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Visitors and residents of Chicago have access to one of the largest public transportation systems in the United States. However, ridesharing apps have become increasingly popular as an alternative to expensive taxi rides and indirect public transportation routes. The two most popular apps are Uber and Lyft, and both operate throughout the City of Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
In September of 2016, Uber began testing flat rate options as part of Uber Plus, a new program where riders pay $20 for a month of up to 20 flat rate rides, or $30 for 40 trips. However, Uber Plus has not reached Chicago, in part due to Uber and Lyft’s tenuous agreements with the City of Chicago. The City of Chicago, Uber, and Lyft recently reached an agreement to keep the popular ride-shares in Chicago without imposing stricter regulations.
Uber and Lyft have both agreed to increase the number of disability accessible cars available, which will open the ride-sharing apps to more new customers. However, neither Uber or Lyft offer car seat options for traveling families. Therefore if you are hoping to ride with young children, you will need to follow Illinois State laws and bring an adequate car seat with you.
So how do Lyft and Uber stack up? A trip from Millennium Park, a popular tourist destination in the heart of the Loop, to O’Hare International Airport will run you about $28 for an uberPOOL and from $30 to $39 for an UberX. Taking a Lyft to and from the same destinations will cost you around $24 in a Lyft Line and $30 for a standard Lyft. A fare from Millennium Park to Midway International Airport will cost you around $16 in a Lyft Line and $20 in a standard Lyft. Uber pricing will cost you $22 for a pooled ride and $25 for an UberX. In all, the two ride-sharing apps are both easy to access and use in Chicago, and continue to be a more budget friendly option than traditional taxis.