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Ridesharing Basics

Ridesharing Basics

Sometimes it is more convenient and safer to leave the traffic and driving headaches to someone else. This is the exact thought that grew into Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc., the two preeminent transportation-service companies. With both companies racing to the finish line, both filed initial public offering (IPO) documentation on the same day. And, while these two transportation services might seem interchangeable, there are definitely differences between them.

What is Ridesharing?

Ridesharing is a type of service that arranges short notice one-way transportation. Uber and Lyft are the two largest ridesharing companies.

Ridesharing utilizes mobile smartphone technology or "apps" for connecting passengers to drivers. Rather than calling a cab or hailing it from the curb, you download an app on your smartphone that allows you to request a ride. The apps enable you to obtain price quotes on trips, pay the fee using your saved credit or debit card information, and track the location of your driver.

To use the ridesharing program, you will require:

  • Your smartphone
  • A Paypal account or debit or credit card
  • The Lyft or Uber app that you download to your phone. Both are available for Android and iOS

Uber and Lyft, What's The Difference?

The two biggest transportation network services have several differences, including:

  1. Operation and Cost

    Lyft operates in Canada and the U.S. They set certain requirements on driver vehicles and have a few different levels or categories of service. The Lyft dashboard emblem and smartphone app notify you of your driver's arrival and provide you an estimated cost in advance of booking a ride.

    Uber not only serves Canada and the U.S., but they also provide services in various cities around the world, including:

    • South and Central America
    • European Union
    • Asia
    • Africa
    • New Zealand
    • Australia

    There are also vehicle requirements that Uber sets, and they list a few different categories or services. You will also obtain an estimated cost in advance through the Uber app.

  2. Names

    Lyft calls its shared-ride service "shared," while Uber calls theirs "Pool." Also, Uber's standard ride option is referred to as "UberX," while Lyft's is simply-named "Lyft."

    Shared-ride services allow you to ride at a reduced cost, with the trade-off being that other riders might be picked up and dropped off by your vehicle during your ride.
  3. Wheelchair Accessibility

    A significant difference is that although both transportation services can equip their vehicles with car seats, only Uber provides you the opportunity to order a wheelchair-accessible ride.

Benefits of Ridesharing

There are several benefits of ridesharing, including:

  1. Alternative Transportation

    Through technology, you now have alternative transportation available, meaning you can get to wherever you need to go easily and conveniently. If you do not have the money or need to buy a vehicle, you would be forced to travel by train, bus, or taxi to go to work, school, or go shopping. Frequently, people are hindered by convenience and cost. Ridesharing provides a service that's both cost-effective and convenient.
  2. Environmentally-Friendly

    It is no secret that vehicles can cause a lot of harm to the environment. This environmental damage can also take a toll on your health, causing a variety of ailments that range from minor headaches to birth defects to cancer. They produce tons of chemicals and toxic pollutants that lead to:

    • Acid rain
    • Greenhouse emissions
    • Significant air and water pollution
    • Climate change

    The ridesharing concept offers an excellent opportunity for improving the present ecological situation. As the number of vehicles on our roads increases, so does the level of carbon emissions and other pollutants.

    Ridesharing reduces the use of vehicles and vehicle congestion. They allow individuals to avoid buying a vehicle, which results in a reduction in the number of vehicles on the roads. The Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley conducted a study that showed an average of nine to 13 fewer vehicles on the road for each vehicle-sharing vehicle in use.

  3. Ease of Getting a Ride

    With ridesharing, you simply use the app to locate a ride near you. Once you have entered your destination, a driver will show up quickly; sometimes in minutes.
  4. Cost-Effective

    If you have ever hailed a cab and got stuck in traffic, you know the awful feeling of watching the ticking meter. It is much cheaper to use ridesharing than taking a taxi because you can have more than one person share the ride with you as well as the cost.


Ridesharing can help you save both money and time. It has also helped other individuals make money. And, there are more ridesharing apps than Lyft and Uber, which opens the market up to more opportunities and better prices.