One of the services both companies offer is carpooling, which allows a rider to hail an Uber or a Lyft with other riders for a lower cost than a normal ride would be.
As Lyft and Uber try to outdo one another, both offer a wide variety of services for the ever-changing needs of their passengers. But is there really a difference between the budget-friendly carpooling services of the two ridesharing giants?
Today, we’re going to find out.
— amNewYork (@amNewYork) September 28, 2016
Lyft Line vs. UberPool: A Carpooling Comparison
When evaluating the similarities and differences between the two low-cost rideshare options, we need to take a look at a few different factors before making a decision.
The factors we will weigh are:
- Rider Waiting Time
These factors not only affect riders, but also drivers.
Both Lyft Line and UberPool entice riders with low fares, as riders will be sharing the vehicle that picks them up with strangers who are headed in the same direction.
From our initial digging, Lyft Line tends to have a pretty good reputation regarding pricing among riders, while UberPool reviews, however, aren’t so positive when it comes to it.
Lyft Line shows a fixed amount to be paid after the ride, regardless of whether another rider joins in mid-ride or not. UberPool, however, only shows an estimated fare, which can change as the ride progresses.
With UberPool, both passenger and driver know the exact fare only after the trip, which can come as a surprise to the rider. Regular UberPool users even reported that the final amount tends to be more expensive than an UberX ride. Uber notes that this is a rare possibility and that UberPool rides will usually be 20%-70% less than UberX rides.
I see both sides of the spectrum here, but the price is pretty similar to me one way or the other. Since I don’t really care how the fare is calculated, and really only care whether it’s cheaper than other types of rides, I’ll chalk this one up to a tie.
Lyft Line has more positive reviews than UberPool when it comes to routing and navigation. This is because it takes a more direct route than UberPOOL.
Lyft Line will just pick up passengers who are located on the way to the destination of the first rider. With this strategy, the driver is still able to take the best route from point A to point B while also having a chance to pick up another possible rider along the way.
UberPool, however, is reported to have more complex navigational maneuvers.
Drivers may have to drive to a different direction to pick up another passenger who requested an UberPOOL, while the driver is still dropping off another passenger at a different location.
This is perhaps to increase the chances of more riders joining in on a single ride. However, this also means more waiting time for the rider to get to the destination and more effort for the driver to drive passengers around.
Like most drivers, I’ll side with Lyft Line on this one. Lyft’s pickup structure seems to make more sense than Uber’s, and I’m always a fan of direct routes overtaking a longer ride. Lyft Line takes the cake for routing and navigation.
3. Rider Waiting Time
This is where UberPool gets the upper hand.
Uber has a lot more drivers and has much more robust coverage than Lyft. This allows Uber to provide faster rides for passengers requesting and booking.
The algorithm for matching riders and drivers also differs between these ridesharing services. When booking Lyft Line, the rider must wait for about a minute or two while the app searches for another booking that might be going in a similar direction. If no matches are found, the rider will still pay the reduced fare even if they ride alone.
UberPool, on the other hand, immediately matches a rider to a nearby driver as soon as the rider requests service. If a different rider has requested the same UberPool, the driver has to pick up that passenger — even if it means going a different route.
I think, in terms of wait time, Uber and Lyft both play to their own strengths, as touched on above. I like the fact that Uber has a massive network of drivers, but I also like that Lyft charges discount rates, regardless of the number of riders in the vehicle.
These types of consumer-friendly budget carpooling services can save riders tremendous amounts of money, as long as they are willing to share a ride with strangers.
UberPOOL and Lyft Line both have their pros and cons, so it’s really up to the rider to choose which app to request a ride from depending on the situation or the need. Nevertheless, both carpooling services promise a lower fare passengers than regular services.
So, who wins in Lyft Line Vs. UberPool? The answer is really up to you and your personal preference!
Have you tried both Lyft Line and UberPool? Which do you think won the battle of the two? Let us know in the comments section below!