COMMUTE CHALLENGE: Taxi vs. Rideshare
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.
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.
COMMUTE CHALLENGE: Taxis are more expensive, slower option for rideshare in Part 1
ABC7 community journalist Dustin Dorsey hailed a taxi with the Flywheel app. Here is Dustin's account in his own words:
After round one, I knew I had to get a rematch.
It took awhile to get a cab during the first challenge, but I was quickly matched with a ride in round 2.
After hailing my cab with the Flywheel app at 5:10 p.m., I hopped in my ride three minutes later at 5:13 p.m.
5:13: WE HAVE TAKEOFF! Jagpal and I are heading to Vista Point! pic.twitter.com/5al0TDgVSf— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 2, 2019
I quickly realized that we were going to go on a different route than I did in round one.
BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA: Rideshare realities
My driver, Jagpal, did not use a map app to navigate around the town.
This was where we thought the taxis could have an advantage over rideshare.
Jagpal had 30 years experience of driving taxis and it showed as we were rolling right along the roads.
5:18: Stuck at a red light but it’s thumbs up for my friend Jagpal and I! pic.twitter.com/yJ3RwfWqkr— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 2, 2019
I was shocked to see the drive was overall clear.
We slowed down only a few times during our 21-minute drive to Vista Point.
5:21: Moving along! I’m feeling the winning ways! pic.twitter.com/yTtp1leehH— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 2, 2019
Our cab passed by Presidio Park and Crissy Field before heading into the tunnels.
At this point, I knew the end was near.
There was no sight of Melissa and her Uber as we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge and it looked like she was behind us according to her tweets.
Finally, the crowning moment: the crossing of the finish line for myself and the taxi.
The final cost of the cab fare came out exactly equal as it was in the first challenge. A total of $25.50.
Using the Flywheel App cost me an additional $1.25 in a service fee charge. This gave me a final pre-tip total of $26.75.
FINAL TOTALS: my base fare was the EXACT amount as my first trip coming in at 25.50. No toll fee this time! pic.twitter.com/a3Cr9cX9VD— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) April 2, 2019
What I found interesting was that there was no $8 fee for a toll road.
We reached out to Flywheel to see exactly why I was charged this fee during the first trip and not the second one.
They told us: "the drivers are authorized to charge a toll fee for driving across the bridge, but may choose to do so at their discretion. This is the reason we don't automatically add tolls to your fare on the app".
Ultimately, the cost was obviously similar to Uber, but the driver experience was different.
Jagpal navigated the San Francisco streets with no app and still made it to the destination during the evening commute time in a faster time than the first challenge by one minute.
At this point, I think we need a third challenge to ultimately see who is the true champion of the commute challenge.
For now, it looks like it is a safe bet to ride cabs or Ubers to get you on your way!