Uber vs Lyft Throw Down

Recently, while pretending to be a young, fit 30 year old, I injured my right heel playing an intense game of indoor soccer. This left me unable to walk very far so I began using Lyft to get around. It didn’t take long before I noticed how Lyft’s actual wait times always felt lengthier than the estimated wait. Was it just my impatience, or was something else at play? Eventually, I decided it was time to give Lyft’s competitor a try and initiate a Lyft vs Uber throw down. This gave me the opportunity to play at something that rarely causes an injury – simple statistics. I started using my brain and collected data to nail down how often I actually get picked up on time (this also doubled as a great distraction while waiting for my ride).

What I did: Whenever my Lyft ride was confirmed, I noted the estimated wait and set the timer on my phone. I did this for 10 rides. Then I did the same for Uber.

Here’s what I found:

– Both companies underestimated my actual wait time. Lyft by 51% and Uber by 33%.

– Of my 10 rides with Lyft, they were on schedule twice

– Of my 10 rides with Uber, they were on schedule or early 7 times.

The clear winner: Uber! Yes, my sample sizes were small and my data collection had no control for location, time of day, or distance. Also, I sheepishly admit that I only received a B- in statistics (the second time!). That being said, the contrast is stark. Uber’s wait time estimate was more accurate and more consistent. For how long, I don’t know, but I plan on collecting more data going forward – because this was fun! Anyone want to join me? 🙂

As of this writing both Uber and Lyft have not commented.

Author: Jim Winters

Jim Winters is the publisher and primary writer for the website, From The Stoop. He currently works as a licensed real estate broker working for Compass in Brooklyn. He began his career in 2004. He started the website, From The Stoop to share his real estate experience, give advice, and educate the public.

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