Previously, in Uber Lyft - The Alternative Commute, we discussed the total cost of ownership for having and using your own car to commute to/from work. For most of us driving 25 or more minutes a day is the norm, unless you live in an area like NYC or D.C. where public transportation is convenient. Then your commute may be even longer, but cheaper on a daily basis. Growing up in Atlanta, I personally used public transportation for years traveling back and forth to school. And let me tell you, waking up at 6am in late December/January in order to get to school by 8:30am, was not the highlight of my Middle/High School years. Even worse were the limitations if you are out late at night, and have to make sure you make it in time to your train station to catch the last bus of the night…not fun being “stranded”.
Then of course you could catch a Taxi, or drive yourself. But where’s the fun in that?!?!!? Now, getting back to your daily commute, how much could you save by Ride Sharing on a regular basis? Not just from post work events, and weekend fun, but everyday! For comparison, as mentioned in Part 1, the Total Cost of Ownership for a used and new car ranged from $6,500 to $8,350 per year to commute a total of 50 miles per day.
Cost of an Uber Ride
The examples below use a 13 mile, 25minute ride in two different cities for an estimate: Atlanta, GA and Fort Myers, FL. We will also use the lowest cost ride option, UberX, which provides a basic 4 door sedan. Think Toyota Corolla, Camry, or a similar vehicle.
In Fort Myers and Atlanta, according to Uberestimate.com, a 25 minute commute costs between $15-$20. This will of course vary as costs fluctuate when the ride time increases/decreases due to traffic, or if there is higher demand from riders than there are available Uber drivers (surge pricing). Based on the average of between $15-$20 per ride, $30-$40 per day, $150-$200 per week, $600-$800 per month, $7200-$9600 per year!
So it seems Uber is slightly higher based on the estimates provided above. Remember that these are estimates for both your Total Cost of ownership, as well as cost for an Uber ride. This will vary based on the type of car you own, as well as the city you are using Uber (or Lyft) in. So where are the potential savings?
Since you're no longer driving, your car is not in danger of being t-boned, flipped, and burned... that just made me hungry. But on a serious note, this reduces your risk of spending money on fixing your car due to a wreck, or even replacing your car if it is totaled. Not to mention medical bills which may also result from your accident. Of course your insurance will help with these costs, however there are still out of pocket costs if you were to get into a wreck. In addition to the costs, you would have additional time spent on the phone with your insurance company, at a bodyshop getting your car fixed, and/or at the dealership looking for a replacement vehicle. Now while driving with Uber doesn't prevent you from getting in any wrecks at all, it does reduce the costs YOU would pay if there is an accident...to ZERO!
In select cities, you have the option to Car Pool with other Uber riders. This helps reduce the cost of your ride even further. I've seen an average of about $5 savings per ride, that's between 20-33% discount based on the $15-$20 ride costs. Also, unlike with a regular Uber ride, you will receive a guaranteed fare before accepting the ride. So the amount of time, or miles based on the route the driver takes, will not increase your fare. Take that Atlanta traffic!
Even if you don’t live in a city with UberPool, you can still take advantage of “pooling”. Lets say you have a friend, or family member who lives and works in the same general area. Why not pick them up, drop them off, and head to your job as well! With just one additional rider, you essentially cut your costs in half! Now your yearly costs to ride share are between $3,600 and $4,800. Now we’re getting into direct savings that you can take to the bank!
With less cars on the road, especially for those who “SharePool”, this helps to reduce the effects of our cars on the environment. Oh, and I did say LESS cars on the road, which is a benefit within itself! Less traffic! One issue, which may not affect most commuters working 9-5 or similar schedules, but would affect those working late nights…Drunk Drivers.
Many people use Uber, Lyft, or other services to take a ride home after going out for a late dinner, going to a bar, or a club. The safest thing for those individuals would be abstinence of course, but catching a ride home instead of driving not only benefits that individual, but the well-being of others on the road. Other drivers on the road, as well as Uber drivers and Lyft drivers will thank you for not taking the risk of driving while under the influence.
As we mentioned in Part 1, your time is the greatest savings you will receive. In fact, time is the most valuable commodity on earth (and in outerspace)! You cannot recreate time! Tivo does not work for real life, and you don’t get any do-overs and mulligans. What would you do with an additional 250 minutes each week? Take a nap during your ride? Sure. Finish up a project, presentation, or reply to some emails on your way to work? Why not. Maybe you can just relax, avoid road rage, and not get stressed out over the drive to work. There are many things you can do with this extra 50 minutes per day that you’re not able to do when you’re behind the wheels of your car. Use it wisely!
How valuable is your time?
What would you do with the additional time gained while not being at the wheel during your ride? Given the benefits mentioned, or any that you have in mind, how does this idea sound to you?Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below! Subscribe to the Blog to receive email updates for future posts! Never used Uber or Lyft? Test out a Free Uber Ride here for first time riders! Ride with Lyft! Or better yet, become an Uber Driver or Lyft Driver, and make some extra cash!
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Akeem The Dream
I enjoy discussing and learning about technology, stocks, sports, and beating my wife at Dominoes! As I learn, I love to share with family and friends so that we can share our knowledge. Thanks for being apart of the journey!