Calculate your UberPool or Lyft Line Ride with RideGuru

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RideGuru, a fare comparison calculator, just announced that they are now supporting UberPool, Lyft Line, and Ola Share rides! With many of these shared rides costing between 20-40% less than traditional services like Uber X or Lyft, it will be interesting to see how many people choose savings over comfort.

According to this blog post by Uber, in the first two years after releasing UberPool, riders requested more than 250 million UberPool rides and globally 20% of all Uber rides completed are through UberPool. Now that travelers have an easy way to compare the cost of various shared rides with other standard services, we wonder if that number will increase further.

Apart from adding shared rides, RideGuru also added a number of smaller rideshare companies to their site to give users more options when selecting a ride. Many of these smaller rideshare companies also help to fill certain niches like women only, airport rides, or rides specially designed for kids.

To learn more view the full Press Release here.

To view a Text Only Press Release please see below.

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BOSTON, MA, June 25, 2017

RideGuru took on a major expansion, adding more than 50 rideshare companies to their site. RideGuru’s mission has always been to bring transparency to the rideshare market by providing reliable fare estimates for rideshare and taxi companies around the globe.

With the recent boom of smaller, more niche rideshare companies, this transparency is more important than ever. Consumers now have multiple choices for ground transportation travel in almost every city around the world. RideGuru helps to cut through the chaos by bringing a fair and equal voice to the smaller companies.

Lillien Kenyon, the business and operations lead at RideGuru, expands on RideGuru’s mission saying, We have always wanted to create a fair platform for all rideshare companies, big and small. With a few big players dominating the rideshare scene, it can be difficult for some of the smaller companies to be seen, even if they have competitive pricing or fill a unique niche. Through our addition of many of these smaller rideshare services, customers can get an unbiased look at the current marketplace and choose the transportation company that best suits their needs”

Not only is the rideshare market booming with new companies, it is also seeing a shift toward shared rides. Consumers are willing to share rides with strangers if it means a cheaper fare. RideGuru, to accommodate this trend, has added UberPool, Lyft Line, and Ola Share estimates in their Fare Comparison Calculator. With this new addition, users are able to see how much they can save by taking a shared ride over an Uber X or traditional Lyft.

Ippei Takahashi, the CEO/President of Unleashed, LLC, states, “This feature has been one of the biggest asks from our users, as the pricing rules for shared rides are very cryptic and difficult to estimate. While these offerings by Uber and Lyft are still unproven, this can be a very promising option for users to save money.  Are users willing to take longer trips and sacrifice comfort for cheaper fares?  We are thinking yes, but it may be limited to certain demographics.”

Takahashi also adds, “At RideGuru, we strive to be the most reliable and comprehensive resource for people who utilize on-demand ground transportation. Supporting UberPool, Lyft Line, and many of the smaller ‘challengers’ shows our commitment to this mission.”

For a full list of the companies that are currently supported on RideGuru click here.

About RideGuru

RideGuru, a product of Unleashed, LLC, is an all-inclusive rideshare and taxi information source.

RideGuru is not another transportation service, instead, it is a free search engine to help you find the best ride from point A to point B. It scours rates from hundreds of services worldwide to bring you the best deals.

About Unleashed, LLC

Unleashed, LLC is a Boston-based technology company that specializes in creating websites and smartphone applications to provide users with the information they need for daily decisions. The company is best known for creating the popular travel site TaxiFareFinder.com. TaxiFareFinder, released in 2007, is an online resource for all things related to taxis and rideshares. TaxiFareFinder is best recognized for its groundbreaking, location based, taxi and rideshare fare calculators.

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More than One Taxi Company Shows it’s Possible to Compete with Ridesharing’s Big Two

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taxipeople-1Fast Taxi of Albany, NY has just launched a full service transportation app to compete with the outdated taxi system currently in place in Albany, a city where Uber and Lyft are still banned legally.  In just 3 weeks after launch, the company has over 40 vehicles servicing the area and is growing rapidly. Based on popular ridesharing apps, Fast Taxi has taken advantage of all the great features many consumers have become accustomed to, such as:

– Sending pickup address via gps
– Finding closest driver based on users position
– Tracking driver to your location
– Paying with credit card automatically
– Getting transparent fare estimates

You would expect the clear benefits of ridesharing technology to catch on in every city. The politics of how these companies suddenly started competing with local taxi businesses, however, is an entirely different story. One key point to mention is that most ridesharing apps provide no real form of insurance to their riders, and their drivers are not vetted up to the standard the rest of the transportation industry uses. This is where Fast Taxi, a company who intends for the inevitable ridesharing wars to arrive in Albany, has setup core principles and added new standards to put the customer first. Improvements featured in Fast Taxi and not typical of other ridesharing apps include:

– Fully insured rides
– Allowance of cash payments
– No surge fees
– Advanced bookings
– Fair, transparent pricing powered by TaxiFareFinder
– No account needed (web booking only)

The Fast Taxi App has been very well received in Albany and the company is expected to grow it’s operation throughout the entire state of New York in the coming year. You can expect the trend of taxi service styled ridesharing apps to grow rapidly for the unseen future.

Disclaimer: This post is a guest post written by Fast Taxi of Albany, NY

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Ride-Sharing Around the World

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You may already be familiar with Uber, the popular rideshare service in the U.S., but did you know there are many other rideshare companies just like Uber all around the world? Check out these many different rideshare applications to learn more about what services they have to offer and how they may differ from Uber!

 

 

Uber 

In the United States, Uber is the largest player in the rideshare industry, supposedly valued at over $50 Billion! Uber was founded in 2009 in San Francisco, California, and is currently available in hundreds of cities across the world.

The Uber app is available on your smartphone, and its platform connects passengers with available drivers through GPS capabilities, and alerts the passenger what time the vehicle will arrive. All payments for the ride are processed through the app. Uber takes a percentage of the ride fee, while the rest is automatically deposited to the driver.

Uber X is the standard version of the service, however there are also services such as Uber Black and Uber SUV, which provide a higher quality vehicle, and larger vehicle, respectively. Uber Pool is another service that allows riders going in the same direction to share a ride, and split the cost.

Uber drivers are independent contractors of the Uber, and they drive on their own time. Uber drivers are not licensed taxi drivers, however, there is an Uber Taxi service (the uber app hails you a standard taxi) that has been tested in multiple cities. The availability of this feature is dependent on local regulations.

To estimate your Uber ride check out UberFareFinder.com

 

 

Lyft

Lyft is a rideshare service very similar to Uber. Also founded in San Francisco, Lyft is one of Uber’s biggest competitors in the US market. Lyft is not available in as many cities as Uber, but it is still very prevalent around the world.

Lyft is also an on-demand service through a smartphone app, with drivers who are paired with passengers looking for a ride. The payment method is identical to Uber’s. Like Uber, there are different services such as Lyft Plus and Lyft Line. Lyft Plus is a six-passenger ride and Lyft Line is the carpooling service similar to Uber Pool.

There are currently no features on the Lyft app that allow users to request a ride from a licensed cab.

Recently rideshare companies such as Didi Kuaidi, the rideshare giant in China, have been investing in Lyft in order to stand strong against Uber.

To estimate your Uber ride check out LyftFareFinder.com

 

Didi Kuaidi 

In February of 2015, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, two of China’s largest taxi-hailing services, merged to create a world leading smartphone transport service.

Didi Kuaidi is different from US-based services like Uber and Lyft in that it connects different taxi services to passengers looking for a ride. They provide three different ride requests: on-demand, pre-reservation, and airport pickup. When a passenger requests a ride, they can either request an on-demand ride (similar to Uber and Lyft), or book a ride ahead of time. This reservation capability is not available for Uber and Lyft.

 

 

Hailo

In Ireland, Hailo is a smartphone ride-hailing app that works very similar to Didi Kuaidi. Hailo is a taxi-hailing app, different from the private car hires of Uber and Lyft. Nearly all of Dublin’s taxi drivers now use Hailo and similar to Uber, they are only charged if they get a fare request. Drivers of Hailo can also chose to drive at their convenience, as there are no weekly or monthly requirements.

Hailo was launched in Dublin 2 years ago, and it is the most popular service in Ireland. The company charges 12% commission, and the payment process is identical to Uber and Lyft, where you pay by credit card through the mobile app.

Hailo+ or HailoBlack are services also offered to passengers. Hailo+ is for larger vehicle requests, and HailoBlack is the same idea as Uber Black, which gives a more luxury experience than the standard Hailo car.

One of the main differences between Hailo and Uber is that Hailo allows a pre-selected tipping option for customers. With Uber, there is no platform where you can tip your driver. Hailo also allows passengers to pre-book rides, similar to Didi Kuaidi.

 

 

GrabTaxi 

In Singapore, an app called “GrabTaxi” is the main player in the industry, and it is a taxi-hailing app that aims to improve the local taxi markets by introducing a simple and easy way for passengers and drivers to capitalize on matching supply and demand. This mobile app, similar to those discussed previously, relies on technology to match taxi drivers with passengers.

GrabTaxi was founded in June 2012 in Malaysia, and it currently serves 26 cities across six countries in Southeast Asia.

GrabTaxi started out connecting its users with licensed taxis, but it has since expanded to cover Uber-style private cars. They have also introduced a motorbike taxi service in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. The company stated that they currently have 110,000 drivers on their platform with 11 bookings made per second.

 

 

Ola 

Ola is another taxi-hailing app that exists most prominently in India, holding around 60% of the market share of taxi-hailing services there.

Passengers first are prompted to enter their current city and destination, but unlike other apps, it does not automatically pair you with a driver and car. The app then searches available taxis in your area, and provides you with a list of results and prices of different cars from different operators. You are able to view ratings of operators, and then chose which operator you would like based on your preferences.

You can request a ride on-demand, or you can also reserve your ride ahead of time. Ola accepts both cashless and cash payments upon delivery. With Ola, you will not be surprised about the fare you have to pay because all of their pricing is listed on their website.

To estimate your Uber ride check out OlaFareFinder.com

 

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. 


Is It Rideshare, Ride-Hail or Something Else?

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One of the things I’ve struggled with over the past year while covering this industry, is what to call it.  I’m a little biased, seeing as I run a blog for drivers called The Rideshare Guy, but I still stick by that term since I haven’t found anything else that is a better qualifier.  I could have used a more accurate depiction and called myself, ‘The Glorified Taxi App Guy’, but that just didn’t have the same cache.

I often read comments at the bottom of my articles or on Twitter that chastise people for referring to companies like Uber and Lyft as ‘rideshare companies’.  But when I ask them what we should call them instead, my request is often met with silence.  Rideshare probably isn’t the best term to describe what Uber and Lyft do, but there may not be anything better.

The Argument Against Rideshare?

The term rideshare is used most often to describe companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar that connect drivers with passengers.  They aren’t true rideshare in the sense that people are actually sharing rides but it is a holdover from the term, sharing economy.

We still hear the term ‘sharing economy’ thrown around somewhat cavalierly these days, but most of the apps we know and love (Uber, Postmates, Instacart, etc) are anything but sharing.  They often involve a customer in need of a service and an app that can connect them with a person willing to provide that service.  Not much sharing going on there.

But true ridesharing is something you may have done inadvertently in the past in order to take the carpool lane or save some money.  There are companies like CoRide and Carma that are using tech solutions to enable true ridesharing but most people have never heard of those two.

Is It Really Ride-Hail?

In January, The AP Stylebook actually banned the term rideshare and asked reporters and the public to refer to companies like Uber and Lyft as ride-hail or ride-booking services from then on.  Maybe they weren’t aware of Uberpool at the time, but to me, ride-hail might be even more inaccurate than rideshare.

The reason why the word ‘hail’ doesn’t work is because that it is actually the one thing you still can’t do with Uber and Lyft.  The meaning of hail is ‘to call or yell out in order to catch the attention of.’  You may have heard it used in this manner: ‘to hail a cabdriver.’

But in fact, Uber and Lyft drivers actually aren’t allowed to accept street-hails and many have been severely prosecuted for doing so.  The only way passengers can book a ride with Uber is if it’s through the app, meaning taxis are the only ones allowed to accept street hails.

Americans might not know it either but hail is actually used much more commonly in Europe and there is already an app called Hailo that does – you guessed it – lets you electronically hail a ride from a taxi.  So while hail may be appropriate for describing taxis, it is most definitely not the term that should be used to describe Uber and Lyft.  If you’ve ever taken a ride, you know that the service Uber and Lyft provide is very different from the taxi experience.

Uberpool to the Rescue

UberPool may not be as big of a household name as UberX but it is on the same upward trajectory.  Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick has hinted that UberPool is the company’s future and early Uber investor Bill Gurley has basically told us the same thing.

UberPool works by finding two different passengers headed in the same direction and allows them to share a ride.  So two riders and two drivers turns into two riders and only one driver.  We know that most cars on the road are nowhere near full capacity and innovations like UberPool are meant to solve this problem.  But it’s not just people that you could soon be sharing a ride with.

Deliver Me That

The final nail in the coffin for the term ride-hailing is the emergence of popular delivery services like Postmates, Instacart and Washio.  These companies are delivering food, groceries and dry-cleaning respectively.  All are rising stars in the on demand economy and many Uber drivers (including myself) also deliver for Postmates or Washio and vice versa.

So calling someone like myself a ride-hail driver may not be a broad enough term considering that I am delivering people, food and even goods.  Today, a lot of these companies exist and operate independently, but we’re already starting to see companies like Sidecar partner up with Instacart to deliver groceries in Chicago and Uber experimenting with packages and food in LA.

The industry is clearly headed in the direction of efficiency and it’s only a matter of time before I have a bag of dry-cleaning in my trunk, a passenger in the back seat and a Chipotle burrito on the floor.  And at that point, I’ll no longer be a ride-hail or a rideshare driver, I’ll be something else.

 

About Harry Campbell, The RideShare Guy

Hello TFF Readers, my name is Harry Campbell and I run a blog for rideshare drivers called The Rideshare Guy and I also write about the on demand economy for Forbes.  I’ll be sharing articles from time to time on what’s going on in the world of rideshare and what you need to know as a passenger whether you enjoy taxis, rideshare or all of the above!