Rideshare services offer many benefits for seniors as compared to traditional taxis. You do not need to chase a taxi down the road, Uber and Lyft are available with just one tap on your phone.
Ridesharing services are cheaper and safer than taxis and offer better quality vehicles with accessibility options for the elderly. When choosing between Uber and Lyft seniors always wonder which is better for seniors Uber or Lyft?
This article goes in-depth to compare both services to find out the answer to the above question.
Which Rideshare Service is Better for Seniors, Uber or Lyft?
This article compares both services on the basis of:
- Safety Features
- Using Uber and Lyft without Smartphones
- Ease of Use
- Senior Discount
- Drivers Behavior
- Quality of Vehicles
- Similarities of both services
Let us start.
Safety is one of the top concerns of seniors while using a ridesharing service. Uber and Lyft take riders’ safety seriously. They have several safety measures to make sure you are safe during your ride:
Uber’s Safety Features
- Driver Screening: Driver’s screening is carried out through a third-party service (Checkr) to ensure that the driver does not have a criminal background and a clean driving history (without major or recent minor violations).
- Vehicle Safety Requirement: Uber does not accept rental cars or cars that are more than 15 years old. Drivers need car insurance and a professional inspection report to make sure the car is in top-notch condition (breaks, tires, lights, mirrors, and seatbelts are inspected along with the internal working of the car).
- Inform Trusted Contacts: Uber allows you to inform your trusted contacts about your whereabouts. They can follow your trip in real-time.
- Know Your Driver and Car: The app shares the name and photo of the driver along with car information so you know you are in the right car.
- Safe Communication: Communication (through the app) is monitored by Uber and your phone number is never shared with the driver.
In case of emergency, you can contact police from within the app so they know your location through Uber GPS.
Lyft’s Safety Features
- Driver Screening: Lyft also uses a third-party service (Checkr) to screen drivers’ criminal history and driving records to filter out offenders. Although Uber requires annual checks (even more often in some cities), Lyft doesn’t require annual reports and claims to run periodic checks.
- Vehicle Safety Requirements: Like Uber, the driver needs a vehicle inspection report to ensure the car is in top-notch form. Vehicle age is city and state-specific (but no car older than a 2002 model is allowed).
- Know Your Car and Driver: Lyft also sends you the driver’s name, photo, car number, and model to make sure you know the car and driver.
- Share Ride Details with a Contact: Like Uber, you can share ride details with your trusted contact.
Both Lyft and Uber have dedicated safety phone numbers and zero-tolerance policies against drivers who are reported to drive under influence of drugs or alcohol.
Although both companies take safety seriously, Uber seems safer for seniors. They were the first to release assault records and provide complete transparency about safety issues. Uber also needs annual driver screening reports (even more often in some cities).
One of the main reasons people use ridesharing services is to save money on their travel. So, when it comes to cost per ride which is better for seniors Uber or Lyft?
Ride Guru analyzed the cost of a ride on Uber, Lyft and Taxi in 20 major US cities and the results show
- Uber is cheaper in 15 out of 20 cities. In most cities, Uber and Lyft are in close competition.
- While Lyft is doing better in a few cities it is an ideal option for New Yorkers where it is beating Uber by a considerable margin.
- Traditional taxis are number 3 (more expensive than Uber and Lyft) in 19 out of 20 cities
There are other researches that show similar results. According to Investopedia, an average ride is less expensive on Uber as compared to Lyft.
The cost of an average ride is $20 on Uber as compared to 27$ on Lyft.
The research suggests that Uber costs less than Lyft in most US cities. So, Uber is the winner here. But it is a very close race between both ridesharing companies in most US cities. Seniors should always use a price estimator (provided by both Uber and Lyft) to get an idea of which company costs less in your city.
3: Using Uber and Lyft without Smartphones
While seniors are adopting smartphones rapidly, many still prefer simpler cell phones. Both Uber and Lyft offer a few options to request a ride without their apps.
Uber for Seniors without Smartphones
Seniors can get an Uber ride using one of the following options if they do not have a smartphone.
- Uber’s Mobile Site: Login to your Uber account at m.uber.com on your computer and request a ride.
- Use the “Request Ride for Someone Else” feature: Uber App has the option to book a ride for someone else by providing their pickup address. Family members or friends can help the elderly to get an Uber ride using this option.
- Using GoGoGrandparent Service: Call GoGoGrandparent to book an Uber ride for you.
The above 3 options can get an Uber ride for seniors without smartphones
Lyft for Seniors without Smartphones
Lyft also has some options for seniors to get rides without smartphones and the Lyft app.
- Request a Ride Through Web: Same as Uber, login to your Lyft account at ride.lyft.com and request a ride by providing pickup and drop-off locations.
- Use the “Request a Ride for Someone Else”: Lyft also offers an option to book a ride for other people. Your family member, caretaker, or friend can help you by requesting a ride for you through their Lyft App.
- Use GoGoGrandparent Service: You can use GoGoGrandParent service to get a Lyft ride without Lyft app.
- Use Jitterbug Phone: Call a Lively Personal Operator by dialing “0” from your Jitterbug phone and request a ride to be arranged by the personal operator through Lyft.
These 4 options are useful for seniors who cannot use the Lyft App or do not own a smartphone.
Both Uber and Lyft have multiple options for seniors to get a ride without smartphone apps. Jitterbug phone users can book Lyft rides through their phones.
Lyft is a winner here because of its partnership with lively.com.
You can find Uber services in 10,000 cities in 63 countries while Lyft is only available in the US and Canada (321 cities in North America). Uber also has more active users and drivers, as compared to Lyft, who use the service regularly.
Uber is a winner and has much better coverage. You might have a better chance of scoring an Uber ride as compared to a Lyft ride.
5: Ease of Use
Most seniors are not tech-savvy so tech issues and glitches turn them away from using a service. So, when it comes to ease of use which is better for seniors Uber or Lyft? Let us find out.
While both Uber and Lyft apps are user-friendly, some key differences exist.
The highlights of the Uber App include:
- Uber App has a navigable interface with a clean and organized look
- The map works well in the app to take you on the shortest route with solid GPS to spot driver and rider
- You can see the approximate arrival time before booking the ride.
- You can use the app in dark mode and avoid straining your eyes if you are using Uber at night.
- The driver cannot see the rider’s profile picture when picking them up. It is good for safety but makes it harder for the driver to spot the rider.
Lyft also has a senior-friendly interface but there are some issues and glitches in
Lyft app when you compare it with Uber.
- The map has issues with zooming and navigation and drivers have a hard time following the routes. The developers encourage drivers to use Waze rather than Lyft when traveling.
- Like Uber App, you can see the driver’s photo, car model and color, and license plate to verify the identity
- The driver can see the rider’s location through the GPS
- Unlike Uber, Lyft does not show arrival time before booking
Lyft App has fewer updates and still needs some work.
Uber wins when it comes to ease of use for seniors. The app is well organized with fewer glitches and solid GPS and map.
6: Seniors Discount
Lyft has a “Grocery Access Program” where discounted Lyft rides are offered for seniors and low-income families heading to and from grocery stores, farmers markets, food pantries, and SNAP benefits appointments in neighborhoods without access to fresh and healthy food.
Uber and Lyft need to do more for senior citizens. Lyft’s “Grocery Access Program” makes it a winner here.
Uber has Uber Assist and Uber WAV (wheelchair-accessible vehicles) to help seniors with walkers, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and crutches.
Uber Assist drivers are trained to assist passengers from wheelchairs to the car. It is a great service (costs the same as regular Uber X) for seniors with foldable wheelchairs, and hearing/vision impairments.
Uber WAV vehicles are equipped with a ramp or lift to help wheelchair passengers get in and out of the vehicles. It is ideal for seniors who use non-collapsible wheelchairs. Lyft also has a WAV rides program but it is available in a few US cities and only in Toronto in Canada.
Uber wins when it comes to Accessibility options. Both Uber WAV and Uber Assist options are available at no extra cost.
8: Driver’s Behavior
The drivers generally have a polite and positive attitude to riders because they depend on ratings from riders. With constant low ratings, unprofessional drivers are weeded out of Uber and Lyft.
In general, Uber is more corporate while Lyft is more casual. If you like chatting with drivers, Lyft is a better option. The Lyft vibe is much more relaxed and drivers welcome riders with a fist bump and encourage them to sit in the front seat.
Uber and Lyft both win when it comes to driver behavior.
9: Quality of Vehicles
Uber and Lyft make sure the vehicles are in excellent condition. Both companies need annual inspection reports for vehicles where the inner working is checked along with brakes, tires, lights, mirrors, and the outlook of the car.
Uber does not allow cars that are more than 15 years old or rented in their service. Lyft’s car demands are city and state-specific but cars older than 2002 are not allowed.
If you want to impress someone, Uber might be a better choice. Lyft also offers some high-end vehicle options but Uber vehicles are generally better so Uber wins here.
Uber and Lyft have many similarities in how they operate. I found some of the features that are shared by Uber and Lyft
- Wait Time: Uber and Lyft have similar wait times (5 to 20 minutes) after you request a ride.
- Schedule in Advance: Seniors can schedule rides in advance on both services
- Request Ride for Others: Both have the option to request a ride for others
And many other features are common between both services.
So, which is better for seniors Uber or Lyft? While both services have their benefits, Overall Uber is a better choice for seniors in most areas.
Choose Uber for
- Better safety records with complete transparency
- Widely available (10,000 cities in 63 countries)
- Better functioning App
- Better Accessibility options (Uber Assist and WAV)
- High-end vehicles
- Better driver screening (annual screening and more frequent in some places)
Choose Lyft for
- More options to request a ride without smartphones
- Friendly vibe and casual approach from drivers
- Better pricing in busy areas like New York City
- Grocery Access Program offers senior discounts in some areas