Help Us to Keep Rideshares Transparent!

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With the release of our new site, RideGuru, the TaxiFareFinder/RideGuru team has become passionate about bringing transparency to the ridesharing community. Rideshares, such as Uber and Lyft, have their benefits but they also can be hampered by a lack of transparency.

Take a look at the video below to see how RideGuru is helping to bring insight into the ridesharing industry and let us know your thoughts below!

Which Transportation Service is Best for you?

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so you need a rideEver wonder which service is best for you? Check out this helpful infographic that might lead you in the right direction! Start at the top and answer the questions to figure it out. Comment what you find!

What is Lyft’s Prime Time Pricing?

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Many rideshare users may be familiar with Uber’s “Surge Pricing” but did you know that Lyft has a similar service, which they call Prime Time Pricing? 

What is Prime Time?

According to Lyft, Prime Time pricing occurs when the demand for Lyft rides is greater than the number of Lyft drivers on the road.

Why does Lyft have Prime Time? 

Similar to Uber’s surge pricing, Prime Time encourages drivers to go out and complete rides when the demand for rides is high. In order to meet the excess demand at certain busy times of the day, Prime Time serves as a way to get more Lyft drivers on the road and getting passengers where they need to go, and in return passengers are charged an additional percentage on top of the original ride price. 

How is it calculated?

At the end of your ride, Prime Time adds a pre-determined percentage of your base ride amount. This is calculated prior to the Trust and Safety fee as well as taxes and airport fees. The specific percent is calculated based on a function of supply and demand (if demand is much higher than supply, the increased percentage will reflect this).

How do you know when it’s Prime Time?

For passengers, on your initial ride request screen the Prime Time notification will appear if the pricing is in effect. It will also indicate the Prime Time percentage, and you have to accept the higher fare before requesting a Lyft ride. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it good for Lyft drivers?

Prime Time pricing allows Lyft drivers to earn more money depending on how/when the Prime Time pricing occurs. On the Lyft App for drivers, a heat map shows that allows riders to see where the demand for rides is the highest.  As pictured below, the shaded areas display where the Prime Time is in effect for drivers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is it different from Uber Surge Pricing?

Prime Time Pricing is very similar to Uber’s Surge Pricing, except Prime Time pricing uses a percentage, whereas Uber Surge Pricing reflects the fare increase by the amount it will be multiplied (i.e. 2X the normal fare). Another difference between the two pricing tactics is that generally, Uber tends to have higher surge rates than Lyft when it gets busy. It is also easier to avoid Prime Time than Surge Pricing because the areas where Prime Time is enacted are usually smaller than the Surge Pricing area.

For more information on Uber Surge Pricing check out our article here: http://www.taxifarefinder.co/newsroom/?p=3775

Felicia is an intern at Unleashed, LLC. She is from upstate NY, and is currently pursuing a Marketing degree at Bentley University. One day she hopes to travel the world and visit every continent.

Over 300 New Cities & Services Supported by TaxiFareFinder!

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As the world becomes a smaller and smaller place, our team at TaxiFareFinder strives to continually grow our site to include every corner of the world to make traveling as easy as possible for as many people as we can! Last week we added over 300 new locations and services to our site to bring our users the most comprehensive taxi and rideshare fare estimator on the web. Not only did we add new cities around the globe, but we also expanded on our rideshare services, adding more UberXL, Lyft Plus, and Uber Black estimates.

Some of the new cities we added include Troy, MI, Fall River, MA, Hoboken, NJ, Centennial, CO, Bethel Park, PA, Pawtucket, RI, Park City, UT, Concord, NC, Kaneohe, HI, Germantown, TN, Beaverton, OR, Bowling Green, OH, Everett, WA, Lafayette, IN, as well as a slew of cities in California, Florida, and Texas.

Is your city or favorite rideshare service not yet supported by TaxiFareFinder? Let us know in the below comments and we will add it to our site as soon as possible!

Lyft Vs Lyft Line

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When Lyft first launched they only offered one simple service, a ride. Users would open the app and tap a big green “Request Lyft” button and, voila, a Lyft car arrived. Now, if you’re currently living in San Francisco or Los Angeles, you might have noticed an additional service called Lyft Line; a new service developed by Lyft to help support their growing user base and demand for alternative ride options.

What’s the difference between Lyft and Lyft Line?

Traditional Lyft

When a rider requests a traditional Lyft car, a driver will be notified via the app and a four door car will arrive at their location within a few minutes. This ride is reserved exclusively for the rider who requested the car and any passengers who might be in their party. The rider will then simply enter their final destination in the app’s GPS or will give their driver proper directions. Once the car has arrived at the destination, the app will charge the rider for the duration of the trip from pickup to drop off.

Lyft Line

Lyft Line is different from the traditional Lyft option as it functions more like a carpool. Riders who request rides through Lyft Line will be riding with other riders, allowing the cost of the ride to be split among all parties. With Lyft Line, riders are required to input their final destination prior to their trips. The app will then pair that rider with a Lyft Line driver who is already traveling along their chosen route. The catch is that there may be other riders in the car when a rider gets picked up, or the driver may stop and pick up additional riders as the trip progresses.

The benefit of Lyft Line is that Lyft claims the prices are up to 60% cheaper than the regular Lyft fares. The idea is simple, riders are splitting the bill with several people, so everyone only has to pay a portion of the overall cost instead of the whole bill.

Have you tried Lyft Line yet? Did your Lyft Line car make many stops along your route to pick others up? Let us know your experiences and opinions below!

 

David Pemberton is a Bay Area writer, currently serving as the Communications Manager for Breeze. Breeze offers a flexible lease option on fuel-efficient Prius cars, specifically for drivers interested in driving for rideshare or on-demand services. Learn more at www.joinbreeze.com.  

Which Service is Cheapest?

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New types of transportation options seem to be popping up daily, each promising to be the cheapest and best way to get around your city. Rideshare services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar are now viable, established options in the majority of larger cities in the United States. To help you determine which rideshare service can actually be your cheapest choice, we used RideGuru to calculate the cost of a consistent 4-5 mile ride in ten major US cities. The infographic below shows the service with the lowest price for the specified distance and the top two runner-up companies. Now you can know how your chosen rideshare service compares and ranks from a price perspective.

Variable factors such as surge pricing, inclement weather, and heavy traffic are not taken into consideration in the graph below. For simplicity, traditional taxis were not included in this comparison.

 

How to Use RideShare Apps (Video)

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New to rideshares? Not sure how to sign up and call one? TaxiFareFinder created this helpful video to show you how to download the app, sign up, and start using rideshares like Uber and Lyft. Happy Traveling!

For more information on rideshares, make sure to check out our helpful Rideshare Guides. (http://www.taxifarefinder.com/rideguru)

How to Take a Rideshare

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Rideshare services like Uber, Lyft, and others are a growing trend and constantly making headlines. However, the concept of rideshare services is still new and unclear for many riders out there. TaxiFareFinder has created a basic, generic explanation of how to take advantage of these new service offerings; our walk-through of how to take a rideshare applies to all services out there, although the app details and interface may differ. Ride on!

  1. Download chosen rideshare app from the app store.
  2. Create an account. Enter your email address, phone number, and credit or debit card information. Be sure to enable location services when the option appears, as this will allow for more accurate GPS capabilities when requesting a ride.
  3. Fill in the details. Once you have completed account creation, you are ready to take your first ride. You will need to set your pickup location; an address will be auto-populated based on your GPS location but double check to make sure that it is accurate. You can input an address manually if it is incorrect. Next, you will need to choose which level of service you want. For most apps, you are able to choose different types of services based on vehicle type, size, and cost. For example, Uber offers several options including: low-cost uberX, larger-vehicle uberXL, and premium Black Car.
  4. Request your ride. Once you submit your request, a nearby driver is notified of your pickup location. A time estimate will be provided and you will be able to watch your driver arrive utilizing their GPS location. All details surrounding your driver and ride will be provided, including: driver photo, contact information, vehicle make, and license plate number.
  5. Enter your end destination. Input the address of your final destination while you wait for your ride to arrive. This will save time and provide a route ahead of time.
  6. Enjoy your ride. Locate your ride and hop in the vehicle. The GPS will provide the driver with a route, but you are able to suggest a better way if you wish to. Once you arrive at your destination, simply exit the vehicle. You do not need to pay the driver or tip; cost will be taken out of your debit or credit card automatically. Expect to receive a receipt via email with a breakdown of the ride, including fare and route explanation.
  7. Rate your experience. You will be prompted to rate your driver after each ride for most rideshare services. If you had a bad experience, you can express this using the star rating system and also by writing a note to the company. Most companies take complaints very seriously and will respond quickly to any negative feedback.

A few notes for those unfamiliar with rideshare apps.

Surge pricing is a term necessary to understand, as this could seriously hurt your wallet. At times of high demand or severe weather conditions, fares are increased to provide an incentive for more drivers to get on the road. The rideshare app will notify you of the surge when you request a ride. The total cost of your ride will be increased by a multiple or a percentage of your total fare, depending on the app. For example, Uber uses multipliers, 2.5x the normal fare, while Lyft uses percentages, 150% of your fare.  You can choose to wait out the time of high demand, when fares return to normal, non-surge pricing, or choose to pay the inflated price.

Ride Cancellations have fees associated unless completed in a defined timeframe. Although it varies from app to app, the cancellation timeframe for most rideshare services is within five minutes of requesting.  If the ride is not cancelled within this timeframe, a fee starting at $5 will be taken directly out of your account on file. However, if the driver gets lost or exceeds the original arrival timeframe, you may also cancel without repercussions.

Cash transactions should never occur when using a rideshare service. It feels strange to not leave a tip, as this has been customary with taxi rides, but never feel pressured to leave a tip. Driver compensation is factored into the fee that is withdrawn directly from your account on file.

A Beginner’s Guide to RideGuru

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Your Rideshare App Guide

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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.

Rideshare-Infographic

 

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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!