Wondering what jobs are like Uber and Lyft? Uber and Lyft may dominate most of the rideshare market, but here at The Rideshare Guy, we always say you need to diversify which companies you drive and deliver for.
While many of the companies we’re going to discuss are smaller than the more well-known competition, you may find you can make more money behind the wheel driving for a smaller company than you can with the big guys. Check out some of the Uber and Lyft competition below:
Think it’s easy starting your own rideshare company? Everything can be on your side, including demand and supply – until it’s not! Take a listen to this Rideshare Guy podcast episode, where Harry talks with the founder of FairShare about starting his rideshare company from the ground up – and why it failed.
Alternatives to Uber and Lyft
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.
In 2018, Via drivers earned more per net than any other driver in NYC (as shown here from the Report for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2018). Drivers on average earned $20.99 per hour on Via as opposed to $14.78 on Uber and $13.85 on Lyft. Today, Via drivers can earn up to $22.00 per hour with guaranteed hourly earnings, plus low service fees.
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. In addition, Via sends drivers their rates for the upcoming day, so you can plan out your schedule in advance.
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.
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.
Alto is only available in a limited number of cities, including Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, DC, and San Francisco. The only downside we’ve found is that some Reddit users don’t necessarily like the premium price associated with Alto, but as a driver, that likely equates to more earnings for you.
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 are booked on the app, via their website, or through a 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 you must be 21 years or older, have a personal/commercial driver’s license and auto insurance, a 4-door vehicle that is five years or more recent and is in excellent condition, and a smartphone for using the Wingz driver app.
They 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.
Wingz currently serves the airports in northern California, southern California, Texas, Florida, Phoenix, Seattle and Portland. For more information on any of these, check out their help section.
Arcade City is currently operating in Austin, TX and while it appears AC wants to expand, it has not yet happened.
The company’s biggest claim to fame so far is that when Uber and Lyft left Austin, Arcade City came to the scene and set up a new system that hadn’t 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.
The biggest downside at the time of Arcade City’s launch was that drivers were paired with riders through a Facebook group instead of using an app. The company has apparently taken the criticism to heart. According to their website, they are about to launch the Arcade City v6 app, which you can access through either your mobile device or their website.
Child Transportation Jobs Like Uber:
HopSkipDrive hires what they call CareDrivers who can earn up to $40 per hour plus bonuses. Requirements for CareDrivers include five 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 five 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, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Las Vegas.
They also have competitors, such as Zum and Kango, that offer similar services.
Kidcaboo is similar to HopSkipDrive and caters to busy parents who need help with the transportation of their children.
Driving Nannies, as the company calls its drivers, have extensive childcare experience and must pass a rigorous interview and onboarding process. In addition, candidates must have a clean driving record and pass a personal background check.
If you apply, you should expect to undergo several interview rounds and reference checks. Your car will also have to pass inspection as well.
Kidcaboo currently operates in Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, and Connecticut.
Kango operates a lot like Uber, but the company offers a unique service that provides rides and childcare.
Parents use the app to schedule a ride and can track the driver’s location, so they can follow their children as they are dropped off and picked up in real-time. They can also speak directly to the driver as needed.
Drivers typically have three to 20 years of childcare experience and undergo a full background check that includes fingerprinting, your DMV record, and more. The company states that drivers can make up to $48 an hour and have the ability to plan their schedule ahead of time as either a driver or sitter.
Kango provides transportation and childcare services in California and Arizona.
JumpRydz is a family-focused rideshare company. What this basically means is that parents can book a ride for an unaccompanied child or for multiple children who are going to multiple locations. Drivers who choose to add an NYC TLC license can even transport infants.
One of the more unique aspects of this rideshare job is that the company offers 8 hours shifts to drivers with an SUV or minivan (5+ seats). The company states that drives can make up to $40+ per hour and receive $700 to $1500 after every weekly payout.
Drivers can increase their income and receive pre-scheduled rides by providing proper fitting child-safety seats.
JumpRydz services Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, with service coming soon to Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester County. The company also states they are coming soon to New Jersey.
Carpooling Jobs like Uber
Wridz is an up-and-coming rideshare company based out of Texas. The company is like most rideshare companies except that drivers pay a monthly subscription fee to drive in the specified regions of their choosing. In turn, the driver keeps 100% of the fare.
Wridz has a fairly extensive application process. Drivers must submit to a paid background check and a drug test. The company also requires that drivers schedule an in-person interview with their vehicle.
Wridz has big plans to expand into quite a few areas in the not-too-distant future. They are currently operating in Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
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 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, you’ll still need rideshare insurance for all other rideshare companies. Check out the best option for you at our Insurance Marketplace.
Scoop is advertised as a carpooling service for co-workers. 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.
In addition, Flywheel can act like a bridge between restaurants and drivers. It allows restaurants to manage their customer and delivery schedules, and even allows a restaurant to see where the delivery is in real time.
Flywheel’s tech runs on a cloud-enabled smartphone. Flywheel was piloted in San Francisco, and after that successful run, it opened up to all of California. The website now states that Flywheel is certified in all major U.S. cities.
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 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 of making 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.
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 be part of the Access-A-Ride (AAR) program. You must be ADA certified to be approved for the AAR program as a driver.
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 upfront 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, Miami, San Francisco, London, and more.
The Drivers Cooperative is a co-op; it is member-based, and all members are part owners. A perk of being a member-owner is that they will elect the Board of Directors and have a share in profits. It’s free to join The Drivers Cooperative.
Has a driver-owned cooperative been tried before? Are other cities trying the same? It’s hard to determine if the ones I found are legitimate or not, but here’s what I discovered.
There’s a rideshare cooperative in San Francisco simply called Ride. Based out of Washington is a Ridefair platform that encourages people to start a Ridefair-powered co-op in their city if one is not yet available. Grand Rapids, MI has a co-op called People’s Ride.
Keep an eye out for cooperatives popping up in your city, but make sure you do your due diligence. Some cooperatives have grand ambitions but, years later, have still never gotten off the ground. Use your best judgment and determine their goals and values before signing up.
There are many 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, it’s good to know what your other options are. 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 no longer trust these two companies at all.
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 other ride-sharing companies beyond Uber and Lyft?
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-Paula @ RSG with additional reporting from Kate H.