Uber is a slick rideshare service and a market leader internationally, with operations in more than 785 metropolitan areas. For better or worse, it first popularized the ridesharing concept (even the on-demand economy) after launching in 2010. Uber is oftentimes cheaper than taxis, more easy to obtain as users can generally book in the app, which can quickly locate the rider and get an Uber to you within minutes. You don't even have to carry money or cards to pay for your ride, because payment info is saved in your account and automatically charged after your ride. Also, Uber drivers get graded by drivers afterward, so it's in their interest to be as professional as possible.
But Uber has its downsides, too. For one, there are credible allegations that Uber's drivers are not well-vetted with thorough background checks. Sometimes your Uber driver isn't even your Uber driver. If the driver is your Uber driver, he's probably not getting paid employee benefits.
Of course, there's also been a lot of negative press around Uber driving droves of registered taxi drivers out of business and ruining the air quality in many major cities by putting too many cars on the road. There have also been at least two major data breaches that have compromised users' personal info, not to mention plenty of heavily publicized reports of gender discrimination, harassment, and a hostile work environment at Uber's corporate offices.
Here's some good news. If you're over Uber, there are alternatives to try out. Of course, there's Lyft, the second most popular ridesharing app, but we also have nine more Uber alternatives that you may not have heard of.
Lyft (Android, iOS) rides are as easy to book as Ubers for iPhone and Android users -- easier, in fact, if you're booking a ride with multiple stops as you can easily add more stops with a tap of the plus sign next to the address field. Lyfts are often as cheap as Ubers, sometimes cheaper. Take a Line, Lyft's version of Uber Pool, where you share your ride with other passengers going in your direction, to save 30 to 60 percent more. Lyft also stresses passenger safety, claiming that all of its drivers must pass rigorous background and DMV checks. Drivers that get consistently poor ratings are barred from driving. Lyft also provides its own liability insurance (up to 1 million dollars) to protect passengers.
Available in New York City, Juno (Android, iOS) promises all the benefits of Uber -- easy-to-order rides, short pick-up times, affordable pricing, and easy payment -- but also stresses that its drivers are treated better, that is, paid more and that if customers have any issues, agents are there for them 24/7 by email and phone from your iOS and Android device. Juno also promises 30 percent off all rides in New York City for a limited time.
Available in 65 U.S. cities, the Curb (Android, iOS) app helps you hail a taxi cab without lifting a hand -- just a finger. Download the app and request a car for now or later and pay your licensed and fully insured driver in the app. You'll be happy to know that there isn't any surge pricing during peak driving periods. With the Pair & Pay option, you can even use the app to pay for rides you do hail with your hand in Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, and Philadelphia.
Support local yellow taxi drivers in New York City by using the new Waave (Android, iOS) app, which promises customers the same level of convenience and service they've come to expect from Uber and Lyft minus the extra traffic congestion and carbon emissions that ridesharing services bring.
If you're in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Portland, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or Seattle, then you can book a rideshare with the Wingz (Android, iOS) app without worrying about surge pricing during peak times. Drivers are vetted and insured up to $1 million dollars, and, unlike on competing services, you can request your favorite drivers time and again.
For those in NYC, Washington D.C., and Chicago, who don't mind sharing a car with other passengers, Via ( Android, iOS) is a great affordable alternative to Uber. Some users can even pay using pre-tax transit dollars through approved commuter benefit debit cards via the app.
If you're in Seattle, the ReachNow (Android, iOS) app lets you either book a professional driver of a BMW, BMW i, or a MINI for a surge-free ride during peak times or one to drive yourself. If you're in Portland or New York, you can book a BMW or MINI to drive yourself for up to five days.
The HopSkipDrive (Android, iOS) app is designed to ferry kids around, individually or as part of a carpool. Parents can book rides in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Colorado, confident that their kids' drivers are well-vetted and appropriately certified.
10. Waze Carpool
Currently available in California, Texas, Washington, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Nevada, Waze Carpool (Android, iOS) pairs riders with drivers going their way. By carpooling and using the Waze app, you'll be fast-tracked to your destination.
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- Uber and Lyft have new competition with ReachNow ride-sharing app
- Let's cap Uber and Lyft, says NYC, as ride-hailing apps get blamed for growing traffic nightmare
- How Uber and Lyft are putting passengers in danger by choosing cheaper background checks for drivers
- Uber wins legal victory against drivers who want employee benefits (CNET)
- Uber to pay $148 million in settlement over 2016 data breach and cover-up (ZDNet)
- Ditching Uber? 8 alternatives for professionals (TechRepublic)