Lyft Joins Uber in Jackson Hole

By on March 4, 2017

JACKSON HOLE, WY — The news of Uber launching yesterday in Jackson Hole—a place where public buses and taxis leave transit connection holes for many residents—spread fast.

“I just took an Uber in Jackson, WY. It was amazing,” declared Harper Hollis in a Facebook post Friday evening.

Though Uber took the spotlight, the rideshare company Lyft also began operating in Jackson Hole on Friday. And there are a few key differences between the two companies.

First off, on the heels of President Trump’s travel and refugee ban, many Uber users recently deleted their accounts because of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s seat on Trump’s advisory council. It was also Uber’s non-participation in a work stoppage called by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance following the ban that led many users to pledge to #DeleteUber, The Guardian reported.

Following the backlash from Uber users, Kalanick stepped down from his role on the Trump advisory council in early February.

Lyft, on the other hand, pledged $1 million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union in response to Trump’s ban.

Beyond politics, the culture of the two companies is different as well.

Passengers are welcome to sit up front and engage in conversation with Lyft drivers—often ordinary folks trying to make extra money. Uber, on the other hand, mirrors a more traditional taxi service, which often employs professional drivers at the helm of sleek sedans and SUVs.

The two services also differ in how drivers are paid. With Lyft, passengers can elect to tip drivers via its smartphone app, while Uber passengers do not have the option to do so. Speaking of payment, regardless of tipping, Uber cars tend to cost less than Lyft vehicles as it is trying to edge out competition with lower prices than its competitors.

Both Uber and Lyft work in a similar fashion, however. You download the respective app to your smartphone and add a credit card to your account. When you open the app, each displays how many drivers are in the area. In large cities, users typically do not wait more than 5 to 10 minutes for a ride. Though it remains to be seen what wait times will be like in the valley, particularly in the peak of summer when all major thoroughfares are clogged with traffic in the mornings and early evenings.

Regardless of which service you choose, that Jackson Hole and Wyoming residents have rideshare options in a rural state is good news for residents and visitors. It is the work of a bill—Transportation Network Companies, a.k.a. the “Uber bill”—sponsored by Wyoming state Sen. Affie Ellis of Cheyenne. HB80 passed unanimously in the Senate February 24 and Governor Matt Mead signed the bill into law Friday.

Both companies are offering promotions for new “Equality State” passengers.

From Uber:

All riders will be able to take any trip worth up to $20 for just $5 until midnight Monday. First time riders will also be able to receive $15 off their first ride by using the in-app promotional code “ridewyoming.” That promotion is valid through 2020. The app can be downloaded for iOS and Android. For those interested in driving, directions on how to sign up can be found at uber.com/drive.

From Lyft:

To celebrate Lyft in Jackson Hole, new passengers can use the code “lyftlove17” to receive $5 off their first Lyft ride anywhere. Interested drivers can view the Drive with Lyft page to learn more about joining the Lyft community.

An Uber launch party happens 7 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at Q Roadhouse.

 

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About Robyn Vincent

Robyn is the editor of Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine and former editor of Planet Jackson Hole. When she's not sweating deadlines, she likes to travel the world with her notebook and camera in hand. Follow her on Twitter @TheNomadicHeart

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