This week I used Uber for the first time and really loved it. It was very convenient (I could see how far away the nearest driver was and it only took him a few minutes to pick me up.), cost less than a comparable taxi ride ($40 vs $60-$70), and was a high-quality experience (nice car, professional driver).
I haven’t tried Lyft yet, but what I like most about both services is how they increase asset utilization. Instead of manufacturing more cars for dedicated taxi fleets, these services use existing cars that are already on the road and would otherwise be sitting idle. They also increase human asset utilization. Many (most?) of the drivers don’t drive full-time. Rather they pick up rides during their downtime to supplement their income, meet new people, and do something interesting – sure beats sitting on their butts watching TV!
Katie and I only have one car in NC and we used to think that we would buy another once I started traveling around the area more. However, with services like Uber and Lyft available, that probably won’t be necessary. If one of us is already using the primary car, the other can take one of these services and even get work done while being chauffeured around. I’m a fan!