A couple days ago, I went to San Francisco to visit my friends. And part of the reason was to avoid the cold in Chicago. I’m more like a sunshine and tropical boy. Anyway, the weather and their lifestyle were pretty chill and a little laid back. Going to somewhere warmer is like the best gift ever. But as you all know, California in general doesn’t provide a good public transport system. Unlike Chicago, we have the CTA and Bus, which makes everything much convenient. The five days i spent in San Francisco, i was having doubts on how to travel to one place to another. As the taxi fare is pretty expensive in San Francisco, surprisingly!
As i was thinking to rent a car in San Francisco, Lyft and Uber came to save my life. My friend suggested the Lyft and Uber applications may help me in saving all the taxi’s fare. To an international student like me, Uber and Lyft sound really new to me. As back then in my country, Malaysia, practically everyone owns a car, and people barely call up for a taxi ride. So what exactly are Lyft and Uber?
Basically, it’s a luxury car service, in which you use your smartphone app like Uber and Lyft to book a ride. These smartphone apps are completely free of charge, except the fact that you have to register an account with your credit/debit card. As they charge the ride fare from your card. Unlike the normal taxi, you have to carry cash or sometimes your card with you to pay for the ride. A tip for those of you who wants to visit California or any other states, install both, Uber and Lyft. As you can compare both price and choose which service to use. As sometimes, either both service has discount, or sometimes, they charge you higher at night, especially to Uber. There was once i wanted to take Uber ride back to my hotel, but they told me they are charging extra at night, so i switched to Lyft where they offered cheaper fare compare to Uber. And one thing about these service is that you get a free ride on your first ride of their service. If you install two app, means that you get two free rides. 😀
Uber provides different variety of ride. If you’re going for a budget trip, they have their Uberx which you get to ride on private car to your destination. They hire locals with their car to fetch you to your destination. Based on my personal experience, i was pretty impressed by their service. The drivers were extremely friendly, they treated me as if i was their friend. And i was quite surprised by the car they used to fetch me. Most of the drivers that i got was either in Lexus or Toyota. Compare to the normal taxi vehicles, these are way better, as it’s cleaner and luxurious compare to taxi.
Uber even provides SUV and their signature black car service. Which are more luxury than their Uberx service. They use branded luxurious car, but obviously, they are way expensive compare to the Uberx. But, it’s a good choice when you’re going on a date or an event.
As for Lyft, they provide the same service as Uber. They provide private car service, and somewhat, the drivers were more friendly than Uber. I thought their marketing strategy was pretty cute. As compare to Uber, their black and classy theme. Lyft is more like a casual and young theme. I find it easier to recognise a Lyft car, most of their car has a pink moustache attached in their car. And the drivers will shout their slogan once you get into their car.
To be honest, i think the both services are equivalent good. It’s a cheaper way to get a real taxi, as it’s cheaper than the taxi fare. I think it’s a good way to save money while travelling. After all, we are still students, budget is the way it is.