Rideshare: the Inside Scoop on Apps

Ridesharing apps provide a popular alternative to taxis. Photo courtesy of Rideshareapps.com
Ridesharing apps provide a popular alternative to taxis. Photo courtesy of Rideshareapps.com

New Ways to Find Rides: Rideshareapps.com

By Shannon Broderick

It was New Year’s Eve in the college town of Amherst, MA. and the streets were full of residents and students alike.

The two most popular rideshare apps, Uber and Lyft.
The two most popular rideshare apps, Uber and Lyft. Photo courtesy of Rideshareapps.com.

GoNOMAD travel writer and self-described “Uber fanatic” Devinne Zadravec was ready to head back to her apartment, which is a mile away from the center of Amherst. But with the temperatures rapidly dropping and the minutes ticking past one a.m., Zadravec and her friends were looking to avoid the long walk back home—so they tried to use a ridesharing app.

“Our first thought was to call an Uber,” she explained, “but when we pulled up the app, we saw the surge pricing.” (when the demand for rides goes up, so does the price)

“It usually costs about eight dollars to get home, but our ride would have cost about 80 dollars.”

Faced with such steep costs, Zadravec and her friends braved the chilly weather and walked home.

“We were freezing,” she commented. “I wish I had a promo code.”

Ridesharing: The Basics

A fleet of Lyft cars with their iconic pink mustaches.
A fleet of Lyft cars with their iconic pink mustaches, which they don't use any more. Photo by Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Uber and Lyft are part of a breed of apps known as a “ride share”, where app users can quickly find rides from approved drivers. The safety and efficiency of these apps appeal to many; all drivers are submitted to a thorough background check, and their cars must be relatively new and undamaged before they can begin working. As for the customers requesting the rides, it seems obvious that many would prefer to be picked up in a clean, new Nissan than in a worn down taxi.

Ride share apps have a very inviting, and friendly feel to them that greatly appeals to many. Getting a ride with Uber or Lyft feels more like catching a ride with a friend than anything else, a feeling that is only amplified with many drivers’ enthusiastic concern over their ratings.

Ride share apps maintain the safety and quality of the rides through a strict rating system.

After each ride, passengers are encouraged to rate their experience with a driver. A five-point scale with the option of adding comments, drivers must maintain at least a 4.5 average if they are to continue with the program. Striving for that 5-star rating leads many drivers to go the extra mile, providing amenities like snacks and water for a night out at the bar, control of the AUX cord, or maybe just some especially friendly banter.

Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar?

It can be hard to see the difference between the two most popular ride share apps, Uber and Lyft. In order to best understand the difference between the two, it might by best to start by reading this article titled “Uber vs. Lyft: Comparing the Rideshare Titans."

Offering nearly identical services, in many cases Uber takes the advantage due simply to a larger fleet, and more notoriety. Both apps are user-friendly and supported in most areas, with prices practically the same, though riders may have more luck with Uber simply because there are moer cars available for rides.

On the other hand, Sidecar was a smaller, less popular app, but the only one that allows riders to choose a potential ride based on cost alone. This way, riders can sort rides by the lowest cost and know exactly what they're paying for before they go home or out for the night. At this writing, however, it's not clear as to whether Sidecar will remain a viable business, in December, 2015 news reports said that it was shutting down at the end of the month.

A Website for your Ridesharing Needs 

While ridesharing itself is not a new practice, using apps to do so is—and since it is such a new mode of transportation, finding information can be difficult. Fortunately, a group of rideshare drivers have recognized the hole in the market, and recently have launched Rideshareapps.com 

Brett Helling
Brett Helling, founder of Rideshareapps.com

Rideshareapps.com is a website dedicated to sharing all things ridesharing—from recent information pertaining to the industry to promo codes—aimed at both potential customers and clients.

Rideshare apps have become the most popular option for commuters. Photo courtesy of Rideshareapps.com.
Rideshare apps have become the most popular option for commuters. Photo courtesy of Rideshareapps.com

. In the Industry News section, the site provides news and information regarding up-and-coming industry, from driver lawsuits to new apps. Looking to become a driver? Rideshareapps.com has you covered there as well. They have lists of resources available for potential drivers, including driver training courses and fare estimators.

Possibly the most useful section of the website, however, is the Promo Codes section. Rideshareapps.com provides a comprehensive list of carefully curated promo codes and promotions, all kept up to date—meaning that an affordable mode of transportation just got even cheaper.

Save with Discount Codes

A quick look at the “Uber Promo Code” page provides us with a up-to-date code for 2016, and comes complete with 218 ratings—so you know up front whether or not coupon works, instead of getting stuck at the last minute with a faulty code. Other promos help you save on Lyft rides.

Rideshareapps.com also offers promo codes for delivery services like Shipt (groceries), Drizly (alcohol), Doordash and Postmates (local restaurants)--so if you don't want to take an Uber, you have the resources to stay in with all the good food and drink that comes with going out for the night!

Overall, Zadravec was impressed with the site. “It’s a great resource for people to look for saving a little extra money on their commutes,” she said.

"When you're constantly on the go, that little bit can make a big difference."

The creator of Rideshareapps.com told GoNOMAD that he plans on introducing an iPhone and Android mobile version of the site later this year.

Shannon Broderick

Shannon Broderick is a freelance travel writer who lives in Western Massachusetts. Read more of her stories on GoNOMAD at her author page.

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