Commute Challenge: Taxis are more expensive, slower option for rideshare

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco-based companies Uber and Lyft have changed the face of transit here in the Bay Area and around the world.

This has happened at the expense of the taxi industry, but many people still believe that taxi cabs have advantages that ridershare cars can't offer.

COMMUTE CHALLENGE: Taxi vs. rideshare

Namely, the drivers are more familiar with the cities they service which can result in a faster ride and they don't have surge pricing, so the ride can be cheaper depending on when you take it.

ABC7 decided to put this idea to the test with another commuter challenge to see which is faster and cheaper -- rideshare versus taxi.

COMMUTE CHALLENGE: Rideshare vs. Taxi Part 2

Here's ABC7 Community Journalist Dustin Dorsey's account of how the challenge went in his own words:

In the race of Uber and taxi: Uber came away with the win!

Here's how the events went down:

I used the taxi app "FlyWheel" to request my ride from our ABC7 Station in Downtown San Francisco, with the ultimate destination being the Vista Point Golden Gate Bridge visitor center on the Marin County side of the bridge.

A notification was received at 11:24 a.m. that my ride was five minutes away, but I didn't end up in the vehicle until 11:30 a.m.

Speaking from experience, I think it's safe to say the Embarcadero red lights were partially to blame for this mishap.

My driver, Mian, quickly hit the road nearly 10 minutes behind Melissa Pixcar in her Uber.

The difference I quickly noticed with Uber and FlyWheel was you do not lock in a location right off the bat with FlyWheel. Mian finalized my final location about eight minutes into my ride to the bridge.

Another change from Uber or Lyft was not seeing how much my trip will cost up front. It caused some surprises at the end of my journey.

Mian's 19 years of experience driving in San Francisco was no match for the construction that we saw driving down the road. It definitely slowed down our commute.

While Mian was telling me about the heightened regulations taxi drivers face in comparison to Uber or Lyft drivers for things like drug testing and background checks, Melissa and her Uber arrived at Vista Point.

Two minutes later, at 11:46 a.m., we finally got our first sights at the Golden Gate Bridge after driving through the city down Bay and Lombard Streets.

By 11:50 a.m. we had crossed the bridge and two minutes later, at 11:52 a.m., we made it to Vista Point.

It took me a total of 22 minutes from start to finish to leave ABC7 and arrive in Vista Point, three minutes longer than it took Melissa to make it while on Uber.

The price also proved to be favorable for Uber as well.

I faced some confusion with the total of my drive at the end of my ride. This is common with cab rides as they do not give you an exact amount at the beginning of the trip as Ubers do.

My driver, Mian, told me my total was $25.50 and I left him a 25 percent tip.

The 25 percent was one spot above the base tip rate that FlyWheel automatically adds for you for the trip.

Upon getting my final receipt, I saw the total amount of my ride was $43.13.

I was confused where the total amount changed, so I reached out to FlyWheel.

They let me know there is a toll fee for crossing the bridge, even though the direction we drove in did not go through a toll. The amount goes back to the driver when he/she has to drive back into the city.

The total fare cost was still $25.50 but there was an additional $8 for the toll fee, a $1.25 service fee and $8.38 for a tip.

We will put our findings to the test once again during peak commute time at 5 p.m.

You can follow along with the fun on ABC7 News and see who will come away with the win!
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