Lyft is a transportation network that facilitates peer-to-peer ridesharing. They connect people who need a car with drivers. Using the Lyft app, riders can look up drivers in their area and even request which drivers they want. When the company first began in 2012, they stood out by putting bright pink, furry mustaches on the grill of their cars. Today, the large fury mustaches have been replaced with 5-inch-long glowing pink mustaches. Lyft now operates in 29 states and 59 cities.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Wait Time
Our Score
#1
$1.48
4 min. 16 sec.
6.0
#2
$1.90
4 min. 10 sec.
5.7
#3
$0.51
6 min.
5.4

The Good

Lyft is available in all major cities across the United States. So whether you live in one of these areas, or you’re visiting, you should always be able to find a ride. Lyft is available in 29 states and 59 cities. When you do find a ride, another good thing about Lyft is that you don’t have to wait a long time for your taxi to arrive.

Lyft has strived to provide quality drivers to their customer-base. They have outlined a number of requirements that must be met. Lyft drivers must be at least 21 years old and licenced for more than a year. After applying, potential Lyft drivers undergo a background check, DMV record check, and drivers test with a Lyft employee. All employees are required to have a clean driving record and pass a background check, which means…

  • No more than three moving violations in the past three years.
  • No DUIs or drug-related driving violations in the last seven years.
  • No major violations in the past three years.
  • No violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage, felonies, or drug related offenses within the last seven years.
  • No registered sex offenders are ever eligible to be Lyft drivers.

Lyft added a feature to their app that shows general information on drivers, the number of rides they’ve given, and a rating. The feature is designed to make users feel more comfortable with drivers. Recently, both Lyft and Uber drivers have been legally seeking to be treated as employees rather than independent contractors.

There is no question, ride-sharing services are less expansive than taxis. Lyft has a policy of charging a minimum of $1.13 for use of services. They also charge $5.00 for cancellations. Tipping is not required for Lyft, but it is appreciated. Lyft is available for use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The price for a basic car in L.A. is as follows:

  • A base charge of $.80
  • Cost per mile of $1.10
  • Cost per minute of $0.21
  • Trust and safety fee of $1.50

In most cities, using Lyft is a more economical option. Using their app to find a ride, is very user friendly. All you need to do is create an account, allow your current location to show, type in your destination, and click on a driver. Another great thing about this app (for passengers) is that you can rate drivers on it. So if you had a wonderful experience with a driver, you can leave them a good review so others will want to work with him or her. Likewise, if you have a driver who was rude or made you uncomfortable, you can let others know.

Lyft is extremely easy to use. Users can download the app on their mobile device and set up a quick profile. When you want a ride, you open the app and it pulls up your exact location. You then enter in your destination, and it pulls up drivers in your area you can choose from. Using The app lets you track your driver’s ETA and shows you a picture of their car. When your ride is over, you simply tap to pay (the app saves your credit card information for fast payment).

On average, Lyft riders wait 4:10 for their ride. This is just slightly shorter than waiting for Uber (4:16). Lyft is available for use 24/7 in an instant. Because you can instantly schedule a ride, the company does not allow you to reserve drivers in advance.

The Bad

The hiring requirements for Lyft seem to be a little loose. Their policy allows them to hire people who had DUIs or other major traffic violations after seven years. The seven years policy also applies to those convicted of violent crimes and sexual assault. While we understand that people make mistakes, it seems a little lax to let drivers who have driven under the influence drive you around.

Each Lyft driver uses his or her own car for transporting clients, which can limit car make/model options. In most cities, the car must be newer than 10 years old. Other cities have more strict regulations. Lyft offers basic cars, for solo trips or trips with up to four people. They also offer Lyft Plus, six-passenger rides. Common complaints surrounding limited car options include:

  • Longer wait times when a specific car is requested
  • Not being able to fit an entire group or luggage for transportation to an airport

Like most taxi or peer-to-peer car sharing companies, Lyft is only available in a limited area. It’s great if you need to somewhere in a big city, but isn’t applicable for people living in small cities.

The Bottom Line

If you live in a major U.S. city and need a recurring or sporadic ride in that city, Lyft is an excellent choice.
Their app is easy to use, the wait time is short, and the drivers have generally good reviews. We love that their app shows you how long you have to wait, and lets you pick your driver. This is especially helpful because they show you passenger reviews of drivers – you are in complete control of who drives you around. We also love the price of Lyft. Although it changes from city to city, on average, you will pay less for Lyft than you would for a taxi. Those that use Lyft can expect the following from the service:

  1. Competitve rates
  2. Short waiting times
  3. Easy to use mobile app
  4. Strict driver requirements
  5. Limited service area

Availability

Lyft is available in 29 states and 59 cities:

  • Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson
  • California: Bakersfield, Fresno, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Modesto, Napa and Sonoma County, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Silicon Valley, Stockton
  • Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver
  • District of Columbia: Washington D.C.
  • Florida: Jackson, Miami, Orlando, Tampa Bay
  • Georgia: Atlanta
  • Hawaii: Honolulu
  • Illinois: Chicago
  • Indiana: Indianapolis
  • Kentucky: Lexington and Louisville
  • Maryland: Baltimore
  • Massachusetts: Boston
  • Michigan: Ann Arbor, Detroit
  • Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha
  • New Jersey: New Jersey
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque
  • New York: New York City
  • North Carolina: Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham
  • Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo
  • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
  • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
  • Rhode Island: Providence
  • Tennessee: memphis, Nashville
  • Texas: Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Utah: Salt Lake City
  • Virginia: Virginia Beach-Hampton Roads
  • Washington: Seattle, Spokane
  • Wisconsin: Madison, Milwaukee

Lyft provides no information on how many cars they have available for transportation in each city.

Price

Lyft is available for use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The price for a basic car in L.A. is as follows:

  • A base charge of $.80
  • Cost per mile of $1.10
  • Cost per minute of $0.21
  • Trust and safety fee of $1.50

Lyft has a policy of charging a minimum of $4.00 for use of services. They also charge $5.00 for cancellations. Tipping is not required for Lyft, but it is appreciated.

Professionalism

Lyft drivers must be at least 21 years old and licenced for more than a year. After applying, potential Lyft drivers undergo a background check, DMV record check, and drivers test with a Lyft employee. All employees are required to have a clean driving record and pass a background check, which means…

  • No more than three moving violations in the past three years.
  • No DUIs or drug-related driving violations in the last seven years.
  • No major violations in the past three years.
  • No violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage, felonies, or drug related offenses within the last seven years.
  • No registered sex offenders are ever eligible to be Lyft drivers.

Lyft added a feature to their app that shows general information on drivers, the number of rides they’ve given, and a rating. The feature is designed to make users feel more comfortable with drivers.

Recently, both Lyft and Uber drivers have been legally seeking to be treated as employees rather than independent contractors. We give Lyft 7/10 for professionalism.

Waiting Time / Scheduling

On average, Lyft riders wait 4:10 for their ride. This is just slightly shorter than waiting for Uber (4:16). Lyft is available for use 24/7 in an instant. Because you can instantly schedule a ride, the company does not allow you to reserve drivers in advance.

Usability

Lyft is extremely easy to use. You can download the app on their mobile device and set up a quick profile. When you want a ride, you open the app and it pulls up your exact location. You then enter in your destination, and it pulls up drivers in your area you can choose from. Using The app lets you track your driver’s ETA and shows you a picture of their car. When your ride is over, you simply tap to pay (the app saves your credit card information for fast payment).

Car Options

Each Lyft driver uses his or her own car for transporting clients. In most cities, the car must be newer than 10 years old. Other cities have stricter regulations. Lyft offers basic cars, for solo trips or trips with up to four people. They also offer Lyft Plus, six-passenger rides.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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2 Lyft Reviews

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  1. User Score

    1

    January 7th, 2016 Camarillo, CA

    I used Lyft 3 times. The first 2 times were fine. The third time, last night January 8, 2016, I requested a lift at 1pm after a dinner party on my way home from the airport. From a popular restaurant in a city of over 100,000 population, the fastest response time was 15 minutes. However, the first driver who accepted my request, Jennifer, never showed after 15 minutes and would not respond to calls or texts. The second driver, Darin, did the same thing. So, the restaurant closed and I was left out in the wind and rain. I found an overhang but the wind was so bad I still got drenched. After nearly an hour of no-shows, I called a conventional taxi. Had they just replied “no drivers available” I would not have nearly frozen.
    Here is where i gets really bad: the next day I tried to delete my account and credit card and there is no way to do that. It’s been over 6 hours since I contacted support via email with no response. To add insult to injury 11 hours later a driver responded and said “I’m on my way” when I hit the cancel ride button I soon got a $5 cancellation receipt….11 hours after I requested the ride??? Consumers should know that while this service may be okay during working/peak hours, however Lyft is totally unreliable in situations such as emergencies or to avoid driving after drinking…situations when you really need a ride. Who accepts a fair then just leaves the customer standing in the rain without the courtesy of a text??? Evidently this is a common thing with Lyft. I would not recommend this service to anyone. You can’t count on them showing up.

    Same day follow up: Lyft support got back to me and said they will not delete my account and that I can’t get my credit card information removed. They say it’s a third party and they do not retain credit card information but when I go on the app, there it is – my credit card remains there and showing attached to my account. Pretty sure what they are doing is illegal.

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  2. User Score

    10

    June 18th, 2015 Salt Lake City, UT

    I love Lyft! I have never waited more than a few short minutes, the drivers have all been great, super fun people to talk to. you can tell that they are happy and excited about what they are doing. not to mention Lyft is all about community I love that about them!

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