Is Lyft Cheaper than Uber? [Lyft and Uber Cost Comparison]

Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ride-sharing companies. You may have heard that Lyft is the more affordable option. Is this true? Is Lyft cheaper than Uber?

Lyft is generally cheaper than Uber in most states by a few dollars or few cents. However, the rates vary from one city to another. For instance, UberX may be cheaper than Lyft Economy when taken in Los Angeles, California but is more costly when taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Aside from the location, other factors affect Lyft and Uber fares. These include the differences in their initial fees and service fees.

Read on to learn more about these two ridesharing apps, including why Lyft is cheaper than Uber in some U.S. cities and vice versa. We will also briefly discuss Uber and Lyft fares in Canada.

Is Lyft Cheaper than Uber?

is Lyft cheaper than Uber

Lyft is relatively cheaper than Uber by cents to a few dollars. However, rates vary from city to city. For example, UberX may be less costly than the Lyft Economic when taken in L.A. but may be more expensive when taken in Philadelphia.

Lyft and Uber both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s now talk about Lyft and Uber fares charged to customers in various U.S. cities.

Let’s focus on several big cities, including:

  1. Los Angeles, California
  2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. New York City
  5. Miami, Florida
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Seattle, Washington
  8. San Francisco, California

1. Los Angeles, California

We all know how crowded it has always been in LA. Sadly, getting around without your own private vehicle is a painful activity every single day. If you use public transportation, anticipate shelling out a substantial amount of money to reach your destination.

Not to mention that fares differ, depending on the type of public vehicle that you choose.

For instance, if you are coming from The Santa Monica Pier and would like to head to the Universal Studios Hollywood, Lyft and Uber fares vary. If you choose to ride the UberX, it will more or less cost you $27.65.

Whereas, if you choose to ride the Lyft Economy, it will cost you approximately $34.65. As you can see, there is a $7 difference wherein the UberX is relatively cheaper than the Lyft Economy.

This route is 21.5 miles. You will most likely reach your destination in about 50 minutes or so.

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Let’s now look at how much it will cost you to travel from The Philadelphia Zoo to The Liberty Bell. This route is 4.2 miles. Your travel will more or less take 13 minutes.

If you take a Lyft Economy, your fare will be $9.88. Whereas if you take UberX, it will cost you $13.12. So, in this case, UberX is more costly than the Lyft Economy by only a few dollars — or $3.24 to be exact.

3. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois, is not only one of the largest cities in the United States. It is also one of the busiest U.S. cities. This is the reason why there are more ride options here compared to other cities.

Let’s say you are traveling from the Cloud Gate to The Second City comedy club. The distance between these two establishments is more or less 3 miles. In which case, you can reach your destination in approximately 15 minutes.

Is Uber cheaper than Lyft in Chicago? Lyft is cheaper than Uber in Chicago. If you are taking an UberX, your fare will cost roughly $9.32. Whereas, if you are taking a Lyft Economy, it will be less costly at $8.94.

4. New York City

In New York City, Uber and Lyft fares are relatively the same. If there are any differences, it will only be by a few cents.

For instance, you would like to go to the Empire State Building from the Brooklyn Museum. That’s more or less 6.4 miles, and you will most likely reach your destination in about 30 minutes.

Is Lyft cheaper than Uber in New York City? Lyft is slightly cheaper than Uber in New York. If you take the UberX, your fare will cost $37.79. At the same time, it will cost you $37.77 if you opt for the Lyft Economy. The difference is unnoticeable at $0.02.

5. Miami, Florida

Let’s now go to Miami, Florida, and check out their Uber and Lyft fares.

Let’s say you are coming from Ocean Drive and heading to the Venetian Pool. On average, the distance between these two locations is 12.3 miles. Via MacArthur Causeway, the travel will most likely be 28 minutes.

If you are taking Lyft, the fare will cost $19.35. But if you are taking Uber, the fare is $24.35. Apparently, Uber is significantly more costly on this side of the country.

6. Washington, D.C.

In Washington, D.C., it is more convenient and fun to walk to reach your destination. But in case you are too tired or lazy to do so, you can always book a ride with either Uber or Lyft.

Let’s see how much it will cost you to reach The White House if you come from the Library of Congress. The distance between this route is 3.8 miles via 17th Street. It will take you approximately 12 minutes to reach your destination.

is Uber cheaper than Lyft

Is Uber cheaper than Lyft in Washington, D.C.? Uber is cheaper than Lyft in Washington, D.C. If you use the Uber app, it will cost you $10.11 should you be riding the UberX. Whereas, if you use the Lyft app, the cost of booking a Lyft Economy is more or less $10.32. In which case, Uber is slightly cheaper at $0.21.

There are alternative routes to reach your destination. One is via Massachusetts Avenue, and the other is via Constitution Avenue. Either of the routes will take you to your destination in 15 minutes or so. Whether you take Uber or Lyft, the fare will relatively cost you the same.

7. Seattle, Washington

They say it is quite costly to live in Seattle, Washington. Fortunately, public transportation fares remain affordable. If you are coming from Lake Union Park and heading to the Pike Place Market, it does not matter if you choose to ride with Uber or Lyft.

With Uber, your fare will most likely cost $8.60. Whereas with Lyft, your fare will more or less cost $8.71. Uber is slightly less costly, and the difference is not at all significant.

The distance between Lake Union Park and the Pike Place Market is 2.2 miles. Via i-5 S, it will only take 9 minutes to get to your destination. If you take the Westlake Avenue route, it will take you 10 minutes.

Should you opt for the Fairview Avenue route and Stewart Street, it will take you approximately 11 minutes.

8. San Francisco, California

Unlike other cities in the U.S., establishments in San Francisco are quite scattered. Some are located along the coast, some on the nearby islands, and some are basically just around the area. Suffice it to say that walking is not really an option in this city.

Let’s say you are coming from the Alamo Square and heading to Pier 39. The distance between these two locations is 3.6 miles if you are taking Franklin Street. It will most likely take you 14 minutes to reach the pier.

If you prefer to take Franklin Street and Broadway, the route is 4 miles and will take you 15 minutes. Whereas, if you take Franklin Street and Bay Street, the route is 3.6 miles and will take you about 17 minutes to reach your destination.

An UberX ride will most likely cost you $12.50. If you opt for a Lyft Economy ride, the fare will most likely cost $13.20. In which case, Lyft’s Economy is more costly than UberX at $0.07.

Uber and Lyft Fares in Canada

In the U.S., Lyft is generally cheaper than Uber by cents to a few dollars. But the rates vary from one city to another. For instance, UberX may be cheaper than the Lyft Economy when taken in Los Angeles, California but is relatively pricier when taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Let’s also briefly take a look at Uber and Lyft fares in Canada and compare it with the fares in the U.S.

Toronto, Ontario

In Canada, Lyft is not widely available compared to the U.S. However, it nonetheless competes with the cost of Uber in some Canadian cities.

For instance, the Toronto Zoo ride to The CN Tower is cheaper if you take the Lyft Economic than if you opt for UberX. With Lyft Economy, the fare is CA$46.16. Whereas with UberX, the fare is CA$49.44. Thus, the more affordable option is Lyft.

The Toronto Zoo and the CN Tower’s distance is approximately 37.2 kilometers via Ontario 401 Express and Don Valley Parkway. You will most likely reach your destination in about 27 minutes.

Ottawa, Ontario

If the cost of Lyft seems more affordable in Toronto, Uber seems cheaper in Ottawa. Let’s take a look at how much it will cost you to get to Parliament Hill to Rideau Hall.

The stretch between these two locations is roughly 3.7 kilometers via Sussex Drive and Ottawa Regional Road 93. This route will most likely take you 7 minutes.

Is Lyft cheaper than Uber in Ottawa? Uber is cheaper than Lyft in Ottawa. With UberX, your fare will be CA$11.75 on average. Whereas, with Lyft Economy, it will cost you CA$13.09. Uber is cheaper by CA$1.34.

History of Uber and Lyft

Let’s briefly discuss the history of Uber and Lyft.

Creating a ridesharing app started when Uber founders Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick were in Paris, France. They were having a tough time hailing a cab and were stuck in one place for a long time.

This led to an idea of how convenient it would all be if they could request a ride using their mobile phone.

In 2009, Camp and Kalanick launched UberCab in San Francisco, California. In 2010, they decided to drop the Cab from their business name. They then launched their global service like Uber.

cost of Lyft

How Lyft began was basically the same. In 2007, programmers John Zimmer and Logan Green established a carpooling business called Zimride. It was the result of getting tired of joining carpools.

So, they initially took advantage of the Facebook Connection app to link passengers and drivers. Its success led to the launching of Lyft in 2012.

Conclusion – Is Uber Cheaper than Lyft?

Lyft is relatively cheaper than Uber by cents to a few dollars.

However, rates differ from city to city. For example, UberX may be less costly than the Lyft Economic when taken in Los Angeles, California but may be more expensive when taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Based on our discussion, Lyft is more economical in the following cities:

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. New York City
  4. Miami, Florida
  5. Toronto, Ontario

Whereas Uber is relatively cheaper in these cities:

  1. Los Angeles, California
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Ottawa, Ontario

Apparently, there seem to be no clear-cut winners between these two ride-sharing apps regarding pricing.

For both Uber and Lyft, the basic rideshare costs are roughly $1 to start, $2 per mile, and approximately $0.25 per minute. Actual pricing, however, depends on several factors, which include the route, destination, and availability.

Of course, you only want to get the best deal. To do so, take time to check out both apps before making your final booking. Compare the prices before you decide which one is best for you.

If you intend to use these ridesharing apps all the time to help you reach your destination, it’s always best to choose the one that will give you cheaper rates. Rates may only have a slight difference, but if you use Uber or Lyft often, that slight difference is, in fact, big if you add it all up.