Catching a ride with Lyft, Uber

Published 1:51 pm Saturday, October 6, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


(Editor’s Note: It is the policy of Lyft and Uber to not use the last name of the drivers for safety reasons. To comply with the companies’ policies, The Orange Leader only used the driver’s first name in this story.)


Sometimes walking is just not an option between the heat and the rain in Orange County.

Driving Services such as Lyft and Uber are now an option as residents turn to the services for part-time employment to supplement their income.

To use the service, one downloads the app onto their smartphone, create an account, set up how one wants to pay. Options for payment are a debit/credit card or PayPal. Verify your email address, then request a ride.

The app will show, on a map, where the nearest driver is and how much it will cost from Point A to Point B, allowing one to decide if it is feasible.

Once the ride is confirmed, the app notifies the nearest driver and they are on the way to you.

The apps also show you a picture of what the driver will look like so the rider knows it is the correct person before getting into the vehicle.

Another feature is the rider can request a larger vehicle by selecting a six-passenger vehicle over a four-passenger vehicle.

Kelly has driven for Lyft for three months as a way to supplement her income.

“I use it mainly when I am out of town,” Kelly said. “There is more of a market for it in Lake Charles or Beaumont at this time.”

Drivers are not required to supply a car seat or booster seat for children.

“If your child is required by law to be in a car seat,” Kelly said. “Bring a car seat, otherwise we cannot give them a ride.”

It is also against Lyft’s policy to provide rides for those under 18 without an adult.

Rita, who drove for Uber, drove for the company for three years to supplement her income until she started working full time.

“Uber was slightly different in the price they show on the driver’s app is after the fees are taken out,” Rita said. “Lyft did not do that.”

Rita, like Kelly, also only drives during the daytime.

“I really enjoyed during it,” Rita said. It was a feasible way to supplement my income at the time. I knew I was adding wear and tear on my car. But I did not drive in Orange, mostly in Houston or Beaumont.”

The reason for not driving in Orange, according to all the drivers interviewed, was the demand in Orange was not there.

“Maybe if more people knew we were here,” Kelly said.

Lyft driver, Ashley, a theoretically 27-year-old, considered becoming a driver after a man she was dating encouraged her to give it a try.

“I know how it is to be without a vehicle,” Ashley said. “I did not have a ride and walked a lot.”

Ashley added she is cautious but also has fun driving for Lyft while sharing stores of some of the rides she has given in the last six months.

“I am very social,” Ashley said. “All I was doing was going to work, church and home. Driving for Lyft gave me something to do.”

“I mainly drive in Lake Charles or Beaumont,” Ashley said. “I have driven in Port Arthur a few times, and Houston. I prefer not to drive in Houston because of the traffic.”

Services can be used for a ride to and from work, to see a friend or whatever one may need a ride for.

Lyft drivers undergo two types of background checks according to its official website. Uber drivers also have to pass a background check.

“I would start checking in more often while in Orange if more people started using it here,” Ashley said.