By FARHAD MANJOO : nytimes – excerpt
If you need a ride, pull out your phone and load up the Lyft app. Or try Uber. Really, it doesn’t matter which you pick.
Though the two ride-sharing giants have carried on like the bitterest of enemies recently, their services have become pretty much indistinguishable. In many places, they both offer ubiquitous, cheap and mostly high-quality service.
They’ve become commodities.
That’s my conclusion based on the last two months of riding Lyft and Uber in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s difficult to say that either is much better, or much worse, than the other. From pickup speed, to driver and car quality, to price, they’re both pretty good.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take Uber’s. This week The Verge published memos detailing Uber’s campaign to recruit Lyft drivers. According to the report, Uber hires contractors who request Lyft rides and, before the ride is out, attempt to recruit drivers to sign up for Uber.
What is most notable is the indiscriminate nature of Uber’s campaign. During recruiting missions, contractors were paid $750 for any Lyft driver they signed up. The contractors had to be warned to wait a few minutes between rides, so as not to call the same driver twice.
Uber is not going after the best Lyft drivers and cars. It’s going after any Lyft driver with a car and a pulse. And that’s the problem: If Uber itself thinks almost any Lyft ride can be easily transformed into an Uber ride, why shouldn’t we just use Lyft?… (more)
These companies are out to corner the market and once they do, they will raise their rates to take advantage of demand pricing the way they did during outside lands. Do everyone a favor and avoid these vultures.