or go back and forth to take advantages of bonuses. Along with the fact that Uber has had some bad press lately, I was all ready to prefer Lyft for my needs. I proceeded to download both apps and enter my preferred credit card.
When it came time to schedule my first ride, I started with Uber. It was a full 30 minutes before I needed to get to my location, so I played around with it a little–adjusted my home address since the location pin was somewhere I didn’t recognize–searched for my destination by name, and it came right up. Since I had more time than I needed, I clicked “schedule a pickup” and chose a time, and then it was just…done. A price was shown and it said someone would come get me and it would cost $12. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that.
I canceled that ride and went online to find a “first ride free” coupon, entered that into my payment information (not where you schedule the ride) then put in my destination again and clicked to “request an Uber.” It then said that a driver was 3 minutes away. I was able to message her easily to tell her not to pull in my steep driveway, and when she got there, she called to say she had arrived.
It was all very easy, she was young and chatty and we had a nice talk about what it’s like to drive for Uber on the way to my destination (in short, lots of crazy people.) I made it to my destination on time, and it was an enjoyable experience.
In my brief research about Lyft, I didn’t see much in the way of free first rides, just an offer to spread out discounts among several rides, getting more money if you spread it thinner. I didn’t copy any before I needed it, and when I was done with my appointment and wanted a Lyft, I used the app without any codes in use. I requested a driver and it looked like one was just a few streets away, so while I waited, I went back to the Uber app to see if there was a way to rate my Uber driver.
When I went back to the Lyft app, my current ride had just…disappeared. I’m not sure what happened, if he canceled the trip, or if I accidentally did. I requested another, but the next closest Lyft driver was several miles away, and no ETA time was shown, just “will arrive soon.” I had a “will arrive soon” message for 30 minutes while I watched his little car icon slowly approach my location.
Finally, he arrived and we took off. This driver was an older retired man, so we talked about his experience with Lyft and his retirement, but he was much quieter than my Uber driver and distracted by the fact that the Lyft app didn’t seem to be working right. We arrived and that was that.
When I requested the Lyft to begin with and pressed the button to estimate the cost of my trip, it said “N/A” and I had thought I was getting a free first ride somehow. But no, I got a bill by email this morning for $8 for my trip.
Both drivers and cars were very nice, much more than satisfactory. I would rate them both highly. But the fact that I had to wait so long for my Lyft, and the lack of information the Lyft app showed me does not make me want to try it again. I didn’t know how long it would take for my driver to arrive and I didn’t know what it was going to cost, and I don’t know what happened to my first driver who was so much closer.
Perhaps the Uber company is going down in PR flames and maybe it’s better to drive for Lyft, but as a passenger, I much prefer Uber and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.