How have I been blogging for months now but haven’t reviewed Uber and Lyft, two of my very favorite services?? If you’re living under a rock (or outside of a city), Uber and Lyft are ride-sharing services. Both have been in Baltimore for about 6 months (Lyft) to over a year (Uber). Here’s a little break down of the pros and cons of each (plus a $20 promo code for Uber!).
- You get a fancy black car or a SUV if you need a little more space. Nothing says riding in style like a black sedan, folks.
- You can enter your destination and Uber will provide an estimated fare, eliminating the guessing game.
- It’s on demand and you can watch where your requested car is on the map.
- UberX is on the scene in Baltimore. The cars aren’t quite as a nice (maybe a Honda Accord vs. a Lincoln), but the drivers are just as professional. It’s the least-expensive Uber options. (Uber claims that it’s 18% cheaper than a taxi.)
- Your credit card is pre-loaded, so you just exit the car. Gratuity is already included. (You can select the percent that you tip via your profile.)
- You can rate your driver after the ride, and see driver ratings prior to riding.
- Drivers usually have water on hand and sometimes snacks, too.
- Uber give you money to sign up AND when you refer others. For the next two weeks, use my referral (code: uberRLBeck) and DOUBLE the normal $10 credit. Get your friends to sign up with your code and get credits, too.
- Uber sedans and SUVs are usually more expensive than cabs or Lyft.
- Prices and availability change based on demand. For example, I got a sedan the other night after 12am and the cost was 1.25x the normal cost.
- I can’t schedule an Uber ride in advance. I travel to New York occasionally for work and like to have my transportation to the train station lined up the night before. Uber is on demand, so you can’t pre-set when you want a ride.
- Lyft is the new guy in town and just launched in Baltimore in October, so they’re eager to compete with Uber. (You may still be able to use code SOUTHBMORE for $20 off your first ride.)
- Drivers tend to be very friendly, greeting you with a fist bump. (Don’t forget the fist bump, rookie!)
- Cost is definitely lower than taxis and Uber. Steve and I went from Riverside to Mt. Vernon for $7. (We added $3 tip.)
- You can add as much gratuity as you’d like at the end and then rate your driver. One driver had the new Eminem CD playing, so she automatically got a five-star review.
- Drivers tend to carry laptops, phone chargers, water, and snacks!
- As you can see from the map above, the coverage area is limited. You can’t go much north of Roland Park, so sorry county folks.
- UPDATED: Lyft is offering $25 to first-time riders and $25 to the referrer! (It’s like they heard me … ) Click here to snag your $25. No referral service. This is a biggie for me because I love to tell everyone when I find something that I like. It’s a bummer that there’s nothing for referring others. Good karma, I guess?
- Like Uber, there’s no advanced scheduling.
- Drivers aren’t as professional as Uber, so the quality of driver can vary. (I’ve never had a less-than-awesome driver, though.)
- Depending on how you feel about it, the giant pink mustaches on the front of the cars can be a con. If you’re headed to a business meeting across town, it may not be the best option.
So, which one wins for me? It’s a tough call. I tend to prefer the service that Uber provides at the price of Lyft. I find myself using Uber more often, but have used Lyft quite a bit, too. If I’m going farther, I definitely Lyft because the cost is almost always less. I recommend trying both to see which is the best ride for you!