Once you are used to Uber, it can be hard to think of using something else. But when Uber and Lyft left Austin rideshare users were forced to use an alternate option. RideAustin was my rideshare of choice then and now that Uber and Lyft are back I see no reason to go back.
I wasn’t excited to download a new app, but now that I have I am happy that I did.
You set up the app just like the other car services: enter your credit-card number and connect your Facebook account or upload a photo so the driver knows who they are looking for. When you need a ride, the app shows you the closet cars on a map, just like Uber and Lyft. RideAustin currently offers four vehicle options: one for four passengers, one that seats six, and premium options for each.
Wait time is comparable to the others. At least in Austin, it seems like most of the driver have all of the different apps installed, so waits times were about the same.
None of the drivers I have used in approximately 50 rides so far have gotten lost, relying on their GPS and the destination you entered into the Fasten app to find their way.
Drivers run the range from real talkers who I have enjoyed my conversations to down to business professionals. I’m fine with either and haven’t had a problem with any thus far. The app has a built in messaging platform which has been great in communicating with the driver to coordinate a pick up location.
The key difference between RideAustin and UberX is the cost — both for passenger and driver. RideAustin doesn’t have the traditional “surge pricing” like Uber and Lyft that raises rates when there is high demand, although you are able to accept a price increase if you are willing to pay in order to convince drivers to pick your ride request over someone else’s.
RideAustin has no penalty for canceling a request a few minutes after you make it (Uber dings you $10). RideAustin charges $1.00 per mile, while UberX is at $1.06.
On the driver’s side, divers make more with RideAustin. They charge about less per ride rather than a percentage of the total like the others which is far more appealing than Uber and Lyft’s 20 to 30 percent cut of each job. I like that I am able to give more to the driver with each ride rather than to the company.
The takeaway: If you like the idea that your driver will get paid more while you get a comparable (and better with some features) level of service, RideAustin is worth checking out.
If you would like to try it out- use RideAustin promo code FirstRide to get $5 off your first ride.