Saving Money On Transportation When Traveling
Typically when I travel, my aim is to get the most value out of my money. That is the main reason why I started collecting miles and points in the first place.
Although I enjoy flying in Business / First Class and staying at 5 star hotels, I mostly use my miles & points to help subsidize my economy travel (hence why I also love Southwest).
While miles & points cover the 2 major expenses of traveling, airfare and lodging, the little things like transportation, food, sight seeing, etc can also add up.
While deciding where to eat and what to see are personal choices, with transportation you don’t really have a choice unless you don’t plan on leaving the airport.
Depending on the city, transportation to / from the airport can be expensive.
I’ve never seen “The Terminal” but the only plausible plot I can think of is that Tom Hanks lands at JFK only to discover how expensive a cab to midtown Manhattan is so he decides not to leave the airport.
I am extremely lucky that in Chicago it is only $2.25 to get to O’Hare from Downtown on the blue line (surprisingly this is the one thing the City hasn’t privatized yet), but in many other cities even public transportation to / from the airport can be expensive.
Therefore I am always on the lookout for ways to cut down on the cost of transportation while traveling.
Last May, a new start-up called Lyft “rolled” into Chicago.
$60 million in funding later, Lyft has barnstormed across the U.S and is in most major U.S cities now. Full city map can be found here.
If you live in any of the above cities, then you may have seen the Lyft cars driving around with their iconic bright pink mustaches.
If you haven’t heard of Lyft, it is basically like Uber (and identical to UberX) but instead of taxis, all the driving is done by normal people using their own cars.
Everything on Lyft is done on your phone including flagging the Lyft, paying for your ride, and rating your driver.
All the Lyft drivers go through a background check, are insured, and you rate them after your trip.
Since Lyft doesn’t have to deal with taxi medallions or any other taxi / government bureaucracy, they have zero overhead thus making Lyft rides way cheaper.
Every city is different but in Chicago, Lyft costs $1.25 a mile compared to City of Chicago mandated $1.80 for taxis.
That is a price difference of 33% and the Lyft price includes the tip!
$25 In Free Lyft Credit
Back in May when I first wrote about Lyft, they were offering $120 in free codes / credit (which I gladly accepted). Unfortunately, now that Lyft has spread like a wildfire, those days are long gone BUT thanks to increased competition from UberX, Lyft is still handing out coupons for free rides.
If you haven’t used Lyft before, feel free to use the below code for $25 in credit (basically your first ride free).
I would be promoting Lyft regardless if they were offering me credit so feel free to post your referral codes in the comments below or if you have a $25 or more code.
Also back in the day, many of the codes were stackable (hence how I got $120 in credit), so feel free to try stacking the codes that people have left in the comment section.
As much as I love riding with maniac cab drivers who are always on their bluetooth and all conveniently have credit card readers that are “broken”, since Lyft’s debut in Chicago last May, I have not stepped into a cab.
For years, taxicabs have resisted basic technological innovations because they basically run a monopoly thanks to taxi medallions. Well now thanks to Lyft that monopoly has been broken up, which is great for consumers!
In addition to paying lower rates, you can now flag rides on your phone, pay for the ride with your phone, and then also get to rate the driver. What more could you ask for?
Anyways, I highly suggest everyone check Lyft out because it is amazing and you will wonder how you ever dealt with having to stand on the corner and physically flag down a cab!
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