How do you get around?
Comparing Calgary’s different modes of transportation
By Nathan Woolridge, Staff Writer
With ride-sharing in the city for over a year now, there are a few different options that you can choose to travel with. Each different way to travel has its positives and negatives and can all depend on what you need the ride for. There’s Uber, taxi, and public transit that all offer different benefits to users, depending on where you want to go.
Uber: Taking over the city?
To many people, Uber has offered a different option of travel in the form of ride-sharing. In Calgary, the city offers public transit and there are a few select taxi companies to choose from. Uber offers similar services but they will quote you the price before you leave on the app.
In April of this year, Uber claimed to have 70,000 Uber riders and 1,500 drivers in Calgary, according to the Calgary Herald.
“Whether you’re headed to work, the airport, or out on the town, Uber connects you with a reliable ride in minutes. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go. And payment is completely cashless,” states Uber on their website.
Uber vs. taxis
Uber does offer a great service for people trying to save money. In comparison, Uber is usually cheaper than a taxi. The aim is that you know what you’re paying before even getting into the vehicle.
The Uber app can tell your exact location, which makes for an easy pick-up. It’s much better than trying to explain to a cab driver where you are for pick up.
A cab could be similar in rates for distance, but once you factor in the cost of sitting in traffic while the metre is running, you typically pay a lot more. Uber is priced by distance and availability, where taxis are priced by time.
Uber vs. Lyft
Other ride-sharing giant, Lyft, has been rumoured to expand operations in Canada. Lyft is very similar to Uber and would likely have trouble competing with an already established company. But fortunate for us, it may create some competition and create lower prices. As well, more drivers and selection to choose from in regards to price and where we want to go.
If you’re a student you’re entitled to a U-Pass. If not, there are multiple different passes that you can purchase. A single ride costs $3.25.
Public transit can be a cheap and viable option for transportation, but it is not always reliable. Busses are not as frequent as hoped and it can be a pain for people who need to change busses to reach their destination.
Also, transit is not always direct. For example, Mount Royal has some busses come to campus, but not from a lot of areas of the city. As well, MRU does not have a train to or close to campus.
But, in defense of public transit, you would not want to take an Uber to school every day. It’s cheap, but it’s not that cheap.
Biking and walking
Calgary has a great new bike lane system and lots of walkways to get around, but the prime time for this is mostly in the spring and summer months (if we’re lucky).
In Calgary, we aren’t fortunate enough to be able to bike everywhere all year long. It’s a great way to get around and keep in shape, but it’s just not realistic all of the time, especially in winter.
A night out
Uber is better for a ride home on a night out or possibly going to an event downtown when you don’t want to risk trying to park there.
But, as convenient as it may be, sometimes Uber increase prices in certain areas that have a lot of people requesting a ride. For instance, if you’re at the Saddledome and it’s after a hockey game or a concert, it can be quite expensive for an Uber. Depending on where you live, sometimes a taxi may be available and similar in price.