Why Uber/Lyft Suck in New York

Like a growing number of New Yorkers, I opt for Uber or Lyft when I am forced to take a cab. It is generally cheaper, the cars are nicer and the drivers are far, far less smelly. As convenient as it is, ridesharing really sucks in New York. And I’ll explain why.

When I was living in sunny Los Angeles, I used a now-defunct service called Sidecar (same concept, but I liked it better than Uber and Lyft). The drivers there were basically regular guys who had other jobs, but used their cars to make some extra cash. That really is what the set-up was all about, anyway.

It was more like riding with a friend. In Los Angeles, I never, ever sat in the back; I always sat in front and had conversations with the drivers.


Here in grim New York, they are professional drivers, for the most part. It is the way they earn their living. In fact, some of them are driving for car services that are also capitalizing on the technology.

There is never, ever any sitting up front. In many cars, the front passenger seat is pushed all the way up. It is ostensibly to give the passenger more room in the back., but we all know it is to discourage anyone from sitting up front. Conversations are rare. It is like riding with a regular cab driver, not a friend.

Now, you could argue that getting from here to there is what this is all about. It is not a bar where you might meet new people. But don’t you want to have a somewhat pleasurable experience as well? You likely will not get that in New York’s version of ridesharing, which is exactly like taking a regular cab.

Sigh, I hate this city.