Thursday, May 12, 2016

LYFT, Uber or cab?

I took my first LYFT ride in Chicago a few days ago. I had used Uber before and enjoyed the convenience and the experience. While in Chicago, I had also used cabs. My trips were short, a mile or two at most. While waiting for a LYFT, I turned down several cabs. Chicago is a saturated environment. 

Cities like Chicago regulate cab rides. Each cab I used had the cab number posted on a placard inside the passenger compartment. It read, "This is ca no. 1234. All compliments or complaints should be directed to the Dept. of Consumer Services 14-hour hotline. Call 311." I don't see anything like this in Lyft. My only options are a one star rating or emails to corporate headquarters. Are my rights protected? It makes me wonder.

I don't notice much incentive from a cost perspective. Both times I used LYFT, I paid a 75% surcharge. The rides, with tips, cost about the same be it taxi or LYFT. 

My first ride’s fare was for $13,51. It broke down like this:

  • Ride (1.02 m, 5m 14s), $3.66
  • Prime Time + 75%, $2.25
  • Trust & Service Fee, $1.60
  • Surcharge, $.50
  • Tip, $5.00 (I gave the driver a big tip because he spent a few minutes explaining how LYFT worked from his perspective.)

Without the large tip, my fair would have cost about $9.56. A cab fair would have cost $8.91 plus tip. Why is LYFT better? Because I save $.50?