Uber and Lyft: Your overseas travel companions

When your correspondent went to New York for the New Year holidays, I needed to book a cab through a smartphone. There, we tested two services – Uber and Lyft with their iOS apps.


So for travelling tourists, here is a step by step guide to booking a cab through a smartphone.


The Registration and App Flow

Uber and Lyft are big time competitors, so let’s see how they fare.


Both ‘Uber’ and ‘Lyft’ are ride hailing services that can be used with smart applications. Firstly, the installation process of the app is the same. Please be aware that you will need to authorize the authorization code using the registered phone number (via SMS) when you first use it. You then register a credit card for payment when authentication is over.


When booking a cab, specify the location where you want to get picked up and where you want to get dropped off by placing pins on the map.


Some of the cars available include hatchbacks, sedans and SUVs.

When the car arrives, mention your name to your driver


The contact information of the driver and the driver’s car will be listed on the app. You can also track the driver’s current location on the application.


When the car arrives, inform the driver of your name for verification and your journey will commence. Unlike ordinary taxis, you don’t have to mention your destination.


Will an honest elderly man come to pick you up? Or will it be a reticent older brother? All this depends on luck!


When I arrived at my destination, there is no need to pay cash or to pay tips.


After disembarking, you will receive the details of the trip on the application. You can evaluate the performance of your driver based on certain parameters and also to pay a tip if you enjoyed his service. If you select a low rating, the driver will be penalised, so please give them a 5★ rating if there is no particular issue.


Using Lyft

Here’s the app process for “Lyft”. Firstly, install the application and launch it, which will lead to integrating the payment. Keep in mind, the text is all in English.


1: Launch the application and tap “Get Started”


2: Select your country, enter the phone number and tap “Next”. A six digit verification code will be sent by SMS to your phone number. Enter it and continue


3: Enter your first and last name and email address. Read the “Terms of Service”, and if there is no problem, check the box and click on “Next”


4: Select “Add Payment” from the list


5: Enter the credit card information for payment and tap “Save”. By the way, you can choose to pay by “PayPal” as well


Upon completion of registration of payment details, you can start booking a ride. Select the pickup point, the drop off point and preferred vehicle type. As the map information will be displayed in Japanese, it is simpler for Japanese who can’t read English.


6: Set your destination in a similar way. Adjust the pin position and tap “Set destination”


7: Next, select the grade of the car and tap “Request Lyft”, the dispatch request will be sent. Make sure to choose 4 seats, which means you will get your personal dedicated car. A shared car is cheaper, but might take longer to pick you up and drop you as well


When the car arrives, you only need to verify your name for your journey to begin.


8: Select the tip and tap “Next”. If your distance is about 10 dollars away, its fine if you pay a tip of about 2 dollars. Evaluate the driver at the end. Select the number of stars and tap “Submit” to complete. You can add comments as well


Using Uber

The registration process is basically the same as Lyft, but the text in the application is in Japanese. Even people who are not good at English can use it with confidence. In addition, the design of the application is unified in black as a whole, and this is more chic looking than Lyft.


1: Install and launch the application. Enter the phone number. Then input the 4-digit authentication code sent by SMS


2: Subsequently, input “mail address” “password” and “first name”


3: Tap “Credit card or debit card”, enter payment information and tap “Save”. This completes the registration of payment information. You can book a car with this. The order of setting differs from “Lyft”, followed by “destination” → “grade of car” → “boarding point’’.


4: Adjust the pin to set the destination and tap “Done”. You may enter the address manually


5: Select the desired car type and tap “Confirm” at the bottom. Basically, if you choose ‘uberX’ as your car type, you should be fine. You can check the order at this point


6: Finally set the boarding point. Tap “Confirm dispatch” to complete the booking


7: When the driver arrives, let them know your name and get on


8: When the driver arrives, let them know your name and get on



An instance that I encountered was, the designated pickup point could not be accessed by the driver. In that case, the driver called me and asked me what he could do.


After a few back and forth, the driver cut the call abruptly and I got a notice saying that the booking has been cancelled.


At this point, you need to re-book a new ride and make sure you haven’t been charged a cancellation fee.




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