Ride-hailing apps have certainly revolutionized how we navigate a city. Whilst between meetings in London recently, it dawned on me that I had minutes to get to my next meeting. It would take longer to walk to the nearest Underground station. Solution? Grab my smartphone, hail a local taxi and arrived in time for my next meeting.
But what are the options for getting from A to B? We’ve found three of the best apps you can use for hailing a taxi or ride to get you to your destination.
The primary option is still Uber. It’s surprisingly hard to flag down a taxi in a major city when you need one. Get stuck in an unknown area and it’s really hard to make the call, describe to a taxi company where you’re located, then wait a (long) time for them to arrive.
When Uber was launched, the rules changed. A private driver-on-demand service it is remarkably simple to use and is much cheaper than a regulated taxi. Once you’ve downloaded the app, sign up with a credit card (and if you can find a referral from a friend you receive a $20 credit towards your first ride) and you’re ready to find your ride. Uber is still king as it exists pretty much everywhere, has the most cars and offers a number of options for getting you to your destination.
A credible alternative is Lyft. It was Lyft who introduced tipping and has long been known to pay drivers more than their rivals and also enables you to round up your ride cost and donate to charity. To make signing up easier, use your Facebook account and pay securely using PayPal rather than your credit card.
Additionally, on sign up, you will receive credit towards your first 10 rides. When you open up the app you’re instantly placed at your location where Lyft shows you where the nearest cars are located. You can instantly set your pickup location and pick what kind of ride you want. Standard Lyft, Plus for larger vehicles, Premier for high-end vehicles, Lux for a black car experience of Lux SUV for a large luxury car experience. Lyft is starting to compete with Uber in most cities and is a really viable competitor.
With all the furor surrounding Uber recently, it’s understandable you might prefer to hire a licensed taxi with a fully-vetted driver.
One option is provided by a company from Israel -- Gett. Gett’s biggest draw is that they use officially licensed local taxis (black cabs in London, yellow cabs in New York), so you know each car is fully authorized, the driver is vetted by the authorities and you won’t be asked for additional payments on top of the fare.
Similarly to other ride-hailing apps, open up Gett and you’re faced with a map and drivers which are close by and ready to pick you up. You can either set your destination or tell the driver when you’re in the car. Gett allows only approved drivers on the road. Gett also enables you to set your pickup time for the future, so if you have to be somewhere at a specific time you can pre-order the ride before. The app also has fixed travel rates for rides to and from the airport. While you get to ride with professional drivers who are fully background checked, its availability is sparse, while 100 cities seem like a huge number, it really isn’t. In the US they only operate out of New York as Juno.