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Gone are the days of pre-ordering taxi services for a night out or business trip. Now, you can order a ride straight from your phone - and have it arrive at the curb within minutes! Most of the “taxi cab service”-like apps are actually ride shares, which means the drivers are regular people (like you!) and not professional cab drivers or chauffeurs.
Uber was the ride-sharing app that pioneered the industry, but it’s certainly not your only option. The best three ride-sharing apps, below, are all worth trying out. Each has their own perks, and all three usually offer some kind of sign-up benefit - meaning you can score free rides just for signing up for the app! So go ahead and try all three, then decide which is your favorite.
Uber is the biggest name in ride sharing. Because it was the original rideshare service, it’s the most well-known. That means that it’s also the most-used by both passengers and drivers worldwide. If you’re traveling to a new place, or suddenly find yourself stranded without a ride, searching for a cab app, it’s almost guaranteed that there will be at least a few Uber drivers operating in your area - meaning you can find a ride near you virtually anytime, anywhere. This is probably the biggest perk to riding with Uber!
However, there are some potential drawbacks. The Uber taxi service has long been plagued by scandals and issues, including concerns over the safety of its services. There have been some horror stories about passengers getting stuck with unsafe drivers (and vice versa), though generally, that’s pretty uncommon. Plus, because Uber is the most popular ride-sharing app, you’ll find less monetary incentives to use it compared to some other apps on the market.
Lyft is like the less popular little brother of Uber. It’s generally considered the main alternative to Uber, but it has yet to overcome that stereotype. But Lyft has seen several upswings in popularity over the last few years, especially as Uber has become mired in controversies and customers have turned to what they perceive as a safer, more ethical company - Lyft. Lyft also periodically offers great incentives for new users to sign up, like a $100 bonus split over your first 10 rides with Lyft. That’s a pretty great deal!
Unless you live in New York City, Washington D.C., or Chicago, you probably haven’t heard of Via. Currently, Via only exists in these three major transit hubs. But it does have a ton of potential! Unlike Uber and Lyft, where the driver comes directly to your location, Via has predetermined pickup and drop-off locations on street corners to streamline the ride-sharing process. And because it’s less curated to your location than Uber or Lyft, it’s generally the cheapest option of the three - it claims to cost only a little more than public transportation. Plus, Via touts great on-demand customer service as one of its strongest qualities.
If you’re thinking this sounds too good to be true, you might be right. During the first few years of operation, Via got stellar reviews all-around. These days, though, customers complain of long wait times, rude drivers, and slow app function. These issues may just be the growing pains of a rapidly expanding new rideshare service, but only time will tell whether Via will stick around.
Depending on your needs, location, and concerns, each of these on-demand ride-sharing apps offers different values. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to ridesharing these days, but any of these options is a great alternative to pre-booking and waiting for your local taxi service! If you want to find other ridesharing or airport taxi service apps, check out the full list of the Best 10 Taxi and Ride Sharing Apps.
Best 10 Taxi & Ride Sharing Apps
Broad Search:Our unique algorithm scoured the App Store and Google Play Store by searching cab app and taxi service. From there, we retrieved a total of 875 unique apps (396 Android apps and 479 iOS apps) as potential candidates.
Filter only high-quality apps:We then selected the highest quality apps from the 875 apps listed. We compared the number of stars, downloads, and reviews along with the velocity of these apps to create a list of the Best Taxi & Ride Sharing Apps for both Android & iOS.
Rigorous Research by Editorial Team:Finally, our editorial team spent tens of hours checking every single listed app on our Best 10 list, comparing these apps and their features, to come up with the Best Apps for On-Demand Rides just for you!
- If you are interested in learning more about our process, find out here.
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- map-based search
- estimating arrival time
- transit information
- turn-by-turn navigation
- real-time traffic data
- access to favorites
- rating drivers
- points of interest
- sharing arrival time
- managing itineraries
- rating riders
- fare estimator
- current speed
- automatic re-routing
- commute alerts
- reduced-sized maps
- offline navigation
- multiple payment options
- offline maps
- carpool option
- splitting fares