Uber and Lyft are Miami’s new ridesharing and transportation services. After much controversy it appears these car services, or ‘apps’ as they prefer to be called seem to be here to stay. So how do they work, and how do they stack up against the other options out there for getting around Miami, FL?
While Lyft and Uber Miami have now appear to have embedded themselves in the daily lives of many individuals around the globe, and in South Florida, many still have yet to experience it for themselves.
So how can those visiting Miami and local Miamians catch a ride? Are they legal to use, what should users expect, and are they now the best option for transport?
Why Use Uber and Lyft in Miami?
Aside from the simple advantage of convenience and promise of lower pricing, there are plenty of uses for these services.
For a start; many have commented that it is far easier to get a ride with these ridesharing services further out from the core than with other options. While many Miami attractions are concentrated around South Beach, downtown Miami, and the art districts the area is very spread out. In fact, many have a very difficult time getting a taxi at all, if not at least waiting extensive periods of time, unless they are in the busiest spots at peak times.
Appearances might be another reason to use these services. Uber prides itself on several lines of nice looking vehicles, and even though Lyft rocks the giant pink mustache, both might make riders feel better than pulling up in a Yellow Cab or taking the bus.
Lyft and Uber offer flexibility, speed, and convenience for getting around town. Visitors can use them for pick up from the airport if their Miami hotels don’t have shuttles, and for navigating the city’s attractions, or ferrying back and forth between business meetings without needing to spend time learning the city or hoping the GPS is taking them on the most efficient path. They can be used for nights out on the town, and even to help guests ensure they aren’t missing out if other forms of transportation fail to show up on time. Some may even choose these services to show up in style if their own vehicles don’t help them look the part.
How Do Uber and Lyft Work
While Lyft and Uber Miami are continuously evolving and rolling out new features and level of service the concept remains the same. Both Uber and Lyft are based on mobile apps which can be downloaded from Apple, Google Play, and the Windows App Store. Users download the apps to their mobile smartphones, and use them to obtain ride quotes and request lifts.
So far users have enjoyed easy tracking of rides, faster pickup than traditional taxi cab services and limo services, and less expensive car service too. As of January 2015 Curbed Miami reported that UberX was 54% cheaper than a taxi. All payment is made via the mobile app, and both driver and rider leave each other feedback on completion of the trip. However, surges in pricing during peak times have sometimes caught users off guard.
Lyft vs. Uber
The big question many have are in the differences between the two services. Some of the notable contrasts include:
- Known for better class of cars, and luxury vehicles (UberSelect and UberBlack)
- Recognized for having better trained, more professional drivers
- First to market, and worth over $40 billion according to the Miami Herald
- Recognized by the giant pink mustache logo
- Chattier drivers and a more relaxed service
- Back by notable investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Theil
While Miami-Dade County reportedly ended fines and sting operations which impounded driver’s cars, and gave the greenlight to these services in August 2014, they still have significant battles to fight.
It is recognized that these innovative tech companies are strong job creating vehicles, yet local taxi cab firms are not happy about the unequal playing field, which CBS Miami reports leaves traditional firms paying as much as $2.4 million per year in fees, which Lyft and Uber have circumvented.
Some have raised concerns over the safety of new, unproven ridesharing services and their driver screening practices, including how well riders are covered by insurance. Yet, actual issues have apparently remained miniscule.
While there are other Miami transportation options including the Miami trolley system, and some may find it concerning that in spite of the fact these innovative firms have been willing to blatantly challenge the law in their expansion, many may find Lyft and Uber the best way to get around the Magic City. Parking is rarely fun on Miami Beach, and it can even be challenging to find enough parking spaces when you buy a condo here, so until proven otherwise car services such as Lyft and Uber appear to be an increasingly attractive choice that is worth taking for a test drive.