Trending on the 412 Blog and What You Need To Know About Ride-Sharing

Apr 8, 2014

Lyft cars are identifiable by a fuzzy pink mustache.
Credit Marnie Schleicher / 90.5 WESA

  Sean Conboy online editor at Pittsburgh Magazine's 412 Blog breaks down trending topics in Pittsburgh, from social mobility to dining trends, Google Fiber, and most notably, the ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber

“Basically it’s taking what people see as a jitney sort of service and actually taking it into the 21st century,” Conboy said about Uber and Lyft.

Before you download either of the apps, there are a few things to know, including pricing and how the process works. Each has their own unique way of branding, but they share a few of the same features.


1. Vehicles have a fuzzy pink mustache attached to the front.

2. Ad displays a photo of the driver’s car when riders request a ride.

3. Drivers greet passengers with a fist bump.

4. Apps suggest a donation, but riders can choose to pay more or less.

5. Drivers can filter out riders who consistently pay less than the suggested donation.

6. Users receive $25 in Lyft credits when they share with their friends, who will also receive $25.

7. Groupon is offering $20 worth of Lyft credits for $5.

8. Requires both riders and drivers to sign up using their Facebook accounts.

9. During times of high demand, Lyft automatically switches on Prime Time. This adds on anywhere from 25% or more to the rider's total, but only the driver receives the extra money from the tip. 

10. Here is the cost breakdown for a typical ride:

  •  Cost per mile: $1.25
  •  Cost per minute: 30 cents
  •  Pickup: $1.50
  •  Trust and safety: $1.00
  •  Minimum: $4.00
  •  Cancelation fee: $5.00

Inside an Uber ride-sharing car.
Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures / flickr


1. Users have the ability to split ride fares between fellow riders.

2. Riders must pay the suggested fare on the app.

3. Its website can give you a fare quote.

4. If users share their promo code with friends, they get $20 off their first Uber ride. Once they ride, the initial user gets $20 in Uber credits.

5. Prices can go up during peak hours when rides are in high demand. The app notifies riders when this happens and riders must confirm that they accept the elevated prices. Once enough Uber cars are available, prices will return to normal. Peak hours vary based on the availability of cars.

6. Here is the cost breakdown for a typical ride:

  • Base fare: $2
  • Cost per minute: $0.30
  • Cost per mile: $1.25
  • Minimum: $4
  • Cancelation fee: $5

Shared Features

1. Users must insert their credit card information after downloading the apps in order to request a ride.

2. No money is exchanged in the vehicle - it’s all done through the app.

3. Allows users and drivers to rate each other after the ride.

4. Drivers go through background checks before being hired.

5. Apps allow riders to track the location of their car as it arrives.

6. Drivers use their own cars, which are inspected for safety.

7. Apps keep riders updated on their arrival time.

8. Apps show a photo of the driver coming to pick you up.

9. Allows riders to contact drivers and vice versa.