Uber And Lyft Suddenly Crazy Expensive. Here Are Alternatives

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Image: Dan B. via Yelp

Friday night I paid $56 for a Lyft ride of just 4 miles, and waited 20 minutes for the privilege. Uber and Lyft suddenly got way more expensive in the Bay Area this weekend, reflecting a national trend of rideshare app trips suddenly costing a shit ton more money with fewer drivers available. The New York Times reported Friday that “Customers around the country say they have been startled by the price jumps. In some cases, they say, their Uber rides from airports cost as much as their plane tickets.”

There are less-evil Uber and Lyft alternatives that are suddenly much cheaper than Uber and Lyft because they do not use surge pricing. These ride hailing services exist as apps, but those apps hail real taxicabs, whose drivers have real taxicab licenses and experience. They have passed real background checks instead of quickie ‘app’ background checks, and actually know their way around instead of counting on GPS.

Image: Dan B. via Yelp


Flywheel Cabs his used to be longtime trusted company DeSoto Cabs, but this new rebranded company has an app and most importantly, uses “no surge or ‘dynamic’ pricing, the same fare 24/7/365.” 

You can download Flywheel for iOS of Flywheel for Android.

YoTaxi SF

Yellow Cab now runs the YoTaxi app, which also refuses to do surge pricing. They are also by far the greenest fleet in San Francisco, with 99% of their cars being electric or hybrid. 

You can download YoTaxi SF for iOS of YoTaxi SF for Android.


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Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.


  1. Cadence
    June 17, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I will never sign up for app taxis.
    It’s far more reliable to get around on bicycle, or drive myself.
    MUNI isn’t terrible if you have the patience and don’t mind spending $3

  2. Geek Girl
    June 17, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you! Uber and Lyft ate both deeply evil. I have given either a penny of my money. Kalanick declared that he wanted his customers to feel like pimps. That insured they were off my list. Lyft looked absurd with the pink mustaches. I would have been embarrassed to ride in one. And, of course they proved to be evil as well. I knew the day would come that they would start really price gouging. It will be interesting to see just how intelligent their customers are.

    • yermom72
      June 25, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      Hear hear!

  3. Perry
    August 18, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    All great and good but the main reason Lyft and Uber exist (other than to suck money endlessly from customers and investors) is the abhorable way people were treated by cab companies. Before Lyft and Uber appeared on the horizon cab companies did as they pleased. Extremely long waiting times and then never showing up, beat up cabs that would not be allowed in a third world country, rude behavior etc. As they continually lost revenue and in some cases closed up shop, they realized the old ways would not work any longer. Now we have new green vehicles that don’t smell like armpits, have Wi-Fi, and they actually pick you up when they stated they would be there. It may be a little too late for the cabs but Lyft and Uber have proven that they are not worthy of public trust and all the niceties of the early days was just smoke being blown up our asses. Horse and buggy anyone?

  4. David
    August 18, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    SF Muni anyone?