If you’re visiting New York City and are depending on Uber and Lyft to get around, you may as well throw money out the window. Near the end of my trip last week, I met up with fellow points and miles enthusiast Dina. She filled me in on some great NYC rideshare apps that are way cheaper than Uber and Lyft. Since she lives in New York City and actually uses these local rideshare services, I’ve included some of her referral links. Here are 7 great rideshare apps you should be using in New York City:
Uber in NYC
Of all the rideshare apps I used while in New York, Uber was the most expensive. Considering most drivers are working for more than one rideshare company, there’s no reason to pay more. Still, you may have an Uber credit leftover, in which case using the app might make sense (unless you’re joining in on the Uber boycott). At the moment, new members get up to $20 off their first Uber ride while existing users can earn up to $10 for referring them.
Lyft in NYC
Following the massive Uber boycott that originated in New York City, I imagine Lyft got a nice boost last week. I used Lyft Line to get from JFK Airport to the Kimpton Ink48 Hotel. The driver didn’t pick up any other fares and we got stuck in traffic for over an hour. Still, a ride that would have cost $72 ended up being just $35. Minus a $10 Lyft referral credit, it cost me just $25 to get from the airport to Hell’s Kitchen. I did tip the driver $15, but it still ended up way cheaper than any other rideshare option (that I was aware of at the moment). It’s also worth noting that Lyft surge fares are generally lower than Uber’s. This can save you a lot of money if you’re in town during a busy period.
VIA in NYC
Of all the rideshare companies, Via offers the cheapest flat rate option for getting around the city. On weekdays between 6 AM – 8 PM, all rides within Manhattan cost $5 with pre-purchased ride credit. That’s pretty incredible, considering several 15-minute/4 mile Uber rides I took cost me $15 each.
Rides to and from the airport are also reasonably priced through Via:
- Via rides to LaGuardia Airport = $24.95 + tax and tolls.
- Via rides to John F. Kennedy airport =$39.95 + tax and tolls.
- Via rides to Newark International Airport = $49.95 + tolls.
- Via rides from Newark International Airport = $29.95 + tolls.
It’s important to note that these prices are for one person only. Each additional passenger will result in $5 being added to the total fare. Still, Via offers the best fare deal if you’re looking to navigate Manhattan on a weekday.
Via prides itself on offering the straightest routes, something Dina can attest to. Their drivers also operate mostly luxury SUV’s, making it way more preferable to public transportation. In addition to New York, Via also operates in Chicago and Washington D.C.
New members get a $10 Via credit for signing up with a VIA referral code (ariana2i2baca), while existing members can earn $10 for each new members they refer. The great thing about Via credits is that any unused balance can be used towards the next ride.
Gett in NYC
[UPDATE: As of August 2017, Gett has merged with Juno. The Gett ride share app is no longer available.] What makes Gett so unique is that unlike Lyft and Uber, they don’t impose surge pricing. No matter how busy it is, you’re going to pay the same fare. In Manhattan, that means a flat $10 for rides of up to 4 miles and 30 minutes. If you’re outside of Via’s $5 ride promotional period, then Gett is a solid alternative for cheap rides around the city. Another thing I like about Gett is that signing up with a Gett referral link gets new members $5 off the next ten rides. Referring a friend earns you a $15 credit after they take their first ride.
Juno in NYC
Juno calls itself the “socially responsible” rideshare company, taking a smaller cut of each ride (just 10% as opposed to 20 – 25%) and offering their drivers shares in the company. While Juno does not offer a referral program, they do offer new members 30% off Juno rides in New York City or downloading the app. I didn’t get a chance to try out Juno (I was trying to spend my 10 Gett credits), but I like the socially conscious aspect of the company and want to support it if they expand.
Curb in NYC
Taxi companies partnering with Curb in New York City include NYC Yellow Cabs and NYC Green Cabs. I didn’t personally use the Curb App while in New York, so I can’t comment on functionality. However, if you don’t mind taking taxis, you may appreciate getting $5 off your first Curb ride. The great thing thing about Curb’s referral program is that referral credits don’t have to be used on a single ride. If your ride ends up costing less than $5, the remaining balance can be applied to the next ride.
Arro in NYC
Arro is a taxi app I became aware of at the end of my trip. What makes Arro so unique is that it can be used to hail a taxi or pay for one you’re already riding in! That’s right, if you’re reading this in the middle of a ride and decide to download the app, you can use it to pay your fare. Arro is also available in Boston, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco. At the moment, Arro doesn’t have a referral program, but it can still be a convenient way to pay for cab rides when Curb isn’t available.
Whichever rideshare app you end up using the most, be sure to read the best credit cards for Uber and Lyft spending. Want more tips on using rideshare apps or getting free stuff? Check out the following posts:
- How to Eat Free While Traveling
- Airports Where Uber Pickup is Allowed
- Airports Where Lyft Pickup is Allowed
- Beauty Box Subscriptions: Save Cash and Earn Tons of Points and Miles!
Are there any NYC rideshare apps you know of that you think people should be using?
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