Uber is one of the largest ride-sharing applications out there right now, and many people are turning to it as an alternative to traditional taxis. The ability to get picked up and dropped off anywhere you want quickly -- and without the hassle of fumbling in your wallet or purse for something to pay the driver with -- is attractive for people who need to travel around town in a hurry. However, some are concerned about the possible lack of certification, training, and insurance for some Uber drivers. Others aren't fans of Uber's tendency to inflate prices when there's bad weather or traffic, or not enough drivers in an area to keep up with requests for rides.
There are different kinds of apps like Uber out there. Some just make it easier to hail traditional taxis, such as Curb or Hailo. Others have their own fleets of cars, and emphasize lower prices (like Gett) or safety and sociability (like Lyft) as opposed to Uber's focus on speed and convenience.
Here is the lowdown on six of the most popular competitors to Uber.
Lyft is billed as one of Uber's biggest competitors. Though it doesn't offer quite as many options as Uber does, it has stricter safety standards. It has been praised for its focus on creating a community of trust between riders and drivers, with social initiatives such as encouraging users to share their favourite type of music.
Formerly known as "RideCharge" and "TaxiMagic", Curb is another app like Uber. Curb's emphasis is on professionalism; it only works with officially sanctioned, licensed, and insured taxicab drivers or drivers-for-hire. It serves over 65 U.S. cities, and has partnered with over 90 taxicab companies accounting for over 50,000 cars.
A British-based Uber alternative, Hailo has some innovative features. It allows users to request accessibility-friendly taxicabs, or see how far they can go on a fixed fare. It also allows drivers to network, informing each other of things such as locations with high taxi demands or road obstacles (such as traffic or construction) that may slow driving down. Hailo is no longer available in North America (due to competition from the likes of Uber and Lyft), but is available in major urban areas in the United Kingdom (including Ireland), Spain, Singapore, and -- in the near future -- Japan.
Like Curb and Hailo, Flywheel is an app like Uber that allows users to hail professionally-licensed and insured taxi drivers. It uses standard taxi rates, so unlike Uber, fares never increase because of high demand. Its services are based mainly on the U.S. western coast, particularly in California, Oregon, and the state of Washington.
Gett (previously known as "GetTaxi") is a rising Uber competitor from Israel. Like Uber, it uses its own fleet of drivers who are fully licensed, trained, and insured. However, GetTaxi differentiates itself from Uber by always charging flat rates that never increase during periods of high demand, inclement weather, or traffic gridlock. In some places, they even guarantee that your ride will be cheaper than an identical ride with Uber, or they'll give you travel credit equal to the cost of your ride! The main issue with GetTaxi is that its operating area is rather small; as of the writing of this article, it services only New York City, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Israel.
Very similar to the other Uber competitors, Easy Taxi tracks your location to find a nearby driver. Easy Taxi drivers are fully trained and must undergo background checks. You can also edit your location to indicate landmarks, making it easier for your driver to find you. Easy Taxi is available in 30 countries and 420 cities, and covers a lot of southern areas of the world that other taxi apps don’t.
Have you booked a ride with one of these apps like Uber? Was it a smooth experience, or one full of potholes? Are there any other ride-requesting services like Uber that you know about or use, and think our users would like them, too? Leave us a comment below, or drop a line on one of our social media pages.
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