When we talk about ridesharing services, we’re usually referring to Uber and Lyft. These companies are the two biggest players in the market, and they have by far the widest availability to both riders and drivers.
They’re not the only two companies out there, however. In a previous post, we looked at the nine rideshare app options currently on the market. That post included Uber and Lyft, but it also showed that there are seven other services you can use (depending on where you live, of course).
In this post, we want to take a closer look at one of the available alternatives to Uber and Lyft. It’s called Juno, and we’re going to show you what it is, how it works for riders and drivers, and why you might want to use it instead of Uber or Lyft.
Launched in NYC in 2016, Juno is a ridesharing app that aims to provide a better experience for drivers and riders. On the driver side, they charge lower commissions than Uber and Lyft (more on this later). They’re also much more selective about the drivers they choose, only taking former Lyft and Uber drivers who have at least a 4.7 rating.
On the rider side, they believe that the better-paid, more carefully chosen drivers will lead to a better customer experience. They also offer 24/7 support via phone, email, and text messaging to both drivers and riders, which is a notable contrast to the scarce phone support available for Uber and for Lyft.
Besides these differences, Juno aims to provide a familiar experience for those who have ridden with or driven for Uber and Lyft.
So what exactly is it like to take a ride with Juno? The first step is to download the Juno app for either Android or iPhone. Once you’ve done that, you sign up and create an account using your phone number.
Juno will text you a confirmation code, which you then enter to confirm your phone number. After that, you’ll need to enter an email address and password. Be sure the password is something you can remember but is also secure, as you’ll use this to sign into your account. Finally, you need to enter your first and last name. You can optionally add a picture as well. We recommend doing this, as it will make it easier for drivers to find you.
After you’ve created your account, getting a ride is pretty much the same process as for Uber or Lyft. You start by specifying the type of ride you want to use. You have three choices with Juno: Bliss, Lux, and SUV.
Bliss is equivalent to UberX or the regular Lyft service. It’s a nice, clean car, but it won’t be anything fancy. Lux is like UberBLACK or Lyft Lux. It will be a fancier, more luxurious vehicle. SUV would be the equivalent of UberXL or Lyft XL. It will be a larger vehicle that can hold up to six people (Bliss and Lux rides can hold up to four people).
After you’ve chosen your ride type, you’ll need to choose your pickup location. The app can get this automatically using your phone’s location services, but you can also make manual adjustments as necessary. Then, you enter your dropoff location.
After that, you’ll be able to see an estimate of the cost of your ride and the estimated time it will take you to reach your destination.
Juno prices rides using a similar algorithm as Uber or Lyft. There’s a base fare, a minimum fare, and costs based on the time and distance of the ride. There’s also a form of surge pricing, in which prices increase based on demand for rides (Juno calls this “high-demand pricing”).
Juno clearly shows the prices for each ride type within the app. The fares are as follows:
- Base fare: $2.55
- Minimum fare: $8
- Per minute fare: $0.35 (note that this begins to accrue two minutes after your driver arrives)
- Per mile fare: $1.75
- Base fare: $7
- Minimum fare: $15
- Per minute fare: $0.65
- Per mile fare: $3.75
- Base fare: $14
- Minimum fare: $25
- Per minute fare: $0.80
- Per mile fare: $4.50
Assuming you’re satisfied with the estimated fare, you can then request the ride. Your driver will come to your destination and pick you up. While the ride is in progress, you’ll be able to see both your current location and an estimate of the time to reach your final destination.
After the ride is complete, you’ll be able to rate the ride and leave your driver a tip. Tips are optional, but they are a great way to show your appreciation for excellent service. While in-app tipping is available, you’re also welcome to leave a cash tip if you prefer.
How Do You Pay for Juno Rides?
To pay for rides, you can use any major debit or credit card. You also have the option to use Google Pay or Apple Pay, assuming you have them enabled for your mobile device. Juno currently does not include an option to split fares with other passengers within the app.
Where Is Juno Available?
Juno is only available in New York City at the moment. The company claims to have plans to expand to other markets, something that could accelerate with Gett’s acquisition of Juno. The bottom of the company’s page also advertises positions in Portland, Oregon, so it’s possible that the company will expand there next (though this is just speculation).
Does Juno Have an Affiliate Program?
Yes, Juno has an affiliate program for riders. When you refer a friend to Juno and they take their first ride, you’ll both receive 30 percent off all rides for two weeks. This is a bit of a different model than Uber and Lyft (who offer ride credit as opposed to percentage-based discounts). Still, it could be worth it for the discount.
What Kind of Customer Service Does Juno Offer?
If you have any issues with a ride or any questions about Juno, you can get answers in a few ways. The first is to go to the Juno Help Center, which is available in the Juno app (just tap on “Help” in the menu). For other questions, you can contact Juno via email at [email protected] or call or text Juno at (844) 586-6872.
The availability of 24/7 live phone support to riders sets Juno apart from other rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, so there’s no question that it’s a better service in this respect. After all, better customer service means more happy riders.
Juno claims to be a driver-friendly alternative to Uber and Lyft, but is this true? The company’s Help Center states that they have “over 30,000 active drivers in New York City.” This is a significant number, so clearly the company must be doing something right for drivers.
The first thing to know about Juno is that the company is selective, seeking to hire only the best drivers. The application process reflects that. Juno interviews prospective drivers in person to ensure that they’re a good fit for the service.
To start the process, you’ll need to enter an email address, password, phone number, and your first and last name. After that, someone from Juno will get back to you about your interest in the program. Also, be aware that you’ll need to have a TLC license (as with all rideshare drivers who operate in NYC).
Once Juno has approved you, you’ll be able to start accepting rides. The whole process is nearly identical to driving for Uber or Lyft. What’s notable about Juno, then, is that they give drivers a much higher commission than Uber or Lyft. In fact, while Uber and Lyft won’t specify what their commission is for drivers, Juno is quite transparent about it. Their website states that Juno’s commission is 16.65 percent.
In addition to this, they offer something called a “long pickup bonus.” This gives drivers compensation for rides whose pickup destinations take a long time to reach. This is a welcome difference from Uber and Lyft, where the time it takes you to pick up a rider doesn’t factor into what you get paid.
Finally, the Juno app includes a tipping option. Juno drivers keep 100 percent of their tips, and there doesn’t appear to be a limit on the amount riders can leave (as far as we can tell).
Juno Rideshare: Should You Use It?
We hope this post has given you an idea of what the Juno ridesharing company is all about. The company focuses especially on having happy drivers who love to work for the platform. If you’re tired of the lower commissions of Uber and Lyft, then Juno could be a rideshare company worth driving for.
On the rider side, Juno offers fewer advantages compared to other ridesharing apps. The only reason we can see to use it would be to show that you support competition for larger companies like Uber and Lyft.
There’s a chance that Juno has better drivers than Uber and Lyft, but this would only be a compelling reason to switch if you’ve had especially bad experiences with the drivers of either of those companies. If you’re just looking to get a ride, then Juno probably isn’t worth it.
Want to learn more about another alternative to Uber and Lyft? Check out our guide to Via Rideshare.