Use our Timeline Template Collection to visualize and track your business processes. Timelines keep your projects on track, provide context, and set expectations for stakeholders. They show where you're currently at in a project, what you've accomplished so far, and help set deadlines and expectations.
Below, we use timelines from this collection to compare Uber versus Lyft across their availability, speed, price, and business fundamentals and explain the most important metric to assess a ride-share company. After that, we'll share how you can use the same tools for your business. Download our fully customizable Timeline Collection Collection for dozens more visualizations to save time and hours of work. If you want to scroll straight to the presentation explainer, do so now.
Uber vs. Lyft 2022: the ultimate comparison
Which is the better company? Uber, or Lyft? Both Uber and Lyft are the current leading rideshare services, with a combined net worth of over fifty billion dollars. But what led to their meteoric rise, and what sets them apart from the competition… and each other?
Uber and Lyft debuted on the public market within two weeks of each other in 2019. Both IPOs were in the works for years and were long-awaited by investors. While today, Uber is available globally in over 650 cities and regions, Lyft is still only available in the US and Canada. But because of Lyft's regional focus, it is available in more US cities than Uber.
Despite Uber's larger size, Uber only has twice the cash as Lyft. Lyft's market share has doubled since 2015 from 15% to 31%. As both companies battle it out for market share, they've had to spend on driver subsidies and promotional discounts for riders. It's a strategy that has caused both companies to burn through a lot of cash—Uber has reportedly spent over $11 billion since its founding. But this year, for the first time in its history, Uber announced it will be cash-flow positive for the full 2022. While it has become normal to make a loss for extended periods in the tech sector, Uber did so for longer than others.
Uber was founded in 2009 as UberCab. After some initial investment rounds, 2011 was a crucial year for the growth of Uber. Its ridesharing service first went live in New York in May 2011 before national expansion began in September in Chicago. By December, the company had expanded internationally with its launch in Paris. And by July 2015, Uber was the most valuable startup in the world. But it still wasn't turning a profit: it had bigger goals of becoming the world's primary transportation marketplace, and that would require a lot of investment.
Uber and Lyft aren't just companies, they're platforms. These platforms allow connections that create marketplaces. In 2015, Uber used its existing platform to quickly grow UberEats, which is now the most valuable part of its business model. By 2016, It was sink or swim for Uber. To achieve the necessary growth, they had to plot out milestones with important events and dates. They had to sync team members around an organized timeline. On March 1, the UberEats app launched in Los Angeles. Fifteen days later, it launched in three other cities. In April, Uber launched in Argentina. In May, Uber announced that it would show riders the price before they book a ride in the hopes of gaining more customers. In June, Uber opened up its RUSH API to developers so more businesses could incorporate Uber drivers into their models. In August, Uber announced it would launch a service with self-driving cars. And in November, the company launched a completely redesigned app that allowed riders to split fares, get driver contact info, and see more details about their destination, all in an effort to get people to spend more time on the app.
So who's better, Uber or Lyft? Overall, drivers on Lyft report higher wages than drivers on Uber. That's because, on average, Uber takes a more significant cut of each ride. Lyft's hourly average is $17.50, whereas Uber's is $15.68. In terms of speed of service, Uber has significantly higher operating earnings than Lyft, and that's due in large part to this pricing strategy. In the US, Uber charges passengers more per mile than Lyft. According to research, Lyft charges 10% less on a per-mile basis. Lyft also has lower minimum fares. But both companies utilize dynamic and surge pricing during high-demand hours, so prices can always swing wildly. Uber does charge surge prices faster than Lyft.
Still, if you're looking for the cheapest ride, the best option may be to open both apps and compare prices. To get around this app switching and build loyalty among customers, both companies are highly invested in their subscription services. And the future of both subscription services look different: Uber will focus on consumer delivery services such as UberEats and logistics, while Lyft will focus on its micro-mobility business, including its popular bike-share. To achieve these missions, both companies will need to utilize timelines to organize around common goals.
To learn more about Uber's growth strategies, go check out our summary of Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. The slides we used to showcase Uber's growth are part of our Timeline Template Collection, which has dozens of visualizations that you can use for any business need. Let's review some of the top timeline tools from this presentation:
Traditional horizontal timelines
This is a common left-to-right visualization that tracks events, dates, project stages, and key milestones. It can be used for any time period and edited for quarterly views. The twelve events easily divide this visualization into a 12-month timeline if needed. If using a timeline for your own tracking, include as many details as you want. But for presentations to stakeholders, try to keep it simple and only include the most important information for each project event. (Slide 3)
The Gantt Chart visualization is also grouped by weeks, but can quickly be changed into months. The highlighted week indicates where the project is currently at. The chart is divided by "function" with each department's tasks listed underneath. This visualization is useful to view the time period that tasks require, and the personnel responsible for each. (Slide 22)
30-60-90 day plan
The 30-60-90-day plan zooms in on key milestones and identifies the most important deadlines. See what's important across each time period, then provide a detailed description of quarterly accomplishments. Identify the most important aspects of a new project or introduce accomplishments and progress markers to a new role. (Slides 28-30)
The multi-stream timelines show sub-tasks under a single topic or project. Each one has its own workstream. This timeline provides a 6-month view, but it can be updated to 12 months (with increments of two). X's or check marks show which tasks have been completed or not, with space underneath to write notes. (Slide 46)
And last, a calendar view lets you plot tasks by date. Easily adjust the dates to correspond with the current month and year. A legend allows you to color code tasks to decide which stakeholder or department is responsible for what. And if you want more calendar visualizations, check out our Productivity Planner presentation and accompanying video on the top 5 calendar planners with productivity tips from Bezos and Musk. (Slide 32
To create your own clear and concise timelines, you can download the Timeline Template Collection for dozens more visualizations to save hours of time and work. For more like this, check out our Ultimate Gantt Chart Spreadsheet and accompanying video for additional tools and insights on how to incorporate Gantt timelines into your workflow.