Uber and Lyft have become so ubiquitous that people might have trouble remembering the time before either app was available in Los Angeles. However, Uber was founded in 2009, and Lyft was founded in 2012. Even though these and other ride-share apps are relatively new phenomena in LA, people have come to rely on these types of services to get to where they want to go at a cheaper price than hailing a taxi.
While there are other ride-sharing apps available, Lyft and Uber dominate the market. The popularity of these apps has led some major car manufacturers and rental companies to partner with Uber or Lyft. While there are exceptions, many people are choosing to use ride-share apps instead of hailing taxis, riding on public transportation, or using their vehicles during their daily commutes in LA. This has resulted in people comparing prices between Uber and Lyft as they try to determine which app offers better prices.
The cost of using ride-share apps widely varies from location to location. However, these apps are much cheaper than taxi services regardless of where you might be located. In addition to comparing prices, you should also understand your rights if you are injured in an accident caused by a Lyft or Uber driver.
Booking rides with Uber vs. Lyft
To book a ride on Uber or Lyft, you must install the app on your smartphone. You will also need to have a good WiFi or cellular connection since the apps rely on location-based data. When you open the app, your location is pinned. If the pin on your location is off, you can make adjustments to it. You can also enter an address if you want to be picked up from somewhere else.
Both apps ask you to enter your desired destination. You can schedule several stops along your route if you wish. After you have entered your destination and stops at different points of interest, the apps will provide you with an estimate of the cost of your ride. When you book a ride, a driver in your area can choose to pick you up. You can then monitor the driver’s progress as he or she drives to your location on a map. The booking process on both Uber and Lyft is largely the same. As long as you have a good internet connection, the process is simple and straightforward.
Paying for your ride
Uber and Lyft require you to store your credit card information in the app. Your ride’s cost and any tip are charged to your card. You will not have to give any cash to the driver or pull out your credit card to pay. After you reach your destination, you can simply get out of the vehicle. You will then be prompted to rate your ride-share driver and tip him or her. Both apps also allow drivers to rate their passengers. Drivers that are rated highly by their passengers are offered more rides. Passengers who are rated poorly by multiple drivers may have trouble finding rides or might be banned from using the apps.
How much do Uber and Lyft cost?
Traveling by Uber or Lyft in Los Angeles costs about half of what it might cost you to take a taxi for a similar trip. The difference in price between choosing a ride-share app versus taking a taxi is the primary reason that Uber and Lyft have been so successful. This is especially true for longer trips in the city or out to LAX. While both apps are cheaper than taking a taxi, there are some differences in what you might pay when you use Uber versus Lyft.
There is not a simple answer to which ride-sharing service is cheaper in the greater Los Angeles area. The cost of your trip will depend on where you are going, how far you are traveling, the time of day you are traveling, and the traffic that you encounter along the way. It will also depend on which service you choose from Uber or Lyft. Uber has a greater variety of different types of rides than Lyft, and some of its upper-end choices cost substantially more.
According to Digital Trends, the costs for UberX and Lyft’s most basic ride services are similar. However, as of March 2020, Uber charged a service fee of $3 for UberX while Lyft charged a service fee of $2.80. The cost per minute of UberX was $0.28 while the cost per minute of Lyft was $0.17, making Lyft cheaper per minute. However, the cost per mile for UberX was $0.87 while the cost per mile for Lyft was $1.07, making UberX cheaper per mile. UberX had a higher minimum charge of $9.67 as compared to the minimum charge of $3.50 for Lyft. Both services had a cancellation fee of $5.
To put these price differences in perspective in Los Angeles, you will pay a higher cost per minute for Uber than for Lyft. If you take a ride in heavy traffic and are forced to sit for a while, taking an UberX will cost you more than taking a Lyft. However, with times when the traffic is lighter, Lyft’s higher cost per mile will mean that you will pay less to take an UberX than a Lyft.
Your destination and the time that you need a ride can also make a difference. For example, people who take daily rides to Beverly Hills have reported securing better prices with Uber around 80% of the time.
To get the best rates, you should look for promotions. Uber and Lyft occasionally offer discounted rates. Another factor to look out for is surge pricing. This happens during peak times when there are not as many available drivers. Surge pricing can greatly increase the cost of your ride and can be very annoying when you don’t expect the higher fares to travel. The fact that both apps give you an estimated fare upfront is helpful. If you are flexible with when you travel, you can wait until the surge pricing is over or walk to an area where it is not in effect. You can also look at an upgraded ride that might not be affected by the surge pricing. Finally, you can look online at a calculator service to compare the costs of your planned trip with Uber, Lyft, or a taxi.
Getting help after a ride-share accident
While ride-share apps have made getting where you need to go much simpler and more convenient, accidents sometimes occur. If you are injured in an accident while you were using a ride-share app in Los Angeles, you may have grounds to file a claim for damages. Lyft and Uber drivers are covered by liability policies of $1 million along with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. To learn about your rights to recover damages following an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat for a free consultation by calling us at 866.966.5240.