There has been new wave in on-demand services in arena of travel. From shared holiday accommodation to alternative rental car companies to on demand taxi service. In alternative taxi space there are few companies which are creating their niche by providing an easier way of taking that ride when you need it. Two of them are providing incentives like discounted and free rides to get the passenger on board and this companies are UBER & LYFT. Both of them work on a similar model where you use their Iphone or Android App to get taxi service when you need it. These helps in hunting down the taxi quickly as well as eliminating the hassle of cash payment which traditional taxi requires.
UBER - Uber has been the first mover in this space and has presence in 100 cities around the world as of this writing. They do promotions for free rides of varying dollar amount when they launch in the new cities and currently provide $10 credit if you signed up using existing member referral (Of course this provides the referrer $10 credit and if you wish you could use my link to sign-up). Currently you can use the code "hipmunk" to get $25 credit for your first ride. You can sign-up using your email address and need to register a credit card as well as mobile number to take the ride. You could also set the percentage of tip you want to give your driver. All you need to do is download their Iphone or Android app and login into your account to request the taxi service (provided they are present in your city). It would give you the approximate wait time for your pick-up as well as you can see the approximate amount it will cost you for the ride. Uber provides wide range of car selections and charges different amount based on the taxi type you request. They have taxis categorized from UberX to LUX with increasing cost.
LYFT - Lyft is currently offering the first time users $50 credit for free rides when you register on their app using the code "slickdeals". The only downside is you need Facebook login to register yourself. Also they just launched in 24 cities on April 24th and as part of that promotion they are providing 50 free rides up to $25 each in those cities for new users. You would not be able to get on to both the above promotion but they both are good if you are looking to hire a taxi in coming days. Usually the drivers are friendly and you would be intimated of the approximate wait time before the taxi arrives. Also since you enter all the payment information in the "app" itself you do not need to do any payment transaction. As soon as you are done with your ride you can get to see in the "app" the cost of the ride as well as your receipt. Currently Lyft is present only in 36 cities across USA but they have aggressive expansion plan. So, next time if you are stuck looking for taxi you might want to take a "Lyft".
I would strongly suggest giving Uber and Lyft a shot next time you are looking for a taxi and you will surely enjoy the convenience of a ride.
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