When you think about New York, which images comes to your mind? Statue of Liberty, Central Park and … yellow cabs, right? Indeed, the yellow cabs are like a postcard of the city. But as the trend now is to optimize and technology, apps like Uber are gaining space and creating controversy. While here in New York yellow cabs are so depictions of the city, drivers do not have the best reputation. Therefore, in addition to Uber, in recent times there were several other transportation apps. Here I list the most famous today – and over-rated.
If you have no idea of how these applications work, here’s a basic explanation: you download the app on your smartphone, complete the registration – which will request your credit card – and you’re ready. You hit your map – usually it hits, but always like to check if the GPS picked up just right address – enter the destination address and requests the car. Ready. The app informs the car model, the board, the name of the driver and the estimated arrival – and the payment involves no cash: it is made by your card in the app.
Uber – I can not really talk about this subject without mentioning Uber, right? I do not know if it was the first, but is now the most famous. Its fleet of cars went beyond the yellow cabs in New York. What I think it’s nice about Uber here in the city is the number of available categories. Besides UberX and UberBlack, there is Uber Pool, that you share a ride and save up to 25%. When you choose Uber Pool, the system looks for someone who selected the same category and is going in the same direction as you. We’ve used a few times and was super good! Another cool function of Uber is “Share this ride”, great for when you want to split the fare with someone. Oh, it is worth remembering that the Uber X will always be cheaper than the Uber Black – the difference is that UberBlack offers medium sedan cars, with leather seats and always in black. UberX offers compact cars and small sedans, have air conditioning and can be silver, gray or black.
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Lyft – Lyft, after Uber, is the most popular in New York. While the Uber has the philosophy of offering a private driver for everybody, Lyft already holds that their drivers are like friends. In particular, I have used Lyft and Uber and felt no difference: well educated drivers and very discreet, but Lyft, in theory, offers cheaper fares than Uber. However, in either of the two, we must be careful: there are peak periods when the rate price doubles, due to the demand. Do not worry, app lets you know when the price is more expensive than normal, so that you are aware that you will pay more. Lyft also makes runs to / from LaGuardia and JFK airports. Lyft lets you choose the car by the number of seats: Line (2 people), Lyft (4) and Plus (6 people).
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Via – Smarter Shared Rides – is an app for shared rides. It is my favorite app since prices are always attractive – because, as I mentioned, it is shared. Another nice thing is that Via follows fast itineraries, through the avenues, stopping to pick up and drop off passengers along your route, facilitating the flow. It is available throughout the city and also at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports. The wait time for a car is, on average, 5 minutes. And I usually see rides for around $5! Via also offers a private cars option – when you enter the pickup and destination address, it shows you some options with pricing, including shared car and private car. Download here.
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Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.