Ridesharing: how much does it really cost?

The rise and implementation of digital technology have impacted almost every facet of our everyday lives. From allowing you to order your dirty chai latte before getting out of bed, to being in a live video call with a business partner across the globe–the way we interact with the world is changing. This change is inevitable, and according to MSNBC, it’s being driven forward by one main factor: convenience.

We see this conversion of technology almost everywhere, but one of the most apparent places is in our transportation. With the recent rise of ridesharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft, we are seeing the industry being transformed. As millennials are searching for ways to save money (cord-cutting anyone?), they have turned to ridesharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft to get them from point A to B.

In a recent study, Atlassian sought out to find out just how much these services cost, and how they vary from city to city. Keep reading to see what they found!

Most Expensive Cities for Ridesharing

If you’ve ever tried to get across Manhattan during rush hour, it should come as no surprise that New York City is the most expensive place in the US for a rideshare. With an average cost of $18.73 a trip, you could be out almost $40 a day just getting to work and back. Nothing like spending $20 before breakfast, eh?

Other cities with expensive fares are Seattle, San Francisco, and St. Louis. These bustling cities don’t come as much of a shock, but it’s worth noting that even a trip through the city of Birmingham, Alabama will set you back almost $15 per trip. Ouch.

Least Expensive Cities for Ridesharing

On the bright side, those living in or traveling to Oklahoma City can see their bill stay in the single digits, coming in just under $10 per trip on average. While OKC might not have a name like “The Big Apple” or “City by the Bay”, you can still find plenty to do, and keep from going broke while doing it.

Both North Carolina and Florida appear to be travel-friendly states, with each of them having two top-ten cities for inexpensive rideshares. In Florida, both Jacksonville and Orlando cost under $11 on average, and in North Carolina, you can take a ride in Raleigh or Charlotte for $10.61 and $11.07 respectively.

Average Cost of a Rideshare by City

Looking at the average cost of each of the 50-cities included in the study, it seems that Uber seems to typically be either equal or slightly cheaper than its competitor, Lyft. While Uber has cheaper offerings in 10 different cities, Lyft has the edge in Hartford, Sacramento, Miami, and Jacksonville. Apart from these 14 cities, price isn’t likely to be a huge factor in your decision when choosing which of these two companies to give your business (and loyalty points) to.

Cost of an Uber Ride by City

The price you pay your Uber driver includes a number of different factors that vary based on the city. These factors typically include some, if not all, of the following: a base fare, booking fee, minimum fare, per minute charge, and a per-mile charge. When you average these together, you see how this fare price can be calculated. Based on these numbers, Uber is likely to cost you less in the southeast, with only two cities in this region cracking the top 15.

Cost of a Lyft by City

Similar to Uber, Lyft considers multiple factors when calculating your total fee for using their services. Among those considered are: minimum fare, base fare, per mile charge, per minute charge, service fee and in some cases a city fee. These city fees are only applicable in Seattle, Portland, New Orleans, Chicago and Washington, DC. It’s worth noting that each of the cities where a local surcharge is applied finish in the top 15 most expensive.


Transportation is a costly, but necessary expense we must all incur. For those who choose to live in big cities, those prices are more costly. However, with the prevalence of ridesharing applications such as Uber and Lyft, there are at least multiple options when considering how you’re going to get across town. And, who knows, maybe you’ll end up sharing a car with someone who will become a friend for life.

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