Uber and Lyft are a fine way of getting around DC. However, they are not always the best way of getting from place to place. We’ve noticed a recent trend of people becoming overly reliant on these apps. Historically Uber and Lyft offered dirt cheap rides. Now that they are both publicly traded companies that is starting to change. If you decide to use Uber and Lyft during your trip, here are some of our favorite tips to make it a little easier.

Uber and Lyft in Washington, DC have tons of options

In 2012, Uber was a luxury car service. Back then, you chose between either a town car or a black SUV. That’s it! The drivers were professional licensed limo drivers. Uber X was born once Lyft launched. Lyft and Uber X were the exact opposite of the original Uber service. They had regular people driving regular cars at rock bottom prices. Now, Lyft and Uber X are available in almost every city in the US and around the world.

Make sure you know what kind of service you need before requesting your ride.

  • Uber Black – the original town car service
  • Uber SUV – the original luxury SUV service
  • Uber X – regular people driving regular cars
  • Uber XL – regular people driving minivans or large SUVs
  • Uber Pool – an Uber X ride shared with strangers

There are also options if you need a child’s car seat or an accessible vehicle. These vehicles are in much shorter supply and it can take longer to get one. Lyft offers many of the same services with slightly different names.

Tip: pick an easy spot to meet your driver

The truth is, a lot of drivers in DC don’t really know the city very well. Many of them live far away in Maryland and Virginia and drive into the city to make money. As a visitor, you may not know the city very well either.

When you request your ride, try to place yourself near an easy to identify landmark or business. If the driver can’t find you (and they often can not) you can always call and tell them what business to drive toward.

Tip: Avoid Uber and Lyft during rush hour

Trying to get anywhere during Washington, DC rush hour can take significantly longer than mid-day. However, sometimes it is hard to avoid riding during rush hour. A ride that might take you 15 to 20 minutes mid-day could take up to an hour during rush hour.

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