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How to use Uber and Lyft

How to use Uber and Lyft

Not everyone has caught onto the ride-sharing craze that is Uber and Lyft. There are many first time users out there, but if you're looking to use Uber for the first time, never fear. Most users find it simple, easy and convenient. Here is a short guide to using Uber for beginners.

Step 1: Sign Up

To start with you’ll need to sign up for the service. You can do this by downloading the Uber or Lyft app from your smartphone's app store (App store on iPhones and Play Store for Androids). Once it's downloaded, open up the application and create your account. You'll need to put in your basic personal information, along with your credit card number, which will be stored for automatic payment.

The app will ask to verify your identity by sending you a numeric keycode via text message. Go into your text messaging app on the phone and record the keycode they sent you. Then go back into the Uber or Lyft app. Follow the instructions on the app to enter the keycode, and once you've been verified, you can log in and use the app.

Tip: Use the discount code johnl2063 to get a couple of dollars off your first three rides!

Step 2: Provide Your Location

When you're ready for your first ride, open and log into the app (it should automatically log you in after the first setup). The first thing you'll need to do is select your pickup location. You'll see a pretty cool map with all of the Uber or Lyft cars that are nearby.

You can set your pickup location manually, or use your GPS to make it automatic. If you're using GPS, the blue dot on the screen will represent your actual location - check and make sure that it's true to where you actually are!

Tip: If a home pickup worries you, you can request that the car pick you up at the street corner or a bit down the road, or at a cafe across the street. Just move the pickup location pin by dragging it along the map, or input the address of your desired pickup location.

Step 3: Provide your destination:

In order to determine your fare estimation, you'll need to put in the address of where you're going. The drivers need to know where they're going to drive to before accepting your ride request. This ensures that the ride price will be fair and that the driver is willing to go to your destination! Also, it means that when you're picked up, the driver already has the route in their GPS and is ready to go.

Step 4: Choose Your Vehicle

After identifying your route, you'll be asked to choose the type of vehicle you'd like to use. There are a variety of styles of vehicles you might be able to pick from, depending on your location and what's around. You can use the slider to choose the vehicle that you would like. For uber, the options include: UberX, which is the least expensive private car and seats up to four people; Uber XL, which seats up to six people; UberSelect, a luxury sedan that seats up to four; Uber Black, an "executive" luxury car; or Uber Taxi, which in some regions is available for registered taxi drivers. If you're not going to fill up an entire car and would like to save some money, you can opt for Uber Pool, which is a cheaper, shared ride (meaning the car will be picking up other strangers along the way to your destination); or even opt for UberAssist or UberWAV for special assistance or wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Be aware that not all styles of vehicles are available in all regions or at all times! So you'll have to choose from what vehicles are nearby.

Step 5: Confirm the Order

Once you have confirmed the details of your ride, you need to confirm the order. You don't need to worry about money or credit cards - remember, you already put your credit card details into the app, so payment will be automatic. Once you've confirmed, it's time to get ready to ride.

Step 6: Get Ready:

If you're used to using taxis, then you're used to waiting long stretches for your ride to show up, In most cases, your Uber or Lyft will be at your door in under 7 minutes. This means that you should only order your car when you're really ready to go, as leaving your driver waiting could end in them giving you a lower passenger rating! If you're worried about having a car ready for you, you can open the app and look at estimated pickup wait time, prior to ordering your car.

Tip: Inform the Driver who you are

While you're waiting, you can use the app to see the driver's location, the average waiting time, and the type of car you're waiting for. You can also message the driver, and let them know where you'll be waiting (outside of Frank's Coffee Shop) or what you're wearing (a red trench coat) if you're in a busy area and might be difficult to find. To contact the driver, look for the phone icon or speech bubble icon with a phrase “Contact Driver”, “Call”, or “Message” (they update and change the app every once in a while so it may change) near the icon. Select the message icon, write out your message, and press send!

Step 7: Get In

Always check the license plate of the vehicle and make sure it's the same that's listed on your app, prior to getting in. Greet your driver by name (also supplied by the app) to make sure that you're getting into the correct ride. Your driver should greet you by your name as well (they'll have it from their app) to ensure you're the right passenger. This is especially important in highly Uber or Lyft trafficked areas, where rides are easily confused!

Step 8: Enjoy your Ride!

The great thing about Uber and other ride apps is that you won't need to do anything once you're in the car. The driver already has your destination information; a GPS with the correct directions; the rate is already agreed upon, and no money need be exchanged (you do NOT need to tip with cash, if you want to tip please do so through the app at the end of the ride). Which means that you're free to sit back and enjoy the ride!