So I am the kind of traveler who loves to take public transport. I hate to pay for overpriced taxis and loves to people watch. Send me to the local Metro and I am a happy camper.
Unfortunately every city doesn’t make airport transportation as convenient or inexpensive as it should be. Take for example Washington D.C. where it is quite expensive to get from Dulles into the city for three people.
This morning after landing at the airport, I considered our three options for getting into the city. Firstly we could take public transport which would cost us around $9 per person and involve taking a bus from the airport to the Metro and then a train to our hotel. Based on my research the total travel time involved is about an hour.
The other two options were Uber or Lyft, the two main ridesharing platforms. (A taxi wasn’t even on the table.) UberX and Lyft’s main service as basically interchangeable as far as I can tell. They both involve the same types of cars and drivers.
Thankfully both apps have a fare estimator (Uber’s is in the app and Lyft’s is found on the city’s page here) meaning I could determine how much the ride would cost. Uber said it would be $60 and Lyft said $48!
Since I had a $50 credit from Lyft (From a promotion that has long since passed), I decided to try their service for the first time. I have tried Uber a couple of times including a few months ago in Colombia and have been generally satisfied.
The Lyft app works much the same as Uber in that it uses your phone’s GPS to tell the driver where to find you. After asking to call a driver, it assigns one to you and you can track their location in the app.
Our Lyft Experience
This morning when I fired up the app, the closest driver was assigned and he was 9 minutes away. As I followed him on the map, I noticed he seemed to be heading in the wrong direction at one point.
In total, it took about 15 minutes for Michel to reach us in his purple 2008 Cadillac STS. He did call me a few minutes before arrival to make sure he knew exactly which door we were at so there wasn’t any confusion.
When Michel pulled up, I was disappointed to find that he didn’t have the trademark Lyft pink moustache on his car. Instead, his Cadillac had an Uber logo on the window. In other words, he must drive for both networks.
Seeing as we had just gotten off of a redeye flight, I wasn’t much in the mood to talk and Michel didn’t try to engage me. He simply put the address in his GPS,turned the radio to a comfortable volume and drove to our hotel. It took a little over 30 minutes to make the 27 mile drive and the final cost was $46, slightly less than the estimate.
I wish that Lyft was still giving out $50 credits to everyone since their service seems to be cheaper and of the same quality as UberX. (At least here in D.C.) Unfortunately Lyft is currently only offering a $10 credit for new signups. (Use sign up code SHAWN1598).
Lyft Review – Conclusion
This recent Lyft experience has convinced me that both Lyft & UberX are very similar services and thus I will take whichever one is cheaper going forward. (Of course neither are likely to be in my hometown soon.)
If you have yet to sign up, you can use the code SHAWN1598 to get a $10 credit. (That is my personal referral code. I get $10 as well if you sign up.) If you did manage to get that $50 credit last year during the promo, it never expires, so don’t forget about it the next time you need to go somewhere relatively far away.