Uber might be the first name you call when asked about inexpensive ridesharing services, but it’s not the only name out there connecting drivers to riders for cheap.
Uber might be the biggest company in the automotive sharing economy, but there’s no reason to give it your money, if you’re not getting quality for it. If you are not on the same page with the company’s strategy, then this article is for.
Good news! You don’t have to use it anymore; there are now tons of alternatives around that’ll be offering better services for less.
All around the world, startups are adopting the company’s strategy to ride sharing.
If you’re finding Uber’s prices too high, can’t find a driver in your area, searching for some cheap (or free) rides with an alternative rideshare service, these apps may just have the ride you need.
Lyft is Uber’s best-known competitor, and is a solid option in many areas. Though it has a smaller stable of drivers than Uber in most places, the service is good, reliable and economical.
This is exactly like Uber. Except the car shows up with a funny pink mustache on the grill, and you sit in the front seat instead of in the back. Quirky! Available in over 60 cities and expanding daily.
Lyft’s rates are usually similar to Uber’s, but Lyft has some distinct upsides. The drivers are paid better and tend to be treated better, so they are often happier. Lyft also has faced fewer controversies as a company.
Many people have both Uber and Lyft on their phones, and use one or the other based on preference and/or availability.
Based in Tallinn, Estonia, but offering cheap lifts throughout the world, Taxify is one of the newest ridesharing services to enter the market, bringing with it innovative ideas too
To try and woo over new clients, it offers deep discounts for the first month of its national launch and smaller discounts (which were still cheaper than Uber) after that.
Ola, India’s most popular ridesharing service, entered limelight in 2015 and has been growing rapidly ever since.
Uber is present in India, but for a more local touch, give OLA a try: its fleet is larger (especially when combined with its subsidiary Taxi For Sure), covers more ground (1oo+ cities, compared to 20 for Uber), and its budget pricing can’t be matched.
Plying through Indian motorways is a daunting task due to the massive traffic. Whether it exhausts you or leaves you with a mark(s), sitting in the back of a car flying through the streets of Mumbai will most probably be one of the most memorable experiences of your trip.
Brazil-born EasyTaxi has rapidly become one of the most popular cab-hailing apps in Latin America, and is quickly growing beyond the Atlantic. As one of the first transportation apps in many of its markets, the company often helped pave the way for Uber.
Established in over 35 countries, including Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, the app works in over 480+ locations. Focused on safety, EasyTaxi trains and screens each of its drivers, and allows users to share their ride details to be tracked by someone they trust.
Paying is also easier than the competition, allowing the use of both cash and credit cards through the app.
DiDi, a ridesharing app specializing in commutes throughout China.
With over 1.5 million registered taxi drivers and 300 million users in China, DiDi is the largest taxi hailing service in the country covering hundreds of cities, with drivers numbering in the millions; Didi is often called the “Uber of China.”
Present in 400 cities around the country, Didi offers not only cab-hailing services, but also carpooling, personal drivers, and cars suited for riders with disabilities.
DiDi lets you order taxis and private cars or hitch a ride with drivers on a similar route to you. In addition to hailing cars, you can use the service to set up a carpool, hire a designated driver, or find a car tailored to people with disabilities. After a long, fierce price war between the two companies, Uber China recently decided to sell itself to Didi.
For the first month, DiDi is offering 50% off fares. It also has a generous $20 referral fee for anyone who shares the app.
France is one of the countries where Uber is simply unavailable, after legislators banned it in 2015. There are several cab-hailing apps in the country, though, with LeCab being one of the frontrunners.
LeCab boasts over 70,000 users, with an ever-growing fleet of French-made Peugeot 508’s. The app offers several interesting features, such as fixed price rides, a maximum wait of seven minutes, and the ability to reset travel details by just shaking your phone.
If you are living large, the app even allows you to rent a private jet to tour the city. You can’t get much more glamorous than that!
Gett, formerly known as GetTaxi, was born in Israel and is slowly expanding around the world. Also operating in the UK and Russia, Gett currently has its sights on the US through its local subsidiary, Juno.
Gett’s strategy in the US isn’t particularly groundbreaking — it’s focused on offering lower prices than the competition — but it has found some new ways to bring about those cheaper fares. In Manhattan, for example, it offers a $10 flat rate per ride, as long as the journey starts and ends below 110th street. If you’ve been to New York and taken a yellow cab anywhere, you’ll be aware those prices are practically unheard of.
Aside from this, and at the global scale, Gett offers other interesting features. Taxis are available for booking up to a week in advance, for example, and non-surge rates are a catch also
Taxi Service Around You
This is a vastly underrated method for obtaining a ride. It’s not that easy to call a car everywhere, but in some of Uber’s biggest markets people are giving the company loads of money when there are in fact much faster methods for getting a ride.
I am not being flipped here. At the busiest times during the day on on weekend nights in big cities, getting around in a car is maybe the dumbest thing you can do. Hoping on rail service or bus lines with dedicated lanes is much faster than sitting in the back of a pricey cab.
Not all these options offer P2P service; many apps work directly with licensed taxi drivers to allow customers to request a ride, see availability, set a destination, and pay and tip “regular” cabbies right through the app, much as Uber does.
Pricing for these rides tends to be identical to the regular local cab rates, so you won’t save any money in place where Uber and Lyft have lower pricing, but they do work.
If you want to figure out before you travel if your preferred service is available and has sufficient drivers at your destination, I suggest the following: Open the app, navigate on the map to the neighborhood in which you will be staying and check for cars. If you see available cars, you are in good shape; if not, you might want to try another app or make a different plan.
Other alternatives that might be in your area