Squaring Up the Most Popular Car Transportation Services
By: Maxwell Velikodny
Transportation is a necessity in these modern times. Whether it is taking the subway to work, riding a bike to school, or driving a car to the supermarket, we rely on different modes of transportation daily.
For decades, the taxi ride-hailing industry has been one of the most used transportation services, aside from subways, airplanes, and personal vehicles. Recently, however, the ride-hailing industry has been challenged by fierce competitors, especially Uber and Lyft.
Uber and Lyft are relatively new companies. Uber was founded in March 2009 by Travis Kalanick, and Garrett Camp and Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer.
Both companies offer ride-sharing services where consumers can order rides online or via mobile apps. Additionally, prices are also somewhat similar for both companies, depending on the services that are requested.
Uber and Lyft are different, however. They wish to be distinct from one another to attract more consumers to their services.
Currently, Uber has a geographic advantage over Lyft. “Uber offers service in 58 countries and over 300 cities across the globe. In contrast, Lyft only offers rides in the U.S. (46 states) and Canada,” according to The Street.
Since Uber has a wide array of consumers around the world, the company’s profits and earnings come ahead of Lyft. Although both companies offer 24/7 ride-sharing services, Lyft has fewer drivers and vehicles.
As a result, waiting for a ride takes longer using Lyft compared with Uber because there are fewer drivers and vehicles. The Street reports that Uber has more drivers, a more significant coverage area, and a larger presence in U.S cities.
Uber and Lyft are expanding their reservation options. The Street reported that Lyft is allowing riders to create a reservation up to seven days in advance in some cities, meanwhile Uber enables its riders to make reservations up to 30 days in advance in most U.S. metropolitan areas.
Both Uber and Lyft have a wide array of services that make them unique and useful to consumers.
Uber has UberX which is essentially a ride for up to four customers. Another function is UberPOOL, which lets passengers ‘pool’ and share the price of the trip.
UberWAV is a service that supports disabled ride-sharing consumers that require a wheelchair or scooter.
UberSELECT is for people who want a high-end vehicle with highly ranked Uber drivers for up to four people. Last but not least, is the UberTAXI which allows consumers to call a cab using the Uber app.
Lyft offers similar services to Uber. However, Lyft does not have a service that accommodates people with physical disabilities and a way to call a taxi.
Recently, Lyft became a public company and created an outrageously high IPO of $72 on the stock market. Although it went up more than 10% the next day, they used the extra money earned from their stock to pay their debts.
This made many shareholders angry, and the stock plummeted to $56. Lyft is currently rebuilding its rapport with its new shareholders.
As for Uber, Uber is a much larger company with more revenue than Lyft, but it is starting its IPO at a much lower price in the mid-fifties.
Uber does not want to make the same mistake Lyft did and anger their shareholders. Instead, Uber wants to create and ensure a positive and trusting relationship with its investors.
Nevertheless, Uber does have its flaws. Many Uber drivers have been sexually assaulting their passengers which is inexcusable.
Uber claims they have taken measures to prevent future incidents by creating more extensive background checks and being more careful with hiring employees.
In conclusion, I am not saying Uber is better than Lyft. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Lyft is merely too new in a growing and competitive market to fairly evaluate. Lyft is still growing and expanding, and holds many opportunities in the future for growth.