Ridesharing Case Study

Like many San Franciscans, I use ridesharing services frequently to get around the city.

It struck me as an interesting project to delve into the details of my ridesharing habits (Uber + Lyft). Some questions I hoped to answer:

  • How much money have I spent on ridesharing?

  • What time of the day do I usually call rides?

  • How much is my average ride?

To answer these questions I needed my ride data. I did this by scraping my email inbox for all Lyft & Uber receipts.

Gathering data on Lyft & Uber rides was surprisingly tricky. Neither website allows users to export ride information from the app.

Gathering data on Lyft & Uber rides was surprisingly tricky. Neither website allows users to export ride information from the app.

Screenshot of the dataset: variables include time, company, distance, cost, and others not pictured.

Screenshot of the dataset: variables include time, company, distance, cost, and others not pictured.

Rideshare cost ranking.jpg

The plot to the left depicts each of my rides as a column, ranked from highest to lowest cost. Overall I rode 136 rides in the 2.5 year period of Dec '13 to May '16.

My average cost per ride is $11.7, and median cost per ride is $8.7.

By changing the color variables in my chart, I can quickly see factors that correlate with cost per ride, such as Pool vs. Non-Pool and Surge vs. Non-Surge. 

Here you see my ride data colored by Pool (blue) vs. Non-Pool (orange). UberPool / Lyft Line refers to when one shares a ride with another passenger. This results in cheaper fares but longer ride times.

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 2.18.33 PM.png

The graph on the left shows surge rides (red) vs. non-surge rides (green). Surge refers to when high ride demand drives up costs for riders and revenue for drivers.

 

One question I wanted to answer going into this is "what time of day do I usually call rides?" Looking at the colored chart to the left, it's clear that nighttime (6PM to 12AM), plotted in red, is the winner. Of my 136 rides, 84 took place from 6PM to 12AM.

Interestingly, my nighttime rides also have the cheapest average cost of any time category ($9.5/ride). This makes sense as I often take night rides on weekdays when I wouldn't venture too far from home. 

This exercise really helped paint an interesting picture of my behaviors as a rider.

Interesting takeaways:

  1. $$$: I spend a significant amount on ridesharing, about $12 per week.
  2. Nightrider: I ride mostly between 6PM - 12AM, 62% of the time.
  3. The Brunch Surge: My highest cost per ride is from 6AM to 12PM. I never use ridesharing apps during that time on weekdays, so I know all of these costs come from weekend appointments (e.g. brunch!)
  4. Adverse to Pools:  In order to cut down costs, I should carve more time so I can take UberPools/Lyft Lines. These cheaper rides accounted for 56% of my rides but only 19% of costs! 

Jenn