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Lyft launched in NYC

Lyft launched in NYC

Old Jul 27, 14, 2:39 pm
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Lyft launched in NYC

Lyft, a service similar to UberX has launched in the 5 boroughs. Pricing is the same as UberX for the time-being, but they constantly like to undercut each other so you may see the price of both services change.

Usually when a new market launches, any new users of the app will get a certain number of rides for free. I was assured by Lyft corp and by a fellow CLT driver who was up there this weekend that Pioneer (as lyft calls it) is in effect so all new Lyft users in NYC will get a certain number of free rides to use in 2 weeks. (it usually starts at 50 and tapers down to just 2 or 3).

Lyft does use TLC licensed drivers in NYC (the only market to have licensed livery drivers).

I mainly just wanted to let you know about free rides. It's automatic without any promo code required.
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Old Aug 7, 14, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by gj83 View Post
Lyft, a service similar to UberX has launched in the 5 boroughs. Pricing is the same as UberX for the time-being, but they constantly like to undercut each other so you may see the price of both services change.

Usually when a new market launches, any new users of the app will get a certain number of rides for free. I was assured by Lyft corp and by a fellow CLT driver who was up there this weekend that Pioneer (as lyft calls it) is in effect so all new Lyft users in NYC will get a certain number of free rides to use in 2 weeks. (it usually starts at 50 and tapers down to just 2 or 3).

Lyft does use TLC licensed drivers in NYC (the only market to have licensed livery drivers).

I mainly just wanted to let you know about free rides. It's automatic without any promo code required.
Lyft is doing an awful job of introducing its product to NYC. I have been wanting to give them a try but it's always "prime time" for them in Manhattan, even at off times (like 10:30am or 2:30pm). Why would I pay a 75% premium when I can get Uber at a non-surge rate most of the time? There is no incentive for me to check them out.

And I have not yet been offered a free ride.
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Old Aug 7, 14, 12:05 pm
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Yeah, I've glanced at the Lyft app several times over the last few days and have yet to see Prime Time rates not in effect. I think there are two factors at work. First, they currently have a 50 free rides promo for new NYC users (I'm not sure how to get it), so there is probably considerable demand. Second, Uber has been threatening Uber drivers not to use both Uber and Lyft.
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Old Aug 9, 14, 8:03 pm
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It seems they don't have anywhere near enough drivers ... not a well-thought-out launch.

http://www.businessinsider.com/uber-...-in-nyc-2014-7
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Old Aug 11, 14, 8:44 am
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They intended to launch with unlicensed citizen drivers (and supposedly had recruited hundreds of them), but the TLC blocked them from using drivers who weren't TLC-licensed, and they scrambled to relaunch a week or two later. They probably didn't have time to do any serious recruiting of the TLC-licensed drivers.
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Old Aug 12, 14, 8:39 am
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It's been mostly "Prime Time" pricing on the App for Queens (LGA and JFK) with a handfull of drivers or less, 10 to 15 minutes away (more than 15 to 20+ minutes due to local/street traffic conditions) - except at this moment. In practice for the outer boroughs, they aren't any faster than traditional car servcies, IMO.

Landing at the airport & needing a ride - better off calling Dial7, Carmel or our local car service - with a shorter wait even if the taxi line is long. When I'm not behind the wheels myself or in a hurry, mass transit & surface buses is the way to get aroundd locally for me - and I just don't see the "mustache" in the neighborhood cruising (or "ride-sharing") We are seeing more green taxi for hire at major transit hub like Main Street, Flushing.
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Old Aug 13, 14, 2:49 pm
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Unfortunately the requirement to use TLC licensed drivers defeats the purpose of getting more drivers on the road. Instead of having more drivers on the road, drivers have more options for income.

Sorry guys!
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Old Aug 14, 14, 8:49 am
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I managed to score the 50 free rides promo from Lyft and have already used it four times over the last couple days.

Right now Lyft is pouring money into building critical mass, giving out free rides like candy to build demand and giving drivers guaranteed minimum incomes for their first few weeks to build supply. I talked to one driver last night who had been driving for Uber since shortly after their launch in 2011 (in addition to his traditional "base") but switched to Lyft 4 days ago because their incentives were so good. I asked if he could do both and he said he could in theory, but that juggling three dispatching systems (Uber, Lyft and his traditional base) was just too much. His feeling was that the intense Uber/Lyft competition right now is great for drivers and passengers, but sucks for yellow taxi fleet owners, who have seen the value of their medallions plummet and their drivers flee (not that he's terribly sympathetic).

I suspect that as the 50 free ride promos roll off (most folks are expiring now, a few latecomers like me have another week or so left) there is going to be much better Lyft availability. All that demand has soaked up the supply even when Prime Time is in effect, since most intra-Manhattan rides are under $25 even with a 25% or 50% Prime Time surcharge. Yet in the four rides I've taken in the last couple days, I still haven't had to wait more than 5-10 minutes for a car.
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Old Aug 14, 14, 9:57 am
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I am/was a Lyft Pioneer with the 50 free rides up to $25 each. It took me until August 4th to be able to get a Lyft and it wasn't for lack of trying. I got a message via the Lyft app saying due to low driver volume an extension was in the works.

I wrote in asking about it and was denied this extension. I got to use 5 rides for free which is pretty great but was left feeling gyped now that the extension was not granted.

There are a decent amount of drivers available now. Many are doing Lyft & Uber at the same time to get more rides.

Not sure if I will continue using Lyft or will just go with Uber quite yet. If anyone wants a free $25 ride (in any Lyft area) let me know and I'll send you a referral link. I too benefit from it just to be honest.

Last edited by Yoshi212; Aug 14, 14 at 10:02 am Reason: grammar.
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Old Aug 15, 14, 4:37 am
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Last night, for the first time ever, I found Lyft in non-Prime Time mode. Since I've been wanting to try it out for a few weeks, I requested a car. After 10 minutes, I was informed that no drivers were available. Mind you, this was in Midtown around 7pm.

I then requested an Uber and was picked up in 6 minutes.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 8:32 am
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First Lyft Experience

So I finally got to try Lyft for the first time. I had given up on them after a few times of getting the "No Drivers Available" message, but today the Uber network was down for me so I tried Lyft again and got a driver assigned within seconds.

I was all prepared to do the silly "get into the front seat and give your friend a fist-bump" thing as it seems to be a big deal for them, but the driver just motioned me to the back seat when I tried to open the front door. He was polite enough, but no fist-bumps were offered, much to my relief. I guess their signature greeting is not getting a warm reception in the NYC market.

The ride was uneventful and offered the same level of comfort as an Uber X ride at the same approximate cost. I was confused by the option to "add a tip" and I did not. I found out after the fact that a tip of $2 is included and one can add to it if one wishes.

I got a receipt for $10, which also confused me because I was supposed to have 10 free rides in my account. But the detailed receipt showed a credit of $10 with $0 being charged to my credit card.

Another thing: Apparently my driver was somehow assigned two pickups at the same time; I and another person on my block. He picked me up and then got an enraged call from the other person, whom he hung up on unceremoniously after 30 seconds of trying to explain the mix-up to her.

Overall, everything was pretty much as advertised with some unexpected but minor quirks. I will try them a few more times to decide of they are a worthy alternative to Uber or worth using only when Uber is unavailable.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 9:35 am
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I used Lyft at least 20 times during my 50 free rides promo (couldn't manage to squeeze in all 50) and have continued to use it alongside UberX since. Availability has definitely gotten way better although it's still not as good as UberX and I think Lyft's algorithm for calculating arrival times is a little less accurate that Uber's (although Uber's isn't exactly perfect either). Lyft and UberX pricing is currently identical, although Lyft rounds to the nearest dollar (Uber calculates the fare to the penny) and Lyft gives the option to add extra tips.

All but a couple of my Lyft drivers were affiliated with Uber's TLC "bases" (Shmecken, Weiter, Hinter, Unter, etc.), although that's not that surprising given that the latest data on the TLC's website indicates that 17% of all TLC licensed black car, community car and luxury car drivers are now affiliated with Uber bases (Uber has more drivers affiliated with their bases than the next 20 largest NYC car services combined, and that's not including the thousands of drivers who are affiliated with other bases but still take rides via Uber). I believe Lyft acquired a base in NYC, too, but I'm not sure what it's called. A couple of the Lyft drivers I talked to were exclusively driving for Lyft at the time even thought they were formally affiliated with an Uber base, since Lyft was offering new driver minimum guarantees. Some Lyft Drivers actually drive for Uber Black and not UberX. I've had two Mercedes Rs and three relatively new Lincoln MKTs with Lyft, which I've never had with UberX. One of the MKT drivers told me he drives for Uber Black and not UberX.

All in all I'm glad to have some competition between the two to keep prices low and drivers plentiful. With Gett's announcement today that all Manhattan rides are currently $10, it throws some more gas on the fire, too.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 10:03 am
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Not sure if this is the best place for it, but tipping was mentioned above so I thought I'd ask it here:
Do FTers tip Uber drivers? I was under the impression that the tip was included in the fare, but the few times that I've used Uber, I've gotten the impression that the driver was expecting a tip.
This may be because I've always used UberX, and I've only used it to go to/from EWR.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 1:01 pm
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In a recent Lyft ride, I was speaking to the driver, and he handed me a brochure from Lyft offering a guaranteed $10,000 a month to drive for them. It didn't require minimum pickups, just to have the app on and drive around for at least 4 hours a day 5 days a week... Though I'm sure it wont last too long, that should be plenty of incentive for the number of drivers to increase...
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Old Sep 4, 14, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by lombardo View Post
Not sure if this is the best place for it, but tipping was mentioned above so I thought I'd ask it here:
Do FTers tip Uber drivers? I was under the impression that the tip was included in the fare, but the few times that I've used Uber, I've gotten the impression that the driver was expecting a tip.
This may be because I've always used UberX, and I've only used it to go to/from EWR.
This FTer does not tip Uber drivers. And they have never indicated that they are expecting tips.
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