This article will help you compare some of those apps to choose the most suitable for your needs
While petrol prices are rising, and public transportation is not always a viable option, many people try to share their travel costs. Modern technologies offer a convenient alternative to risky hitchhiking. Drivers and passengers can now find each other via numerous ride-sharing apps. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks. This article will help you compare some of those apps to choose the most suitable for your needs.
Uber is a global service available in over 600 locations of the world. It is present in both North and South Americas, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Africa, South and East Asia, and the Middle East.
Uber offers flexible transportation options for all population strata. If you wish for a premium ride in a luxury car with a professional driver, you can use UberBlack. If your budget is low, you can chip in with other passengers going in the same direction by UberPool.
However, the most popular is the standard UberX individual ride. It reminds of the comfort of a taxi ride, but the number of available drivers and prices may pleasantly differ. Please, be aware that Uber pricing is based on demand. In busy hours, it may surge. There are also some additional payments for long pick-up rides. Nevertheless, in most cases, it’s cheaper than a taxi.
The app is intuitively easy to navigate. It determines your location automatically so that you don’t have to insert the pick-up address. Customers receive pictures of their car, plus the driver’s photo, and they can track the vehicle’s movement on the map.
You can add a credit card to your Uber account, use PayPal or Android Pay. In some cities, clients can also pay with cash. A payment receipt is sent to your email.
Finally, customers can leave their feedback after the ride, rating the driver’s service.
Once popular, this app and service have received a lot of negative reviews recently. People observe the quality loss of the Lyft drivers’ selection along with some app glitches. Nevertheless, many users still prefer it over Uber.
The service is regionally limited. It is available only in the USA and Canada.
Lyft accepts credit card payments only and it charges customers for no-shows and untimely cancellations automatically. These refunds are made into the Lyft account instead of a bank card.
The Lyft app offers a few convenient unique options. You can add a stopover point to your route in case you need to pick someone up, drop some things off, or just grab a cup of coffee before you arrive at your destination. You can also reschedule your ride for a later time or date in case your plans change. However, many users claim they were not able to do that, or couldn’t find this option in the app. That means the design of the app may be challenging for navigation for some users.
Lyft also offers a possibility to save some money with the LyftLine option. You can share the ride’s cost with other passengers going in the same direction. If you travel with friends, the app allows splitting the payment among a few users.
Similar to Uber, Lyft raises its fees during prime times. However, the top price area is usually much narrower than Uber’s “surging” districts equivalent. Therefore, Lyft users can more easily get to a nearby place where standard fees are in effect.
Once you’ve ordered a ride, you can track the vehicle’s movement. You should also rate your driver after the trip. If you like the service, you can tip the driver in-app with your credit card.
This service is mostly European but also functions in India and Mexico. The total location list includes 22 countries. It differs from the first two apps mentioned, being branded as a carpooling service rather than a taxi analog.
Passengers choose their starting point and destination place on a map and then choose a travel date. After that, they receive access to the list of the trips planned by nearby drivers. They can see the travel routes, estimated price, and check a car and driver’s rating before applying to join the trip. It is then at the driver’s discretion to choose their fellow travelers.
Both sides can contact each other to negotiate the terms of pick-up. Payment can be made in cash directly at the time of the trip, no pre-payments are required. For some countries, there is also an option to transfer payments to the driver’s bank account.
BlaBlaCar is rarely used for short-distance rides within the city limits. Drivers do not gain much of a profit as opposed to taxi drivers. The price is calculated based on distance and petrol prices. Basically, all the travelers just chip in for that. Therefore, it is more common for inter-city or international trips.
Depending on the state and the travel distance, there may be additional service fees. In some countries, passengers have to pay for access to the carpooling service after a free trial period. Membership fees depend on the term of a subscription. For drivers, using the app is normally free of charge.
The app doesn’t provide online tracking for the driver’s movement progress and both sides can cancel the trip if they want to.
Taxify is another European ridesharing service gaining popularity as an alternative to Uber in over 25 countries of the world. However, as yet, it functions only in the capitals and big cities.
The app’s interface is quite similar to Uber and Lyft. The program identifies your location via GPS which is convenient for both sides. It allows you to request a trip quicker and even without knowing your exact address.
It also presents a real-life tracking opportunity for passengers, as well as a card payments option. Receipts are sent to the registered emails.
Clients can earn free rides by sharing their personal codes with friends.
There are also many more discounts and special offers available, at least for now, when this startup is seriously geared up for competing with the giants in the ridesharing market.
Although Grab reminds of the other ride-sharing apps in their functions (tapping the pick-up and destination points on the map; tracking the ride in real-time), it has a range of additional conveniences.
Firstly, the app gives an opportunity to share your location throughout the trip on the most popular social networks. It is good for those who worry about their safety while riding with strangers. It is also a nice way to share your trip details without excessive phone chats which may distract the driver.
The choice of vehicles and ride types ranges from the usual taxi services (GrabTaxi) to individual rides with a person heading in the same direction (GrabCar), or joint trips with a few fellow passengers (GrabShare). You can even request a trip on a motorbike (GrabBike) which increases riding opportunities for both drivers and passengers. It is also more convenient in peak times with a lot of traffic jams. For families with small children, the company provides cars specially equipped with child seats or boosters (GrabFamily).
You can also rent a car via the Grab service as well as order food delivery.
Once you are registered as a Grab user, you can download a separate app GrabFood. Log in to get access to the menus of numerous restaurants and cafes. Make an order, pay with your credit card, and get it delivered by one of the Grab drivers.
Today, Grab is present in 8 countries of Southeast Asia. It surpasses its European and American counterparts in the matter of safety. Besides the usual impersonal support emails, Grab offers its users 24/7 call center help as well as trained emergency response teams. The company also provides some accident insurance coverage, which is not usually the case with other ride-sharing providers.
Grab offers cashless payments by GrabPay where you can add either your bank card or a stored-value wallet. Frequent users enjoy a range of GrabRewards. The reward points can be used for special offers, discounts, redeeming some event tickets, etc.