My Dad was a London cabbie, years and years ago, but his stories have stuck with me and I’ve always had a respect for taxi drivers because of it. Tough job, and while many people are polite passengers, there are always the drunk, hostile or just plain rude. My Dad had stories about celebrities he’d given rides who were jerks, and others who were surprisingly kind to a cabbie.
And so, when ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft began to rise in prominence, I resisted. Even as I’ve been at conferences with colleagues who kept pulling out their phone to order up an Uber, I kept using regular taxis if I needed to get around. Old school, I know, but licensed and a known quantity in a recognizable vehicle.
Finally, though, I decided to take the plunge and actually order up a Lyft to get from San Diego Airport to the La Jolla Hyatt Regency, location of the Dad 2.0 Summit. And it was really easy, efficient, pleasant, and considerably less expensive than the estimated $50 cab fare for the route. Since I’m not the only person who is late to this particular party, I thought it’d be useful to share the step-by-step of my experience.
When you launch the Lyft app, it shows where you are and gives you options for requested vehicle size:
You can see that the choices are a “Line” which is a shared ride, a “Lyft” which is a four seater, and a “Plus” which is a six-seater. In this instance, I’m actually at the hotel in La Jolla already, and you can see that there’s a Lyft car sitting at the Whole Foods Market just to the left. But compare the speed of getting a ride versus a traditional cab: If I tap on the “Set pickup” to proceed, the car will be dispatched and at my location within four minutes.
The second step once you have picked a vehicle size and requested a pickup is for you to enter your destination. Once done, it shows the rate for that particular ride. Looks good? Confirm and the vehicle is requested. Now you get to see it on a map, winding its way towards you:
Our vehicle was a black Ford Fusion driven by a chap named Loar. He had been sitting in a nearby parking lot, so arrived within the allocated four minutes. What’s cool about the San Diego Airport is that they have a clearly designated shared ride pickup area:
Moments later our driver Loar arrived with his Ford Fusion — I got a text message telling me so — and it was a simple matter of verbal confirmation to ensure he was the driver for us. He fit our suitcases into his trunk and we all got into the car: two of us in back, one up front with the driver.
For his part, he simply has a smartphone mounted on his dashboard. It gave details of the fare and a turn-by-turn routing to get us to our destination:
Easy enough, and if you don’t trust your drivers route, your own phone shows start, destination and where you are along the route:
In fact, we had a pleasant discussion – our driver is a mechanical engineer between gigs, just making a few extra dollars as a Lyft driver – and zoomed up the highway towards La Jolla.
Soon enough we got to the hotel, Loar unloaded our suitcases and he drove off as we walked into the hotel. On the phone app it identified that the ride was complete and that it was time to pick a tip and charge the transaction:
A tap to choose how much tip to offer, a tap on “Next” and done. Was ridiculously easy, more pleasant than a cab ride or hotel shuttle, and quite reasonably priced too. What’s not to like about that? I have a feeling that I’ll be using Lyft again, likely in the very near future.
Now, have you tried Lyft yet? If not, use my link and get a $10 credit against your first ride!