Getting a ride from point A to point B used to be a simple process. You either called a taxi to pick you up or if you lived in a metropolitan area you hailed a taxi at a moment’s notice. Now, with the introduction of ridesharing app-based services finding the best transportation choice has become a lot more complicated. Lucky for you, the TaxiFareFinder team has compiled the most extensive rideshare app guide on the web! Whether you need an 11pm ride to a party or mid-morning transportation to a business meeting, we guarantee one of these rideshare services will fit your needs.
Your Rideshare App Guide
You may have noticed the recent uptick of rideshare apps in your home city; with each one a little bit different than the next. Here’s a handy guide on what each company has to offer.
Uber – The Rideshare App with all the Fixings
An on-demand car service that allows users to request a ride through their Android or iPhone app. Once a driver is signaled through the app, it usually takes less than 10 minutes for a car to arrive at your door. During this brief wait period, Uber allows you to track the cars location so you know exactly when to expect its arrival. The app provides a cashless payment process by charging all Uber rides to an on file credit card attached to your account. One thing to note though, sometimes Uber enacts surge pricing during peak travel times, meaning your fare could double, triple, or even cost you up to 7X the normal amount! On the plus side, when surge pricing is in effect you will be notified within the app before you request a ride. This app is rapidly gaining wide spread popularity and now operates in over 40 countries. Uber is also known for the many ride choices they offer, see below for descriptions of each.
Uber X – This is Uber’s budget option. An everyday car with seating for up to 4 people.
Uber XL – A larger version of Uber X. An everyday SUV with seating for up to 6 people.
Uber Black – This is Uber’s original service. A high-end sedan with seating for up to 4 people.
Uber SUV- This is one of Uber’s more expensive (and in most cities, the most expensive) option. A SUV with seating for up to 6 people.
Uber Taxi- This is your typical taxi. Uber has an agreement with some taxi cab companies allowing you to book a typical taxi but pay through the Uber app.
Uber EXEC- This is Uber’s “corporate” ride. A mid-tier car with seating for up to 4 people.
Uber LUX- This option is only available in a few cities and it is Uber’s most expensive option (Mercedes S class, Jaguar, Bentley, 7-Series!). A high-end luxury car with seating for up to four people.
Uber POP- This option is only available in a few cities abroad. It allows any individual to become a part time driver and pick passengers up in their own cars. Uber states this option is even cheaper than uber X!
Lyft – Pink Mustached Cars Driven by “Friends”
An app that enables peer to peer ridesharing by connecting passengers who need a ride with available drivers in the community. Lyft’s tagline is “your friend with a car” as these community drivers use their own personal cars for picking up passengers. Lyft drivers distinguish themselves by placing a fuzzy pink mustache on the front of their vehicle. Lyft operates in major U.S. cities and they claim their prices are 30% lower than typical cab fares. The app also lets you pay via credit card, making Lyft another “cash-less” ride service.
Sidecar – The Choice is Yours App
This app’s differential factor is that the drivers operate with their own personal cars AND set their own fare prices. The price you pay will be what the driver deems reasonable based on the quality of their vehicle, the current demand for vehicles, and any other incentives they want to offer (water, snacks, candy basket, or even in car joke telling)!
Sidecar’s selling point is that the app user can scroll through the different drivers and rides offered in their area and pick the option that best suits their needs and budget. The app will show you the exact car’s make and model plus any extra amenities offered by the driver. Also, you will see the ride price up front so there are never any surprises with sidecar when you get your receipt. Sidecar is available in a few major US cities and due to the competition between drivers, prices for the consumer tend to be low!
Hailo – The App to use when ‘Hail-o’ing a Taxi
Founded in London, this app connects passengers who need a ride with a taxi or licensed car. The Hailo theory is that passengers will be able to get a taxi quicker through the app than by waiting on the sidewalk and taxi drivers will have less down time resulting in a win-win scenario. The fares will vary based on the city and taxi company so it is not easy to predict your fare. Also, this app charges a small service fee for using their app but there is no surge pricing so you should always expect relatively normal fares. Hailo is available in about 20 cities mainly throughout Europe.
CURB – The App Tailored for Dispatchers
CURB, formerly Taxi Magic, is owned by the parent company, RideCharge, Inc. This is another app for hailing existing taxis and for-hire professional drivers. Their local partners (taxi companies and private for hire cars) set the fares, so prices will vary. The app allows you to either pay via credit card or cash. The differentiating factor for this app is that it is tailored for dispatchers. With CURB, dispatchers will continuously be supplied with significant data regarding where their cars are and how many fares their cars have picked up. CURB is currently only available in the United States but they do operate in over 60 cities!
Flywheel – The West Coast Start Up App
This west coast start up app (originally known as Cabulous) is still struggling to gain popularity, drivers, and partners. Currently only operating in San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles, Flywheel connects app users with local taxi drivers (much like CURB and Hailo). Users pay through their phones the standard taxi fare plus a $1 service fee.
TaxiBeat – The European SideCar
The European version of SideCar. Originally founded in Athens, TaxiBeat is now available in NYC, Rio De Janiero, Sao Paulo, Paris, and Mexico City. With TaxiBeat you choose your driver based on your needs. You can choose the nearest vehicle if you are in a hurry, the nicest car if you are trying to impress, or even the language spoken by the driver if you are looking to connect. Each driver creates their own profile and sets their own prices allowing you to choose the best option for you. After your ride, you are prompted to rate your driver and vehicle so future customers know exactly what to expect.
MyTaxi – Hail a Taxi without a Surcharge
Another start up modeled after Hailo. The two main differences are that MyTaxi does not charge a surcharge for hailing a taxi and the app is available not only on iPhone and Android but also on Blackberry and Windows devices. MyTaxi mainly operates in European cities but recently started supporting Washington, DC.
Gett – The App that Favors Frequent Riders
This app operates similar to many others; you tap a button, within minutes your car arrives, and at the end you pay via your credit card stored on the app. The main difference is that Gett has a rewards program for their frequent riders. Gett calls these riders “Gett-Setters” and through using the app they earn points towards free rides and even gain invitations to exclusive Gett events. This app is a popular choice among corporate clients as the app provides a full selection of business ride options. Gett is currently available in 24 cities globally including New York, London, Moscow, St Petersburg, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Looking for a one-stop price-checker to better sort through your options? TaxiFareFinder has released a convenient Uber, Lyft, Taxi Comparison Calculator, RideGuru, to give you the power to discover the least expensive transportation option in your city. Through TaxiFareFinder’s RideGuru tool you can compare options and choose your ride based on price ahead of time. This way, you are always in control and aware of the final cost. Be prepared and get where you need to go!