With the rise of ride-share mobile apps such as Uber and Lyft, it can be difficult to keep track of which app is the best in terms of cost-efficiency and overall service.
A survey of sixty Humber College North students found 37 students preferred Uber over Lyft.
The similarities in promotions and riding options make the apps almost identical which could explain the split choice between Uber and Lyft among most college students.
According to Fatima Reyes, the communications manager at Lyft Canada, the app was founded in 2012. It is available to 95 per cent of the United States and in selected cities in Ontario. The ride options app includes; Lyft, Shared, and Lux. Like Uber, Lyft is the standard ride option, Shared is the carpool option which is the cheapest of the three and Lux is the most expensive option, providing riders with luxury vehicles and more seating space.
Reyes said she does not have a specific number of how many post-secondary students use the app in Toronto but says the app would work well for a student lifestyle. “We are proud to offer students with a reliable, affordable and responsible transportation option for getting to and from classes, jobs and fun. With just a few taps on their phones, riders can request a ride in minutes,” said Reyes.
When asked if Lyft provides any incentives that separate them from their competitors Reyes said the app was the first to include the option of tipping the driver. “For passengers, we hope this means a friendlier experience every time you get in the car,” said Reyes.
Uber was founded in 2009 and according to American business and finance publisher, the Business Insider, as of 2016 Uber operates in 58 countries and is estimated to be worth over $60 million. Uber has twice as many options as Lyft which include; UberX, UberXL, UberSelect, UberPOOL, ExpressPool, UberBlack. Each option has a different price range with ExpressPool being the cheapest and UberBlack being the most expensive.
Graphic design student Alex Nguyen says he prefers Uber because he hasn’t had any problems with the app and has no desire to switch.
“I have tried Lyft, but I feel like it’s not the same. I’m so used to Uber because it’s always been more popular and I’ve never had any problems with it,” said Nguyen.
“I also like that they added the express pool feature because it can be expensive, so I at least have some options.”
For business student Marjorie Ines she says what won her over to Uber is the simplicity of the app. “It’s really simple to use so if I have a bad experience I know where I can complain and I know someone will get back to me.”
Ines said the only bad experience she had is when her driver ignored her request to turn down the music when she had to receive a call during her ride. “They responded quickly to me and I got refunded half of the price of the ride.”
On the other side of debate is marketing student Josh Esporales. He says Lyft is easier for him and says he often gets discounted ride prices “I know Uber gives users discounted prices on rides, but I feel like Lyft does it more often,” said Esporales.
“The more you use it the longer you have the discount for or even sometimes when I don’t use it often, I’ll get an email saying I can use $3 off my next ride.”
Engineering student Shalin Thomas, says she has never tried Uber and began using Lyft on the recommendation of a friend.
“My friend downloaded it for me when her phone died and we needed a ride home,” said Thomas “I only use it for situations like that, so I don’t use it a lot.”
The reasons some students prefer Uber over Lyft seem to be the same reason others prefer Lyft over Uber. Simplicity, affordable prices, and ride options are the deciding factors. Based on this small survey, Uber seems to have the edge, but Lyft is competing successfully at least among students and Humber College and The University of Guelph Humber.