Is Uber or Lyft Cheaper? Let’s Find Out!

Alice Kotlyarenko 06-06-2019

Batman and The Joker, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Uber and Lyft. The battles of archrivals are ever so fun to watch, and today we’ll be pitting two ridesharing rivals against each other. Both Uber and Lyft have their pros and cons, but for a practical rider, it all boils down to one question: Is Uber or Lyft cheaper?


To answer it, we’ve compared Uber’s and Lyft’s prices in ten big cities across the U.S. and Canada, and then looked at the average fares advertised by both companies. This is what we’ve found.

1. Uber vs. Lyft: New York City Prices

A scenic ride through Manhattan and Brooklyn—from Empire State Building to Brooklyn Museum—will cost you $37.79 with UberX and $37.77 with Lyft Economy. That means the ride will cost you pretty much the same with either app.

Verdict: Uber and Lyft cost the same

2. Uber vs. Lyft: Washington D.C. Prices


Most things worth seeing in Washington D.C. are within walking distance from one another. But if you were to get a ride from, say, Library of Congress to The White House, which app would you want to use? UberX is going to cost you $10.11 for that route, while Lyft Economy estimates the ride at $10.32.

Verdict: Uber is slightly cheaper

3. Uber vs. Lyft: Chicago Prices

Chicago is one of the largest and busiest cities in the United States, and of course you have more ride options there. At the same time of the day, a ride with UberX from Cloud Gate to The Second City comedy club will cost you $9.32, while the same ride with Lyft Economy will be priced at $8.94.


Verdict: Lyft is slightly cheaper

4. Uber vs. Lyft: Philadelphia Prices

In Philly, the Lyft vs. Uber comparison finally stops looking like the slowest car chase in history. Lyft gets right ahead and offers a considerably lower fare for the same ride. Taking an UberX from The Liberty Bell to The Philadelphia Zoo will cost you $13.12, while a Lyft Economy will be $9.88.

Verdict: Lyft is cheaper


5. Uber vs. Lyft: Los Angeles Prices

The sprawling LA is painful to get around using public transportation. If you’re there without a car, prepare to shell out considerable sums for the rides. A touristy route from Universal Studios Hollywood to The Santa Monica Pier will cost you $27.65 with UberX and as much as $34.65 with Lyft Economy.

Verdict: Uber is cheaper

6. Uber vs. Lyft: Seattle Prices


Seattle may be becoming a pricey place to live, but at least the rides remain affordable. UberX will take you from Pike Place Market to Lake Union Park for $8.60, and Lyft Economy will more or less match the price at $8.71.

Verdict: Uber is slightly cheaper

7. Uber vs. Lyft: Miami Prices

Not sure if you can get a convertible to enjoy the ocean breeze as you go, but both Uber and Lyft are ready to take you for a ride around Miami. You can get from Venetian Pool to Ocean Drive for $24.35 with UberX or for $19.35 with Lyft Economy. A significant price gap there!

Verdict: Lyft is cheaper

8. Uber vs. Lyft: San Francisco Prices

San Francisco sights are scattered all around the area, along the coast and on the nearby islands. But if you need to get from point A to point B in the city proper, you’ll find it’s actually pretty compact.

An UberX ride from Alamo Square with its famous Painted Ladies to Pier 39 and all its attractions will cost you $12.50. For the same distance, Lyft Economy will charge you $13.20.

Verdict: Uber is slightly cheaper

9. Uber vs. Lyft: Toronto Prices

Lyft is not as widely available in Canada as it is in the U.S., but it does compete with Uber in major cities. In Toronto, for example, a ride from The CN Tower to The Toronto Zoo will cost you CA$49.44 with UberX and CA$46.16 with Lyft Economy, making Lyft a more affordable option.

Verdict: Lyft is cheaper

10. Uber vs. Lyft: Ottawa Prices

Last but not least, Canada’s capital city can choose between the two ridesharing services, too. If you’re there trying to hit all the major sights, here’s a sample ride for a Lyft vs. Uber price comparison. Parliament Hill to Rideau Hall will cost you CA$11.75 with UberX and CA$13.09 with Lyft Economy.

Verdict: Uber is cheaper

So Which Is Cheaper, Uber or Lyft?

It’s been a close race so far, with UberX being considerably cheaper that Lyft Economy in two scenarios (Los Angeles and Ottawa rides), and Lyft taking the prize in three (Philadelphia, Miami, and Toronto). Statistically, that makes Lyft somewhat cheaper, but in reality, the answer varies from city to city.

That’s not to mention how the time of day and car availability can influence your fares.

But what if you look at the average fares? According to the rates published by Uber and Lyft, Uber charges a lower initial fee and service fee, but Lyft’s rates per mile and per minute are lower than Uber’s. If you needed to ride for, say, 10 miles, here’s what your total would look like:

UberX: $0.40 initial fee + $1.58 service fee + $0.97*10 = $11.68
Lyft Economy: $0.9 initial fee + $1.90 service fee + $0.9*10 = $11.80

Lyft’s and Uber’s prices here are very similar. But if the trip were to take you more time, you’d probably end up paying a little more with Uber, because its per minute cost is $0.05 higher than Lyft’s.

Uber vs. Lyft: It’s Not Just About Prices

As the two ridesharing apps keep trying to outprice each other, picking one based on the fares may be a fool’s errand. There are more facets to the Uber or Lyft debate, and we’ve laid them out in an earlier article, Uber vs. Lyft: Which One Is Better? Check that out and make your choice, and remember to treat your driver well regardless of the app.

Here’s how to check your passenger ratings How to Find Out Your Uber and Lyft Passenger Ratings You probably think you're an amazing passenger, but so does everyone else. What do Uber and Lyft drivers actually think of you? Here's how you can find out. Read More to find out how you’re doing.

Related topics: Lyft, Save Money, Transportation, Uber.

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  1. Gu Lee
    January 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    I just got back from nyc and took Lyft and Uber for the exact same route from LaGuardia airport to my hotel, but Lyft is exactly twice more expensive than Uber: $44 by Lyft vs. $22 by Uber. Same small sedan and same two passengers, and I have no idea why such a big difference.

  2. dragonmouth
    June 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    "A scenic ride through Manhattan and Brooklyn—from Empire State Building to Brooklyn Museum—will cost you $37.79 with UberX and $37.77 with Lyft Economy. "
    A door to door subway ride from Empire State Building to Brooklyn Museum will cost you less than $3. Winner - New York subway, by a long shot.

    "A scenic ride through Manhattan and Brooklyn"
    If you're going to make statements like that, please give a drink warning. :-)
    Yes, it's a "scenic ride" if you enjoy trips through the asphalt jungle.