Uber was the king of ridesharing with the invent of the “Black Car.” As publicists, we spend thousands of dollars per year on Sedan or “Car Services” in Los Angeles for awards shows, White House events and high level meetings. We were a bit weary about taking the “public” car service. One of our sedan drivers told our CEO about the Uber car service. His rates were $65-70 per hour. Uber rates were about $25 per hour for a sedan. Little did he know, this would be the end of our car service rates with him. We tried Uber and the rides were comparable. The drivers were professional, courteous and the cars were beautiful and most importantly, no one knew the difference between the Uber service and the private sedan service. After a few rides with Uber, we did notice that a lot of drivers had no idea where they were going and asked clients for directions. Some drivers were a bit “dirty” and did not wear a sports coat and some clearly smoked. Complaints to Uber go unnoticed and are disregarded. Their customer service is substandard and it seems that there are a lot of “young” people working who speak very colloquially and are nonchalant when it comes to appeasing the customer. Lyft, an UBER rival, has raised the bar and is giving UBER a run for their money so to speak. Lyft has raised $250 million in capital to compete in the same UBER and lead to rapid expansion of the taxi marketplace. There are a few critical differences between Lyft and its competitors, according to the company’s founder and president, John Zimmer. “Uber hires professional limo and taxi drivers and sets up offices in each market they enter.” By comparison, he says, Lyft has little overhead. “We are a purely peer-to-peer service. It’s a software platform that is used by a community of drivers and riders looking to connect.” Uber hires professional drivers Lyfts drivers come from the ranks of average citizens. “We run criminal background and driving record checks on all our drivers, something that is not even required by taxi commissions in a lot of big cities.” Zimmer says. Lyft also provides more than $1 million in commercial insurance for all its drivers.
As of July 15, New York officials aren’t buying Lyft . On Friday evening, the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan forced Lyft to delay its planned launch in Brooklyn and Queens in response to complaints filed by the attorney general’s office. New York is also seeking to halt the company’s operations in Buffalo and Rochester and has accused Lyft of heedlessly disregarding the law.