Today, finding a ride is just a smartphone tap away through a rideshare app like Lyft or Uber. With these types of mobile apps, it is incredibly easy for riders to secure an on-demand ride to get wherever they need to go.
With the growing list of rideshare companies, which do riders and rideshare drivers think is the best rideshare service? To help you pick the right one for you, here are nine of the best apps that will surely give you a lift. Unless otherwise noted, all the apps in this article are available for both iPhone and Android devices.
Rideshare Apps: Which Suits Your Needs?
Let’s take a look at the world of ridesharing by diving headfirst into the list, starting with the most popular.
Uber is one of the biggest names in the ridesharing industry. It is present in hundreds of cities around the world, allowing anyone who has downloaded the app to be picked up quickly and reliably. The app provides driver contact information to its riders and sends an in-app notification when the driver arrives.
Uber permits its customers to choose the type of vehicle they want, with large vehicles (UberXL) and luxury cars (UberBLACK) being some of the most common options beyond the basic UberX service. The app even offers shared rides for passengers who want to save on fares (called UberPOOL).
The Uber app provides tons of features, making it very convenient to use. Here are a few of its features:
The Uber app can provide you an estimated cost of your ride before you make a request.
Simply set up your pickup location, key in your destination, and tap “Fare Quote” and the app will determine the approximate cost established from a distance and expected time. So, you’ll never worry about any unexpected charges on your receipt.
Riding with other people in an Uber is made easy with a feature that allows you to split your fare with other passengers. After your trip begins, tap “Split Fare” from the menu and add all the passengers that want to split the ride. Everyone will pay a minimal amount in the form of a transaction fee, but the fare will be divided equally and charged to every passenger’s credit card.
For added security, the Uber app allows passengers to send an ETA to family and friends, so they know when to expect the passenger.
Sending an ETA is easy. Once a ride has started, the rider can go to the menu within the Uber app and select “Share ETA.” The app will then automatically create a text message with the link to the ride. A rider must then only tap “send” and their ETA will instantly be shared.
Request a Ride for Someone Else
In the effort to win customers, Uber recently added new features that allow customers to apply for a ride for someone else. When a customer opens the app, it will provide an option to let the user pick a friend from their contact list, request a ride to the rider’s final destination, and even pay for the trip. This feature started in June 2017.
Lyft is another big name in the ridesharing industry and the most major competitor against Uber. While Uber is operating worldwide, Lyft conducts business in a large number of U.S. cities. Both Lyft and Uber have similar costs, although they offer different ride credits, premium options, and promotions.
As Uber’s number one competitor, Lyft has it own perks that incorporate a combination of professionalism and fun.
The home screen of the Lyft app is a map that displays a rider’s real-time location, the area of available Lyft cars, and the ability to choose a pickup and drop-off destination. The map also provides the option to choose from different Lyft services. If you’ve ever used Google Maps, then the imagery will look familiar.
Set Your Pickup Point
For riders to select their pickup point on the map, they only drag the pin to the area where the Lyft driver can pick them up, then tap the “Set pickup button.” If the pickup point is the present rider’s location, don’t move the pin. If you want the pin to move back to your current location, just tap the arrow icon located at the lower right corner and the pin will automatically go back to your current location.
Choose Destination and View Upfront Cost
Once riders are done setting a pickup location, an “Add destination” bar will pop out. They’ll then tap the “Add destination” bar and type in the name or the address of the destination.
After a rider sets the destination, the app will then display the upfront cost of the ride. It also allows users to add multiple drop-offs if riders are in a group and plan to get out before the end of the ride.
Like Uber, Lyft has also recently rolled out new app enhancements. In June 2017, Lyft launched an update to its app that allows both passengers and drivers to save time during rides.
The feature leads passengers to more convenient pickup locations. These are intended to accelerate the pickup methods by recommending an area that would assist drivers to avoid constructions areas, one-way streets, and other hindrances that could slow down the ride. The Lyft app will show the total time saved if riders will agree to go by foot to the nearest pickup point.
Drivers who want to fill seats on Zimride can take riders based on passenger’s data, which may include interest, musical preferences, and past feedback. Passengers are allowed to book rides, and a driver is given 24 hours to accept the rider’s request. Once the request is received, Paypal will then bill the passenger.
Zimride offers ridesharing, like many other apps; however, it does so with an emphasis on the following:
The app provides a full refund if the driver fails to show up, which is a significant advantage that may make more users comfortable with prepaying for a ride. The app is also available on Facebook, allowing more ways for users to connect with and share rides.
Trees For Cars is just like many other rideshare apps; it connects drivers and passengers. The only difference? It was created by Leo Grand, a homeless man.
Software engineer Patrick McConlogue provided Grand free coding lessons, and Grand’s first project was to create an app that made ridesharing easier with a goal of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions. How awesome is that?
Wingz only drives you to and from the airport. Riders can schedule in advance, choose the time, know the actual price beforehand, meet the driver online, and even request favorite drivers.
Though Wingz operates in several cities, such as Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, and Sacramento, it is only in Austin, Texas that they offer general ridesharing services in addition to their airport service.
Juno only takes previous Lyft and Uber drivers with 4.7 and above rating. They take a lesser commission from drivers than Uber and tips are also entirely given to drivers. Their drivers are allowed to block riders. Juno even pays drivers more in surge areas, but won’t charge riders anything extra.
The Juno rideshare app is taking up competition with Uber and Lyft. Uber and Lyft allow drivers to rate riders, but Juno does not have that feature. All the driver can do is be unmatched with a rider, meaning she or he won’t be paired again with the same driver.
Gett started operating in international cities and began running in New York City in 2014. Right now, Gett is joining forces with Juno. It hails as the popular reservation service of corporate officials.
Gett offers up to two weeks advance booking and does not have any surge cost. As a ridesharing company, it gives sign-up bonuses for drivers up to $600, has a 10 percent commission cap, and gives the entire tip to drivers.
Flywheel is a simple alternative to its competitors. Flywheel’s drivers are all licensed professionals because their service partners with taxis.
Like Gett, Flywheel does not charge surge pricing, so riders are never surprised with any unexpected charges. This ridesharing company is currently operating in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Seattle with future expected expansion.
Via’s main feature is low flat rates ($3.95 to $5.95) for shared yellow cab rides, instead of basing the cost on how far or long the ride is. Via takes any credit card and pre-tax passenger benefit debit cards. Passengers must buy “Ride Credit” within the app, though, or you can avoid that with a $2 pay-per-ride surcharge.
Find the Rideshare App to Fit Your Needs
Ridesharing apps have become an attractive alternative to using taxi cabs and will undoubtedly continue in an upward trend in both popularity and use. With their continuous expansions, increasing features, and non-stop competition, both riders and drivers are at an incredible advantage. It’s never been easier to get from Point A to Point B.