Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lyft and Uber are now operating in SLC and could drastically change local transportation

Lots of new and exciting SLC transportation options have appeared over the last few weeks. First, Lyft, an
The 'staches are now roaming SLC
app-based ride sharing service, launched locally April 19th and appears to be thriving. Second, Uber SLC appears to have officially launched on Tuesday (more below). How Lyft works is that local residents work (part or full time) as Lyft drivers and provide a taxi-like service that's cheaper, faster, and much more convenient than regular taxis. To use it, all you do is download the Lyft app, enter credit card information, and then request a driver. If you live within the I-215 loop, drivers are often close. Last night I saw about 10 cars in the downtown area; here's how things look at the moment:

Lyft typically costs around 30% less than a comparable cab ride. Lyft drivers do go through a background check and the company provides plenty of insurance. Apparently the pricing structure varies by city and time of day; I'm going to do some on-the-ground research on this and post more on this soon.

Here's a code for a free ride (up to $25) for new Lyft users.

Uber, which was founded in 2009 and is now in dozens of cities, just Launched in SLC on May 27th. This company provides a similar car-sharing service to Lyft and is providing 20 rides for free (per customer) through June 9th to celebrate their launch. Here's the coupon code and main SLC page.

These two new transportation options are fabulous for consumers and I'm excited to wrote more about them in the coming weeks. Already, though, traditional taxi companies are complaining and the city may look to further restrict how Lyft and Uber operate locally. In this case, I would urge SLC government to stay out of the way and let consumers decide what works. Much more to come!


  1. gee all uber and lyft have to do is get legal right? I mean really? all those cease and desist orders three federal legal actions for racketeering and the RICO act, sheeesh!

    1. Plenty of insurance? Better check on that little factoid. Ever hear of contingent insurance? When does it pay? Maybe after the primary insurance kicks in? How many insurance companies are going to pay when a driver gets in an accident under a private insurance policy while operating in a for-hire commercial manner? NONE! Twelve state insurance commissions have not released insurance warnings on this business model for nothing. One last thing, are these drivers being drug tested? NO!