2017 will be big for Uber and Lyft in Boston. Both now have the green light to pick up at Logan, and state officials have started what they call the country’s most rigorous driver background checks. Before you decide whom to summon for your next ride, consider this:
ARRIVED IN MASS.
Uber: 2011, a time when it still billed itself as a high-end service, not a cab-industry killer
Lyft: 2013, a time when fuzzy pink mustaches still somehow signaled hipster cred
SHARE OF BOSTON PICKUPS, AMONG CUSTOMERS OF CERTIFY, AN EXPENSE-MANAGEMENT FIRM
Uber: 74 percent of rides between October and December 2016
Lyft: 4 percent of rides between October and December 2016 (taxis made up 22 percent)
DRIVER PAY, FROM A NATIONAL THERIDESHAREGUY.COM 2017 SURVEY
Uber: $15.68 per hour; tipping not possible within the app
Lyft: About $17.50 per hour; tipping possible within the app
DRIVER HAPPINESS, ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY
Uber: 49.4 percent of drivers satisfied
Lyft: 75.8 percent of drivers satisfied
GOOFY MARKETING STUNT
Uber: Last Saint Patrick’s Day, Bostonians could get a bagpiper delivered.
Lyft: David Ortiz disguised himself as a driver last year to pick up some fares.
WEIRD THING THEY KNOW ABOUT THEIR RIDERS
Uber: On New Year’s Eve, Boston’s most ambitious Uber-enabled partier took seven trips to different destinations.
Lyft: In 2016, the most popular drinking destination for Lyft riders was the Cask ’n Flagon near Fenway.
SELFLESS POLITICAL ACT
Uber: Created a $3 million legal defense fund for any drivers affected by Donald Trump’s immigration ban (but only after an initial tepid response and the rise of the costly #DeleteUber movement)
Lyft: Pledged to donate $1 million over four years to the ACLU (also after #DeleteUber trended; in related news, beat Uber in iPhone downloads for the first time ever on January 29)
TROUBLING STUDY RESULTS
Uber: In 2016, researchers from MIT and other institutions found Boston basic UberX drivers were nearly three times as likely to cancel a ride for a male passenger who used a “black-sounding” name.”
Lyft: On Lyft and Uber, Boston women were sometimes taken on too-long trips, apparently due to “a combination of profiteering and flirting to a captive audience.”
Uber: After complaints and just paying $20 million to settle federal charges that it misled drivers about costs and earning potential, Uber is due for a big tuneup.
Lyft: Fewer drivers might mean waiting a bit longer for pickups, but Lyft is setting a better precedent than the competition.
Sources: Certify analysis of thousands of expensed rides originating in Boston in the third quarter of 2016; “RSG 2017 Survey Results: Driver Earnings, Satisfaction and Demographics,” TheRideShareGuy.com; “Racial and Gender Discrimination in Transportation Network Companies,” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper; Federal Trade CommissionSend comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @BostonGlobeMag.
This story has been updated to fix a mistake. Lyft has a 4 percent share of Boston pickups, among customers of Certify, an expense-management firm.