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A month ago I wrote about ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft. If you aren’t familiar with Lyft yet, it is very similar to Uber in that it is a mobile application that connects people in need of rides to drivers. Both are somewhat of a substitute for your standard taxi service.

I have a friend named Cate that used to drive for Uber, and recently made the switch to driving for Lyft. Let’s find out why.

The Interview

When and how did you first hear about the opportunity of driving for Uber?

When it first came to Charleston, SC (where I live) last July is when I heard about it and started driving. 

What prompted you to start driving for Uber?

The flexible hours and relatively high pay were enticing.

When and how did you first hear about Lyft?

I heard about Lyft from an out-of-town Uber passenger who asked me if we had it here, too.

What was the tipping point for you with Uber when you decided to transition to Lyft?

It was really the customer service, or lack thereof, at Uber that prompted me to switch over to Lyft. Plus, they kept on lowering the fares to a point where it wasn’t worth driving. And they showed no signs of intentions to raise them again.

What are the largest differences you can already see between driving for Lyft versus Uber?

The customer service is on point with Lyft, much more so than Uber. Uber was always replying with pre-written and obviously computer generated responses that did not end up pertaining to the question you asked. And there was no phone number you could call to talk to anyone in person.  With Lyft they have local representatives that you can call if you are having problems and they will help you. Also, the employees and riders seem happier in general. 

Have you ridden as a customer in an Uber or Lyft? If so, what was your experience?

I have ridden in both, and from a customer standpoint, they seem very similar. With the exception that Lyft gives you the option to tip via credit card when you get out the car, which is always nice, especially when you have an awesome driver. And Lyft doesn’t surge as much yet because the demand is not as high for Lyft, therefore prices are steadily cheaper than Uber on average. At least in my town (Charleston, SC).

What are the pros and cons to using Lyft vs Uber, from the perspective of a driver?

The only downside of Lyft is that they don’t have the flashing light notification when you get a call like Uber has. So sometimes calls are easier to miss if you aren’t listening to your phone’s music and have the radio on instead. Huge upside of Lyft is that they pay you out when you hit $50 or you can wait until the end of the week. And you get tipped, which Uber tells its riders not to do.

What are the pros and cons to using Lyft vs Uber, from the perspective of a rider? Putting yourself in the perspective of the rider, which rideshare service would prefer to use?
I would prefer Lyft, simply because if you have happier employees, you are more likely to have a better ride. And Lyft seems to be stepping up more in that area than Uber does.
What’s the weirdest/funniest thing that has happened to you driving Uber? Any other anecdotes?
I’ve been invited to two different threesomes with middle aged couples. That was probably the weirdest. One time I got a really drunk girl who couldn’t remember which hotel she was staying in so we had to drive around for forty five minutes until we passed one she recognized. That was at 4am. Lovely.
Any tips on the best way to save money when using Uber or Lyft? 
If any of your friends drive ask them for their promo code. Every driver has one. Build from there.
Any any other comments or points you want to raise that you think would be helpful for readers (for those thinking of driving or riding)?

As a driver, make sure you keep a towel in your car. You never know when that will come in handy. I also invested in a taser for safety purposes, although I’ve never felt like I was in a position to have to use it. Please don’t get pepper spray. That’s a bad idea in a small car space.

As a rider, just be polite and that will get you so far with a driver. Know where you are going, and if it is somewhere obscure, offer faster routes because sometimes we aren’t familiar with all the shortcuts and our GPS isn’t either. It’s a lot easier and safer for someone to direct you in an unfamiliar area than for you have to constantly be referring to your phone.

$50 in Free Lyft Credit

If you haven’t signed up already, sign up through this referral link to receive $50 in free Lyft credit. Feel free to share you promo codes and sign-up links in the comments as well.Screen-Shot-2016-07-29-at-8.40.43-AM-e1469797925160-1

FYI, The terms and conditions say that these ride credits are only valid in the following markets: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Los Angeles; Miami; Nashville; New York City; Orange County; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Tucson; Washington, D.C.

Bottom Line

Personally, and as a rider/customer only, I have had solely positive experiences with both Uber and Lyft. That being said, I don’t use them as consistently as some of you probably do since I live most of the year in Argentina , where Uber just recently arrived to the country (and Lyft doesn’t exist).

But from Cate’s perspective, Lyft does appear to be a better employer. And happy employees are more likely to breed happy customers. Thanks for your time Cate!

If you haven’t checked out my original post on Uber VS. Lyft, What’s Better?, give it a look and share any experience you’ve had with the two ridesharing services in the comments so we can crowdsource a comparison for all MileValue readers.

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