The number of transportation alternatives to standard taxi rides continues to grow. After reading for months about the alternatives to the bad service and quality of taxi rides in San Francisco, we decided to try out some of the “app-age” alternatives. It was a Saturday night in the Mission District, and we were right outside the police station area, near 17th and Valencia. It’s a busy nightclub and restaurant area, with lots of people out on the town – drinking and having a great time. We considered 3 alternatives, and saw many cabs picking up people or with fares in the area:
- A standard taxicab
- Uber / UberX
We decided on Lyft as one that was the most interesting to try – partially because of the ease of knowing which car would be ours with the trademark pink moustache on the front of the car. After pressing the request ride button on our phone app, we immediately had a driver confirm the ride — just about 5 minutes away from us. Lyft showed us a photo of the driver and the car, which was a beautiful new Chrysler PT Cruiser. When the car arrived, we knew it would be for us – which was a great feeling versus guessing if a black towncar might be ours.
The car’s driver, Jovero– was truly a pleasure to meet. From the first second in the crystal clean car, it was clear that he loved his job and loved to meet new people around San Francisco. The car’s condition was a pleasant change from the often smelly / stinky/ broken cabs that we have driven in so many cities around the United States. Jovero was great to talk with, and we shared ideas and stories from both of our cities. He offered free chocolate croissants in the back seat, which was a nice treat after being out on the town. And the fist-bump getting in the Lyft car was a nice sign of the community and camaraderie that is a big part of how Lyft tends to stand out from its competitors.
What we loved most about the ride, was that there was no “judging” of our destination. I’ve often got the impression from cabs that they don’t like short rides – and going to some of the outlying neighborhoods in San Francisco is something that they avoid. Our Lyft driver was only too happy to head to a far outlying area of San Francisco and was very happy to go there.
Our Lyft fare was fair and reasonable, and we got to rate our driver – which was sincerely an awesome. With so much customer service lacking when you travel, and even friendly customer service harder to find, we are totally sold on Lyft. We’ll try out Sidecar and others in the days to come and share with you a comparison between the alternatives.