Probably everybody has already been in such a situation at least once: After a night out searching for a way to get back home, needing a ride to visit friends or relatives, or simply commuting. A car and a driver would be great then. Fortunately there is a great option, that is ride sharing apps. Direct, fast, and also usually cheaper than a private cab through shared costs. Not necessary to mention the advantages for the environment through less emissions because of less cars on the roads.
Let’s have a look at the best ride share apps available. There are apps for on-demand rides, Carpooling, and on-demand taxis that will get you a ride to your desired destination.
The most widely known and used ride sharing app is Uber. According to statista.com, in March 2020 the market share of Uber reached 71%. So from the first Uber ride ever that was across San Francisco in 2010, a lot has happened. Now, Uber is available in many countries all over the world and in more than 260 U.S. cities. Thus compared to other providers, chances are very high that you will get a ride whenever and wherever you need one.
Before making a confirmed reservation you will be displayed an overview of estimated prices by category.
The common categories are:
- UberPool: If you don’t mind traveling with strangers, you can share one cab with other passengers who want to travel along the same route. It is the cheapest car category.
- UberX and UberXL: Cars in this category are newer than from 2006. With UberX up to three persons can travel together and with UberXL you can take the whole squad, up to five, with you.
- Uber Black and Uber Black SUV: A professional driver will come in a luxury new standard car or SUV with leather interior to pick you up.
For Uber also hundreds of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) are on the streets so that everybody can enjoy their service.
It also offers some safety features like shared location and support with one tap in the app which makes it one of the safest ride sharing apps. The negative point though is that it is more costly during peak hours.
In more than 600 U.S. cities you can choose the ride sharing app Lyft to get a ride. With 1.4 million, as per Businesofapps.com, screened and educated drivers you can share rides with others heading in the same direction.
Like with Uber, the price depends on different factors like demand, but you will see a fare estimate before choosing a ride. During busy hours, you may choose to travel for a lower price by waiting until you get matched to the perfect ride with “Wait & Save”.
There are several car options:
- With Lyft you are on a direct route in a car with four seats for yourself.
- Lyft XL offers extra seats for up to six passengers in standard or black SUVs.
- With Lyft Lux you have a top driver, extra legroom, and a black car, black SUV, or other SUV.
- A rare option is Self-Driving: in Las Vegas they perform the first self driving rides.
For your security you can share the current location and trip info and there is a 911 calling button and a Lyft hotline.
As per statista.com, Lyft follows Uber in the market share with 29%. So in fact, there are two giants of ride sharing apps. But you may also give a chance to one of the alternatives in the list of the best ride sharing apps below.
Curb is another ride sharing app in 65 U.S. cities with 50,0000 cabs and 100,000 drivers. All drivers are professional taxi drivers with full licenses and insurance.
In contrast to Uber and Lyft, Curb does not charge surge pricing and might thus be cheaper during busy hours. You can pay in cash or directly from the app. In New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, and Las Vegas the app will even pay taxis you hail with your hand via a matching code.
The app provides a search option for immediate rides to come and pick you up or an option to book for later, up to 24 hours in advance, which will cost you a 2$ fee. In many areas also WAV are available.
This private car service is based in San Francisco and is available in 16 metro areas and at 22 airports. You can hail a ride either when you want to get a cab immediately or when you want to pre-book up to 2 months in advance.
There are price flat rates that make sure that you will always pay the same amount on the same route, irrespective of other factors. And what makes this ride sharing app stand out is the possibility to choose your favourite drivers whose rides will be requested first.
All cars are checked and drivers undergo background checks and interviews. Overall this app can provide you with safe rides from drivers you know and feel good with and thus makes it to one of the safest ride sharing apps.
Via is a ride sharing app that provides a middle course between public transport with fix routes and times and fully individual transportation by car. With a fully dynamic network of vans, but also autonomous and electric vehicles, the app connects a rider to a route of others going the same way very efficiently. You meet your driver at a nearby corner to avoid detours and delays for everybody, so you might need to walk a little distance to reach the meeting point.
Before booking you will see the price for different ride options and the ride gets paid directly through the app. You can also book for up to six persons riding with you. Unfortunately there is no pre-booking option, but Via comes with a Shared Taxi option: Here the app tries to match passengers headed your way to your ride for shared costs of your taxi as per the meter.
The ride sharing app is available in 45 Cities in North America, including New York, Chicago, Washington D.C, but also in 46 more regions all over the globe.
Hitch is another ride sharing app that connects drivers and riders that are heading to the same city. Rides everyone can afford and safer and faster than hitchhiking, promises this carpooling provider. Pick up and drop off is at safe coffee shops or hotels along the route but you have to plan how to get there yourself.
Even though available for major Texas cities only, there it offers great services. You get in a car with other passengers heading in your direction and you can pre-book up to one hour before you want to leave. And Hitch performs a background check on their drivers who have to meet certain requirements. You can even bring your pet in a kennel when traveling in a private cab.
GoCarma is rather a rewarding system for sharing a car than one of the ride sharing apps to find a ride. To date limited to the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex riders can get HOV toll discounts if at least two people are in the car. A Bluetooth device in the car`s glove box will detect how many people using the app are inside. The HOV trips are then reported automatically and no self-declaration is needed.
But not only that, GoCarma provides another great benefit: It qualifies the driver for DFW TEXpress Lanes which can save a lot of time, especially during peak traffic hours. That makes this app to one of the best ride sharing apps.
Tired of waving at taxis that are driving by? With the ride sharing app Flywheel you can e-hail local Taxis whose drivers know the region well for professional, fast, and safe rides. The whole ride gets tracked and with a fingertip in the app the ride can be paid. It is currently available in San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento, and San Diego.
In many areas also flat rates are available. Instead of surge pricing, Flywheel has standard fares and on a voluntary basis the rider can choose to give a higher tip.
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Arro is a ride sharing app that makes it easier than ever to hail any Taxi. The live-map of all taxis around shows all the cars available for you at any time in major cities like Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.
Before choosing to send the request one can see a fare estimate and there is an option to choose a special vehicle, like a WAV or minivan.
Taxis are paid by one of possibly several registered cards through the app, whether hailed through the app or the classical arm waving at the curb by a check-in code.
More great things the ride sharing app offers are that there is no surge pricing, but you can adapt the tip for the trained, educated, and licensed drivers even during the trip, and that reservations up to 48 hours in advance are possible, for a reservation fee of up to 3$.
You can’t decide which of the ride sharing apps above to use? Then you should give a try to Rideguru which is a comparison platform for ride sharing apps. Though it is currently only available for iOS or the web browser and not a ride sharing provider itself it is definitely worth being listed here.
It offers fare comparisons of over 50 supported rideshare companies, including Uber, Lyft, Arro, Curb, taxis, limo networks, and many more.
Like a search engine with several filters, e.g. for advanced booking options or different comfort levels, it helps in finding the perfect ride. Once found, you can hail the desired ride right from the RideGuru app, which lets it stand out in the list of the best ride sharing apps. But you will still need to have the corresponding rideshare app installed on your device to track and pay the ride.
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