More than 20 years ago, taxi app Curb piloted a precursor to the ridesharing technologies we know today.
“We actually pioneered a concept of coordinated or centralized dispatch, to say, ‘hey, we would do much better if you could call one phone number, and you would get the closest available vehicle from all the different taxi companies,’” said Jason Gross, vice president, head of mobile at Curb.
Throughout the years, Curb has focused on creating new technologies for taxis, for example credit card payment systems and TV entertainment in cabs. Now, Curb is one of the go-to ridesharing apps that lets users hail, pre-schedule and pay for their cabs in dozens of cities.
“The idea was always about what technology is out there that we could bring to make the taxi industry more competitive, more effective,” Gross said.
Built In compiled a list of 10 rideshare companies to consider the next time you need to get somewhere.
What Is a Rideshare Company?
A rideshare company connects passengers with transportation for hire via an app or website. Ridesharing is typically thought of as getting a ride in someone’s private car that they drive, but the term now encompasses other forms of electronic ride hailing or transportation booked via an app.
“It’s an interesting debate we have because ridesharing started as really getting into the personal vehicle of someone who was going to allow you to effectively carpool with them for a little bit,” Gross said. “In our industry, it’s also been called e-hailing because it’s like hailing a taxi electronically … and then some people call it ride hailing.”
A key component of ridesharing is that the application will connect the rider with the closest vehicle to get them from point A to point B.
Top Rideshare Companies
Arro is a taxi app that provides a fare estimate, route preview and an ETA for the nearest available driver. At the end of a trip, the fare is paid automatically in the app. Passengers can also pay for cab rides using the Arro app even if they hailed the taxi the old-fashioned way. They can enter in a seven-digit check-in code from the taxi’s screen and automatically pay in the Arro app.
Arro is available in New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, Miami and London.
Curb is a taxi hailing app that enables riders to hail, pre-schedule and pay for their cabs. Curb riders can also pay for a cab they hailed on the street through the app’s “Pair and Pay” feature. Passengers will be driven by licensed and insured professional taxi drivers.
Curb also provides fleet management services — offering payment solutions, digital meters and dispatch management for taxi companies — as well as Taxi TV for in-car entertainment and marketing. Curb has offerings for corporations, too.
Curb has more than 100,000 drivers in its network and operates in dozens of cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Curb recently announced a new partnership with Uber to provide Curb drivers with access to Uber riders.
Gett is a corporate ground transportation management platform. It aggregates more than 2,000 existing transportation providers, including corporate fleets, ride-hailing companies, taxis and limos, into one platform. Gett offers 24/7 support and real-time tracking.
Gett in central London gives an option to select electric cars for every ride, and with Gett Green, riders can donate to environmental charity projects.
Through a partnership with Lyft, Gett has expanded beyond Europe and Asia and now offers services in 44 major cities throughout the United States.
Flywheel is a taxi hailing platform where riders can hail, track and pay for trips in one app. Vetted, professional drivers pick up passengers. Flywheel Business offers service for fleet partners, as well as logistics management for corporate partners. Flywheel Government provides regulators with access to data and advanced analytics about taxis, and Flywheel Foods provides restaurants with food delivery services.
Flywheel operates in San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, Washington D.C. and Houston.
Hitch connects riders and drivers headed to the same city. Hitch riders get pick-up and drop-off services near their desired locations, and Hitch Premier customers get door-to-door drop-offs.
Hitch rides can be scheduled up to 60 days in advance, and all drivers are background checked. Hitch also offers delivery services.
Hitch provides rides in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.
Lyft is a rideshare company that offers users access to a wide range of car types for rides. Lyft also offers bike and scooter rentals and rental car services, as well as Lyft Business for companies.
Lyft Pink is the company’s transportation membership for all of its rideshare, car, bike and scooter services. For $9.99 a month, riders get priority pick-up, minimum 5 percent discounts, relaxed cancellations and other benefits.
Lyft operates in 644 U.S. cities and 12 Canadian cities.
Uber is the largest ridesharing company. Uber offers a variety of mobility solutions including Uber Eats for food delivery, Uber Connect for same-day deliveries and Uber Business.
Uber One is Uber’s membership program that provides users with benefits like $0 delivery fees on food orders, up to 10 percent discounts on food and up to 5 percent discounts on rides.
Monthly memberships are available for $9.99 and annual memberships are available for $99.99.
Uber has committed to becoming a fully electric, zero-emission platform by 2040, with 100 percent of rides taking place in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit or with micromobility.
Uber is available in more than 10,000 cities worldwide.
Wingz lets riders book private, scheduled and fixed-price rides. Wingz focuses on airport rides and provides scheduled, personalized rides for those in senior facilities.
Wingz operates in 16 metro areas and at 22 airports in the United States.
Ziro is a ridesharing platform that aims to provide rides that are up to 25 percent cheaper than competitors by not charging drivers (whom the company calls Captains) any per-trip commissions (just a booking fee). The app includes augmented reality maps, live dashcam streaming and safety features like route monitoring, voice-controlled safety commands and extensive driver background checks.
Ziro emphasizes its commitment to being a carbon-neutral company. It plants a tree for every five trips a Captain makes. Ziro operates in San Francisco and plans to expand to 23 other cities in northern California.
zTrip is a rideshare app offering pre-scheduling for rides and no surge pricing, plus 24/7 support. zTrip also offers ExecuCar for airport rides.
zTrip operates in cities across the United States from Albuquerque east to Baltimore.