How to Schedule an Uber or Lyft Ride

As drivers, it’s important that we understand how the Uber and Lyft apps work from the passenger’s perspective. When you know how the apps work, you can help educate riders and understand their behavior.

Joe from the The Rideshare Guy created a video geared toward passengers that explains how to schedule a ride. Take a look at his video and scroll to the transcript below to read the points he covers.

Most riders just want to open the Lyft or Uber app and request their ride on-demand, but for those riders that maybe want to create a little bit more peace of mind and possibly even save some money, you can actually schedule your ride in advance.

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Be sure to stick around in the end because we’ll discuss some things you need to know as well as some tips.

Both apps use clock icons to indicate scheduling rides

Scheduling a ride is really easy on both Lyft and Uber. You just need to look for the clock icons. With Lyft you’ll look for that clock icon. You’ll select that. We’ll schedule it for Monday at say 2:15. Confirm, set pick up. We’ll add the destination. Lyft has determined that the price will be $13.74. When you schedule a ride, you’re actually locked into that price. Schedule Lyft and my ride is scheduled.

If I want to actually cancel that ride, up there in the top-right corner you’ll see that scheduled ride is shown right there. You’ll select that, and just select cancel ride. A cool thing about Lyft’s scheduled ride system is that when you schedule a ride as a passenger, drivers are then able to accept your ride. They’re able to add that ride to their pickups. Here’s a look at my driver app, and you can see all the scheduled rides that are available.

Details about scheduling a ride with Uber

And as far as Uber. With Uber you want to look for the car icon with the clock. You’ll select that. Let’s set Monday, set the pickup time for 3:40 PM. We’ll pick our destination. On Monday at 3:40 Uber is predicting that the price will be $13.82. Again, with Uber this price is dynamic. It may change based on different factors, but Uber will let you know if the price does change. We’ll schedule that ride, and the ride is scheduled. Then you’ll see a message, “Your ride is coming up soon.” If you do want to cancel your scheduled ride, what you’ll do is you’ll select that top-left clipboard icon, you’ll select your trips, then you’ll select upcoming, and select cancel ride and the ride is canceled. It’s pretty simple to schedule a ride.

Now, why would you want to schedule a ride? One thing is peace of mind. Scheduling your ride gives you the best chance to have a driver at your pickup location at exactly the time you’d like to be picked up. It’s great for people that are going to the airport, people that are leaving during early hours of the morning, or for passengers that live in the suburbs or a rural area.

Lyft scheduling is different from Uber

When you schedule a ride with Lyft, the price that you’re quoted is actually locked.

Lyft tries to determine that price in advance. They try to determine what the prime time rate will be during your pickup window. Once you schedule that ride, that price is locked in at that rate. Once your pickup time arrives, if prime time is going crazy, if it’s really spiked, you’re still locked in at that price. You’re not subject to the current prime time rates.

And so how are scheduled rides handled by the Uber and Lyft systems? With both Uber and Lyft you’re given a 15-minute pickup window when you schedule your ride. With Uber, essentially, what you’re doing is scheduling a ride request. As your pickup window is approaching, Uber will then place a ride request on your behalf, and it will dispatch the nearest driver to your location at that time.

Lyft drivers can add scheduled rides to their queues

It’s a little bit better with Lyft. As I showed in the demo, drivers can actually see those scheduled rides and they can add them to their queue. Basically, if a driver adds your ride to their queue, they’re locked into your ride. If they’re online and able to arrive to your location within your pickup window, that driver will be dispatched to your ride.

But if for some reason that driver isn’t available or if your ride does not get added by a driver, the Lyft system will handle your ride just like the Uber system. It will place a ride request on your behalf during a specific time, so that you’ll have a driver at your pickup location within the pickup window.

More details: Price is locked in with Lyft, not with Uber

Here are some things you need to know. Again, with Lyft that price is locked when you schedule a ride. That’s not the case with Uber. With Uber they try to determine that price in advance. As your pickup window is approaching, if it is surging, your price could be higher, but Uber will let you know in advance if that price is higher than the price that you were quoted.

Also, as far as cancellation fees, with Uber that cancellation fee is the same with the scheduled ride as it would be with an on-demand request, but with Lyft that cancellation fee is actually double the price, so it’s a $10 cancellation fee. You can incur that $10 cancellation fee if you cancel your ride within 30 minutes of your pickup window. With Lyft you want to make sure that if you want to cancel that scheduled ride, make sure that you cancel it far enough in advance, so you can avoid that $10 cancellation fee.

How far in advance can you schedule a ride?

Lastly, with Uber you can schedule your ride 30 days in advance, but with Lyft you can only do it seven days in advance. I personally think that seven days is plenty of time. That 30 day period with Uber you may schedule your ride three weeks out and completely forget that you scheduled that ride. I’d say wait at least within a week when you need to be picked up and schedule your ride within a week, so that it’s fresh in your memory. You know that you have a ride scheduled.

Which app has a better scheduling feature?

As far as some tips, I would personally recommend using Lyft for scheduled rides. Again, you’re locked into that price and also drivers can add your ride to their queue, so it’s more reliable. There’s a chance that, that driver that’s added your ride may even be at your pickup location before your pickup window. There’s just more reliability there. Again, you’re locked into that price. Hopefully, Uber adopts that same locked pricing model in time as well. Also, again, if you live in the suburbs or in rural areas, I would suggest scheduling your ride in advance.

If you know that you’re going to need to be picked up during an AM or a PM rush hour, I would also suggest scheduling your ride in advance. Both times can be really busy. If you schedule your ride, that gives you more peace of mind. Your ride is given some priority over on-demand rides. Since you scheduled in advance, you’re going to be given priority over those on-demand rides, and you have a better chance of getting a ride at the pickup window that you’ve specified, and you also have a bonus option. It’s a service called Wingz.

It’s only currently available in about 16 markets right now. Wingz is a scheduled ride only model instead of the on-demand model that within Uber also have, but with Wingz you schedule your ride in advance, and you can actually see your driver in advance and your price is locked. Wingz isn’t actually available in my market in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but I know that if I was in one of the 16 markets that it is available in, I would use Wingz especially for those airport rides. Much more peace of mind. It’s a scheduled ride only model.

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