What’s the Difference Between Uber and Lyft in 2017?

I’ve always preferred driving for Lyft over Uber. To me, it just seems like they’ve always cared more about the driver experience. The big caveat, though, is that I’ve always gotten more rides and made more money with Uber. Are there any real differences between Uber and Lyft right now?

Watch my video to see what the real differences are, and check out the video transcript below.

Lyft always felt like the better company to me, but Uber was always busier

Like I said, I’ve always preferred driving for Lyft, but at the same time, I always made more money with Uber. To me, it always seemed like Lyft just cared more about that driver experience. Whether it was the tipping, especially when I first signed up back in 2014. And Lyft was a little goofier. It was more friendly between passengers and drivers. Some passengers would sit up front, whereas with Uber it just felt like I was the slave to this passenger. They would make me wait. They would get in the car and not always want to talk to me.

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Uber’s slogan used to be “Everyone’s private driver.” That’s sometimes how I felt, but I don’t feel like a private driver. I want to be someone’s more personal driver. I want to have those personal relationships. That’s why I do it. I don’t look at this as something that’s super professional. But at the same time, I want to be doing a good job, so I’ve always felt a soft spot for Lyft.

Over the years, I think Lyft has actually cut back on a lot of those programs that made it stand out. They got rid of the Mentor program. They got rid of some of these driver community events. Meanwhile, Uber has added the tipping option, and other big changes and big improvements to the driver experience with their 180 days of change program.

I really want to examine what are the real differences between these tow companies right now, because I think things have changed a lot.

Lyft drivers are more satisfied than Uber drivers

In the past, we surveyed our audience in 2017, and Lyft drivers were significantly more satisfied than Uber drivers. We surveyed 1,100 drivers. 76% reported that they were satisfied with their Lyft driving experience compared to just 49% on Uber.

Even though many people prefer driving for Lyft over Uber, Uber has always been more reliable when it comes to getting rides and making money. I guess I would say that drivers have always liked Lyft more in the past. It shows with the surveys and from talking to drivers, but I think Uber’s doing a lot right now to change its perception. They’re not a complete 180. They still have a lot of ways to go, but in 2016, for example, they didn’t do a whole lot to improve the driver experience. They added Instant Pay. They added Destination Filter, which were two great features, but they weren’t that innovative. Nothing special. Lyft and SideCar were already doing those like our way back in the day.

Uber caught up in 2017

Now, in 2017, with this 180 days of change program, Uber added tipping. They’re adding a 24/7 support line. They’re doing all these changes to Destination Filter. Arrival times. Long trip notifications. The list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, you start to have Lyft over there in the corner not really doing much. Uber had a ton of bad press in the beginning of 2017, and I feel like Lyft didn’t do a great job of taking advantage of it. Lyft always says in their interviews and things like that that they want to be number one. They want to overtake Uber, but then their CEO, for example, John Zimmer, did this interview with the New York Times where he said, “Oh, Uber is down. They’re not doing too well. We don’t want to kick them while they’re down.” I hate to break it to you, but if you want to get to that number one spot, you have to kick them when they’re down.

Now that doesn’t mean Lyft is completely a nobody. They’re still a nine billion dollar company. They have a ton of great people working for them, and they are competitive with Uber in some markets, but I don’t see them really going and taking that market share from Uber any time soon. I think Uber’s still going to be that busy company going forward.

The companies are becoming more similar and rideshare is becoming a commodity product

I guess I would say these companies are becoming more and more similar. A lot of the features and a lot of the services are very similar. Even the company culture is becoming more and more similar. This is really becoming more about commodity product. I think that on this driving side, that’s what we see with Uber and Lyft. Uber is still dominant, but these companies are getting more and more similar.

If we look at a few specific things, like with rates, for example, if Uber raises rates or lowers rates, Lyft is usually very quick to follow. Both companies charge very similar rates in almost every single city. They’re taking similar strategies with things like self-driving cars.

There are a few differences here and there. For example, like with Uber Pool and Lyft Line, Lift Line pays drivers the same rates as regular Lyft, whereas Uber Pool is actually paying a little bit less than regular Uber rates, even though Uber is testing higher rates in certain cities right now.

Lyft has better signup bonuses

I think this is one area where Lyft clearly has the better signup bonus program, because they’re now paying on a per ride. Let’s say they offer you a $500 bonus for doing 100 trips, you actually get $5 every time you do a ride now, whereas with Uber, they’ve moved to a guaranteed earnings model which sounds similar, because they might have a $500 for 50 rides offer, too, but it’s guaranteeing that you’ll earn that. It’s not a bonus on top. If you go out and do 50 rides and make 490 dollars, Uber’s only going to pay you 10 extra dollars to bring you up to $500.

In terms of company size, Lyft is still a distant #2

There’s still some differences. There’s some things that you can find here and there, but I think for the most part, generally, these companies seem to be getting more and more similar. The one big thing that I see, though, is that Lyft is still number two. Lyft is a huge company, and they’ve done a lot, but relative to Uber, Uber is massive. They’re doing millions more rides per day. Uber has probably a million or two million more drivers than Lyft.

I think that what that means for drivers is that we want competition. We want Uber and Lyft to always be competing because what we’ve seen is that the experience improves because Uber sees what Lyft is doing and tries to improve. Uber’s been making a lot of positive changes, I would expect Lyft to go out and make a lot of those positive changes, too.

All of that is ultimately going to help that driver experience. I know that for me, I’m big on using apps like Mystro because, obviously, that allows me to do Uber and Lyft. I still sometimes like to give Lyft the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I go online with Lyft first, for example, and give them a minute or two to get a ride before I’ll go and add Uber. I think doing little things like that, because Lyft is number two and because we want to promote competition, I think that’s definitely a good way to handle things going forward.

What do you think is the big difference between Lyft and Uber in 2017? I look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe out there!

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