In the recent past, the popularity of taxis has been decreasing remarkably and their place is being taken by rideshare apps.
Learning how to use these apps is a modern skill you need to master.
It is advisable to download a ridesharing app for free in advance instead of waiting until it is dark and cold, and you are stranded somewhere without a ride home.
A new age alternative!
Ridesharing apps have become a popular alternative to the traditional taxi services.
These apps match people looking for a ride with drivers who can take them to their desired destinations.
You just create an account with a specific service through the app, and use it to ask for a pickup from your current location.
Currently, the top rideshare apps are Uber, Sidecar and Lyft.
There are several advantages of these apps, which explain their rising popularity.
Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are known for speed and convenience, making them ideal for travel or even night outs.
However, the popularity of these apps has been a big blow to taxis and taxi companies are not overlooking the situation.
These taxis are going as far as pressuring the local governments to regulate or even ban rideshare services.
It is difficult to definitively declare which rideshare app provides the best transportation service as this is determined by various factors, which are always changing.
Your choice is determined by the city or town you are in, the specific area of the town/city you are moving to and from, the time you’re planning to travel, and the drivers you happen to get.
For this reason, it is important to have information on each of these services.
How do they work?
What choices do they offer?
How intuitively are the choices are presented?
How much information do they offer you about your ride and your driver?
These are all questions we’ll help you to answer before you get started.
This is the oldest and possibly the most popular of the rideshare apps.
Uber was officially launched in 2010 and it now provides rides in more than two hundred cities in the world.
This includes more than a hundred in the United States!
After downloading the Uber app, you set up an account with your mobile phone number, email address, and a password.
This will be followed by a text message from the company for the purposes of confirming your phone number.
After this, you create a profile with your name and set an automated payment method.
They keep it simple.
You can scan your card or manually enter your credit card number, or link your profile with your PayPal account.
Making a ride booking is fast and straightforward.
If you have permitted the app to access your location, it will open with a map for your location and a corresponding address stated at the top.
The map will also show the location of Uber cars close by.
The estimated pickup time is shown by a big black button, and pressing it summons your ride.
After clicking to confirm your pickup location, you can enter your ride destination to obtain a fare estimate.
You get a confirmation screen that your driver is on the way.
This confirmation screen gives their name, their photo and the kind of car they are driving.
Clicking of the driver’s name brings up a screen that allows you to send them a text message or call.
If it’s your first Uber ride you can use a Uber promo code for a free ride.
This is the service whose cars used to have a fuzzy pink mustache on the front and is available in more than sixty cities in the U.S.
(Nowadays it’s a glow-in-the-dark ‘glowstache’).
The Lyft app is very similar to Uber’s in operation, but it comes with a friendly turquoise and pink color scheme.
When registering, you do not require a credit card, as with the other apps, but you will be required to register one for payment.
They go above & beyond…
This service gives you a map highlighting your location and a read aloud of your address.
It also shows animated cars on the move around the roadways close by.
An estimate of how far the closest ride is will also be shown, along with a huge button marked “Request Lyft.”
You can tap on your address to change your pickup point, giving you a list of close by businesses and a field to type in a different address.
After requesting a ride with Lyft, the app will tell you the driver’s name, the kind of car they are driving, as well as their license number.
After arriving at your destination, you see your fare plus the option of adding a tip.
Finally, you get an opportunity to rate the ride and give the reason for your rating.
This app is available in ten cities in the U.S.
Compared to Lyft and Uber, Sidecar often feels more of a “low rent” option.
Creating an account with Sidecar is pretty similar to the other two services.
Enter your name plus your mobile phone number, verify the number by responding to a text message, and provide a credit card for payment.
With Sidecar, you can create your account via Facebook, but certainly you still have to provide a credit card for payment.
When you launch the app, it brings up a map with your current location marked.
There is a notation at the bottom that tells you how far the closest Sidecar is, and the app instantly requires you to enter your destination.
Once you enter your destination, it lists a selection of rides, their fares and ETA to your location.
You can arrange the list by recommended ride or cost, driver ETA, and make your choice accordingly.
Unlike Lyft and Uber, Sidecar allows you to pick the car and/or driver you would like to use.
If you are curious, you can tap on a photo to see a bigger photo of the car, the driver and a statement by the driver, if they have added one.
The speed and convenience of ridesharing services has made them a favorite to many people as compared to taxis.
A better way to get around.
The ability to book up a ride whenever you want one from any location, rather than competing for a cab with other people on the streets, has seen rideshare apps become very popular.
Since these services have multiple levels of service, it is easy to determine one that best suits your needs and budget.
Besides, in today’s tech-obsessed world, people are finding it easy to use the apps.