When Uber and Lyft threatened to leave California, many drivers understandably reached out to us and asked about alternative jobs like Uber. A lot has changed since Uber and Lyft temporarily left Austin, so we wanted to see which companies still existed as an Uber alternative, plus which companies have popped up as Uber and Lyft competition. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins outlines 11 top Uber and Lyft competitors below.
The recent scare of Uber and Lyft pulling out of California, even if only temporary, made us all wonder “What would we do if they did?”
Below, we’re going to look at other options you can consider. The world is a mess and we never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s good to have backups and backups for your backups. Let’s see what’s out there!
Eleven alternatives to Uber and Lyft:
- Arcade City
- Waze Carpool
- Want to drive for delivery instead? Check out this list of the best food delivery companies
Via drivers get paid to shuttle multiple passengers who are headed in a similar direction, only stopping to pick-up and drop-off on a corner to corner basis. Passengers then walk the last block or two to their destination to avoid unnecessary detours while making the rides more efficient. Most rides are shared rides on Via.
As a driver with Via, you choose between hourly pay—what they call Blue Mode—and per-trip pay—called Online or Flex Mode.
Via drivers earn more net than any other driver in NYC as shown here from the Report for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission 2018. Drivers on average earned $20.99 per hour on Via as opposed to $14.78 on Uber and $13.85 on Lyft.
Every Monday, as a driver for Via, you’ll receive a report showing all of your trips and breakdown of earnings, and on Tuesday you’ll receive your direct deposit of that money.
If you don’t have your own vehicle to use, Via offers Luxury rental options. For your own vehicle, Via accepts model year 2010 or newer for non-luxury vehicles and model year 2005 or newer for luxury vehicles. All vehicles must pass a vehicle inspection to drive on their app.
Currently, Via is available for drivers in Green Bay metro, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Columbus, Fort Worth, Arlington, Atlanta, Washington, Las Vegas, LA metro, Sacramento, Seattle and more.
Wingz may sound like it’s just for airport rides, but they offer non-airport rides, commuting and flat-rate pricing based on distance and time. They also offer delivery services.
Wingz encourages passengers to have a list of favorite drivers they can request over and over again. Rides can be booked on the app, via website or toll-free number, giving passengers more options for finding a ride. They also let the drivers choose their own schedule and accept the rides they want to give.
Their requirements are 21 years or older, personal/commercial driver’s license and auto insurance, a 4-door vehicle that is 5 years or more recent and is in excellent condition, and has a smartphone for using the Wingz driver app.
They do have a background check/screening process that all drivers must pass, as well as in-person and online orientation. Drivers also have to complete a knowledge test and disability training.
The airports that Wingz currently serves are in northern California, Southern California, Texas, Florida, Phoenix, Seattle and Portland. For more information on any of these, check out their help section.
We’ve covered Alto before, but in a nutshell, it’s a service company that has W-2 employee drivers. It is based in Dallas, Texas, and they are looking to “redefine the rideshare experience” until recently, when they shifted their focus to delivery because of the upheaval of ridesharing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alto now boasts on their website under Deliver, “We can shop, purchase, and deliver anything from anywhere. Real-time monitoring and text capabilities, so you are always up to date. A guaranteed safe, clean, and consistent premium delivery experience.
Drivers are hired as W-2 employees and they are paid an average of $13-15/hr. They also have a paid time off program and benefits for full-time employees.
In addition, Alto provides their drivers with late-model SUVs and they cover all gas and maintenance costs.
Their basic requirements include that you are at least 21 years old, are tech-savvy and have a clean driving record.
The downside at the moment is that they are only available in Dallas and Fort Worth, but they are looking to expand to other cities soon. Also, Reddit users I found don’t necessarily like the premium price associated with Alto, but as a driver, that likely equates to more earnings for you.
Arcade City is one to keep your eye out for. They have not currently launched in California, but they are planning to soon.
A tag on their website takes you to what they call “Dear California”. On this page, they explain how they helped out when Uber and Lyft pulled out of Austin, Texas, and how they can help California as well.
When Uber and Lyft left Austin, Arcade City came to the scene and set up a new system that doesn’t seem like it had been tried anywhere before. They created a self-governing driver cooperative, meaning the drivers were, well, in the driver’s seat.
The Arcade City drivers in Austin were able to set their own rates, kept 100% of their fare, choose which payment options they accepted (cash, cards, Venmo, bitcoin or even bartering), set their own schedule, could build a recurring customer base, and govern themselves based on a charter written by the drivers themselves. The charter was enforced by volunteer moderators.
A potential downside, is that the way drivers are paired with riders is through a Facebook group—and many Reddit users automatically called foul when they realized there wasn’t an app to use, but just a Facebook group to sign up for.
Using Facebook is a big change when compared to an app on your phone that does that automatically for you. One big downside to this is that not everyone is on Facebook, and personally, I don’t think I’d trust the system.
You can read a study done on the efficiency and effectiveness of how Arcade City worked in Austin.
HopSkipDrive hires what they call CareDrivers who can earn up to $32 per hour plus bonuses. Requirements for CareDrivers includes 5 years of caregiving experience, a good driving record, passing a multi-agency background check with fingerprinting, being at least 23 years old and having a 4-door vehicle no more than 10 years old.
According to a representative of HopSkipDrive: “We are a technology-enabled transportation solution for families, K-12 schools, non-profits, and kid-based businesses and driven over 2.5 million safe miles.”
Because of their policy about needing 5 years of caregiving experience, HopSkipDrive is not for everyone, but it’s a great alternative for caregivers who are looking to do ridesharing.
They are currently servicing these areas: Northern California, Southern California, Colorado-Front Range, Virginia/D.C./Maryland, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Arizona, Washington and Las Vegas.
Note: Rideshare services for kids are understandably seeing less demand right now, as after-school programs and activities for children are on pause around most of the United States. HopSkipDrive is still an option to look into, but it may not be as busy right now.
Carpooling Jobs like Uber
Waze Carpool is an option, but not for someone wanting to do a full-time gig. The basic idea behind it is that if you’re heading into the office and have the spare time to pick up a passenger or two along the way, you can do that to earn a little something on the way.
And by a little something, I mean really a little. It’s typically just a few bucks per rider and it is scheduled ahead of time, not typically a spur of the moment thing. The rider and driver have a chance to accept or reject any ride for any reason.
I had tried it out myself once, but the rider I reached out to never got back to me. The others were sketchy and I didn’t feel safe picking them up since there’s no accountability within the app, and technically drivers could be anyone also. You don’t need to pass a background check or have any inspections done on your vehicle. You don’t even need proof of insurance.
With carpool services, as long as you’re not getting paid more than the federal mileage reimbursement rate, you can use personal insurance legally – you don’t need rideshare insurance.
However, for all other rideshare companies, you’ll still need rideshare insurance. Check out the best option for you at our Insurance Marketplace.
Also, if you haven’t checked the cost and status of your auto insurance policy in a while, consider checking out Savvy, an auto-insurance comparison tool that does the research for you to find a cheaper policy.
As one user on Reddit said, “You get out of it what you put in.”
Scoop is advertised as a carpooling service. Similar to Waze Carpool, trips are scheduled and you set when you’re available and which direction you’re traveling.
With Scoop, their algorithm finds the most efficient trip based on route, nearby carpoolers, carpool lanes and more.
They have vehicle history checks done on every driver and feedback is given on every trip. Like the other options listed here, payment is within the app, so you don’t have to worry about cash or declined cards.
It’s available for companies to use as part of a carpooling program within the business to help get their workers to and from the office.
Scoop is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle metro, Portland, Detroit Metro, Tempe, Phoenix, Reno and Los Angeles.
Taxi-Like Jobs like Uber
Flywheel is geared toward taxi drivers and fleets. Basically, it morphs taxis into Ubers.Flywheel offers TaxiOS technology to cab owners to replace the outdated meters, dispatch, navigation systems and credit card readers.
Their technology runs on a cloud-enabled smartphone. Flywheel piloted in San Francisco, and after that successful run, they opened up to all of California.
Similar to Uber or Lyft, Flywheel allows drivers to be in control of their schedule—drive when you want to, as often as you want. It also trains its drivers about processes and guidelines as well as gives drivers alerts about nearby pick-ups.
Flywheel offers what they call DirectPay where you have your earnings sent directly to your debit card so you can receive that cash quickly.
Formerly Verifone Taxi Systems, Curb is a company with experience with taxis and the for-hire industry.
Curb features a “Pair & Pay” feature that allows riders to use the Curb app to pay for their taxi ride.
For drivers, there is a digital meter and driver app where you go online and start your meter as a taxi driver.
Curb is available in 65 U.S. cities including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and Washington, DC. They feature 100K+ drivers on their network with 10M+ trips per month.
On Waave’s website, it says that drivers earn more with fixed fares using their technology. It was built in New York City and is an independent company with the goal to make the taxi industry more efficient.
They state that your earnings can be in your bank account as soon as the next day and every payment is guaranteed. As a driver, you can also charge a flat rate instead of using the meter.
It’s currently only available in New York City, Boston, and Cambridge.
ARRO Driver app is for taxi drivers and boasts fast earnings with payouts as soon as the next day and higher earnings due to lower fees. They also provide free training and tips for their drivers.
It appears you can act as a taxi where you do street hails, or you can be part of the Access-A-Ride (AAR) program. To be approved for the AAR program, driver must be ADA certified.
ARRO claims that as an AAR program driver, you can accept more trips and get more offers, the trips are sent directly to your in-vehicle equipment and you get step-by-step instructions to reach your pick-up point and drop off area—which are provided up front to you, so you are fully aware of the trip before accepting the offer.
Both AAR and e-hail drips are priced up front so you will see what you are earning with your fare.
ARRO is currently available in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco.
There are definitely options out there, depending on where you live. Just keep in mind, not all options are going to look like Uber and Lyft—for better and for worse.
However, if there’s ever a thought that your gig is bugging out of your city, it’s good to know what your other options may be. Just look at what happened when Uber and Lyft left Austin. Drivers got about 48 hours notice that they wouldn’t be driving for those two entities anymore.
In 2016, both Uber and Lyft left Austin, Texas because of laws put into place that would force them to fingerprint potential drivers for background checks. Alternatives started popping up, helping the situation a bit, but according to a Wired article, “The city eventually established a hotline and then a job fair for drivers who had lost work.
Yes, Uber and Lyft are back now, but I doubt any drivers from 2016 will ever forget the feeling they had when they woke up and couldn’t do their jobs, and I’m sure some do not trust driving for them with the fear of losing their jobs overnight once more.
Even if Uber and Lyft remain in your cities, check out these alternative jobs like Uber if they’re available in your city. You may find they pay more than Uber or Lyft!
Drivers, do you drive for any other rideshare companies beyond Uber and Lyft?
-Paula @ RSG