The Ride Sharing phenomenon is changing the world at quantum speeds, and the two fastest growing companies are Uber and Lyft. Interestingly, while there are many similarities, there are also some differences, and these differences can heavily impact passengers. On the similarity side, both companies charge about the same, they are competing after all.

The apps are easily downloaded to your cellphone, payment is taken from your credit card, and rides usually arrive within five to ten minutes. Riders get in the cars, which are usually, but not always, Prius’s, they can chat with the driver or not, curl up in the corner and sleep, or whatever. Most drivers, honestly, don’t care about chatting, though it does tend to make their time go faster.

On the differences side there are a couple of items that effect the passenger a little, but the driver more so. First, the pay for Lyft is better. Lyft charges about the same, but they pay their drivers a higher percentage. What this does is make the Lyft driver more polite and caring. Also, Lyft allows, even encourages, tipping. Uber frowns on tipping, even telling their drivers to turn down tips. Ha! That’s like telling somebody in the desert not to drink.

The interesting thing about this matter of tips is that Uber tells the public that tipping is built into their fare. But it’s not. Not even remotely. And especially since Uber has consistently driven the price of rides down. As a driver for both Uber and Lyft I can tell you that these small differences make for huge impact.

One, experienced drivers tend to gravitate to Lyft. this means that they will know the routes around town better, and get the passenger there faster and smoother. Two, tips are incentive. I know one fellow who drives for both Uber and Lyft, and he puts the spare bottles of water away, and the little snacks, whenever he gets a call from Uber. When he drives for Lyft he gets them out again. Three, there is definitely more politeness on the part of the Lyft driver. Simply, he is making a better wage, and therefore has a vested interest in being more polite; he is going to get tips if he is polite, whereas as an Uber driver isn’t going to get tips, so why bother to open the door or offer the free bottle of water?

Image Hosted At MyspaceGensAnd this brings us to an interesting point. Did you know that Lyft passengers are more polite than Uber passengers? There are reasons for this, Uber tells the driver to wait and wait for the slow passenger, Lyft puts in a mild ethic by starting the meter within two minutes of arrival. But the greater reason is that by short changing the Uber driver pay wise, Uber is causing the Uber driver not to care, which will reflect in the ‘caring’ attitude of the passenger.

In conclusion, which ride sharing company you choose to use is up to you. And, if you find that neither Uber nor Lyft suits your desire, there are others out there. They won’t however, be as fast and efficient, at least not in the foreseeable future, as Uber or Lyft.

About the author: Al Case has driven for both Uber and Lyft for over a year. If you are thinking of driving for a ride sharing company, read his book on ‘Uber V Lyft.’

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