It took me a long time to get into the whole “Uber” thing. I was always like… why not just take a taxi?
The price wasn’t that much cheaper until recently.
The few times I uber-ed, the main thing I liked was the cashless tipping. The price, all things considered, was equal to a cab (I say/write this in NYC).
Then, they slashed fares.
And, I started going to Dallas a whole lot more, without a car. I grew accustomed to firing up Uber as I walked outside and getting a ride to my condo. Again, with the cashless tipping.
I love the simplicity of the bundled fare. You just get out when you arrive, and you’re on your way. The receipt comes via email seconds after the door closes.
…But now there’s no cashless tipping
You can see where I’m going with this.
Basically, Uber is now “unbundling” their service and encouraging riders to tip their driver as they see fit.
After an Uber ride, you can rate your driver. Conversely, your driver can rate you, too.
Last time I rode with Uber, my driver straight up asked me for a tip.
I always ask, “That’s it?” when a ride is complete. I basically want confirmation I’ve closed all the doors, the ride was ended on the driver’s side, and the transaction has gone through smoothly.
“That’s it… unless you’re feeling generou$$$.”
I reached into my pocket and put a bill into his palm. It was an airport ride after all, and I always tip for airport rides. But I’d never been asked for a tip from an Uber driver. “Thanks,” he said. “Five stars.”
The implication being they’re rating you, too. And you have to buy your rating now.
Lyft is better for the drivers
I’m a chatty fella if the driver wants to be. I usually don’t initiate conversations. I don’t want to distract from the task at hand (especially if traffic is bad). But if the driver wants to chat, I’m all for it.
During my last 20 or so Uber rides, without fail, I’ve asked if the driver also uses Lyft.
100% of drivers I’ve asked use and prefer Lyft to Uber.
In a nutshell, I’ve gathered, Lyft lets the driver keep a higher percentage of the fare. And I guess the payout process is a little simpler for them.
I’ve always used Uber as a matter of popularity. But not any more. Ask your drive next time. I guarantee you they’re using both apps simultaneously.
I live in way-out Brooklyn and haven’t had any trouble hailing a Lyft ride these past few weeks.
Why I’m switching to Lyft
All else being equal, I’m starting to see Lyft as an easier, more convenient alternative to Uber. Especially in New York City.
The biggest reason is because rides during the week are 50% off! This has been an ongoing promotion for a while, and it is a lifesaver.
You can ride 6 times per week and get 50% off, up to $15 each time.
Last week, I rode all the way to Manhattan for ~$16 with the 50% off promotion.
I gave the driver a little cash anyway, and left a little more tip via the app.
In the future, I’ll select Lyft over Uber because:
- Drivers keep more of the fares
- It’s truly cashless. Not tip-less. But at least you can leave it through the app
- Peeps in NYC get 50% off rides during the week
Even when I’m not in NYC any more, I’ll continue to use Lyft for airport rides and when I go out drinking over Uber.
Uber neutered their program by retrogressing to a cash tip policy. I’m not adamantly against tipping, but I want to keep my transactions as smooth and easy as possible.
Getting out of the car and being done is a huge incentive, combined with the points mentioned above, to make the switch to Lyft.
And because I’m me, it must be mentioned: I want my miles and points by charging my rides to a credit card!
- Link: Sign up for Lyft
I’m going to experiment with deleting my Uber app and see how it goes with Lyft for a while.
My feeling is it’ll be the exact same except truly cashless. Which is what I want.
At this point, I can’t see any down sides to this stance. If the driver benefits, and I benefit as a rider (and consumer by saving money), is there a down side at all?
If you sign up with my Lyft link, you’ll get $50 in Lyft credits (and I’ll get $20 in credit for referring you).
Holding companies to their word – and mission – is hugely important. So is voting with your feet and dollars.
For the Uber vs. Lyft debate, it seems Lyft is a win-win for everyone involved.
I must say again, the 50% off deal for New Yorkers is a pretty incredible deal.
At the root of this dilemma, it’s the principle of the matter. It’s not about the tipping. It’s about Uber going back to the system they spent so long trying to tear down.
Well, I like what they created in the meantime. And Lyft seems to be the company that’s upholding their company mission better than they are now.
I’m also fascinated with the digital/remote company culture both companies have created, and how it’s now reverberating and pinging back to them now. Do you prefer one service over the other? Would love to hear your views!
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