July 16, 2024

Neomi Masuyama

Sustainable Automotive

Science and Math On How Lyft And Uber Are Cost-Efficient


Let’s take a look at the science behind Lyft and Uber.

The Cost of Fuel on Roadways

There are two main factors that determine how much it costs to drive a car: fuel and maintenance. The cost of fuel is one of the most significant expenses for any driver or ride sharing service. This is because it takes energy for an engine to move forward, which means that more gas used equals more money spent on fuel.

When you factor in the number of miles driven per year by each vehicle type (see below), it becomes clear that Lyft and Uber drivers have lower operating costs than taxi drivers:

The Cost of Parking

You may be wondering why parking is so expensive. Well, the answer is simple: it takes up a lot of space in big cities.

Parking spaces are limited in big cities because there aren’t enough parking spots for all the cars that need them, so drivers have to circle around looking for one instead of just pulling into a spot and going about their business. But why don’t drivers just park wherever they can find an open spot? Because doing so would block traffic and cause chaos on the roadways! And while we’re on the topic of blocking traffic–how much time do you spend trying to find an available space near your destination? Wouldn’t it be great if there was somewhere else you could leave your vehicle while running errands or going out with friends?

The solution: Lyft Line! With Lyft Line (and soon UberPOOL), passengers will ride together as part of a shared ride service that’s significantly cheaper than taking individual trips by themselves through traditional taxi services like Yellow Cab or Checker Cab

The Cost of Gas Station Efficiencies

You may be surprised to learn just how much money a gas station makes on a gallon of gas. The cost to build and maintain a gas station is much higher than you’d expect, and there are many hidden factors that can affect the price of your fill-up.

Let’s take a look at some key numbers:

  • It costs about $10 million to build a new filling station with multiple pumps (estimated).
  • To maintain each pump at an average rate, it costs about $2,500 per month in electricity alone! This doesn’t include labor costs for maintenance workers or security guards who watch over the pumps at night (both positions earn around $20k per year).

The Cost of Maintenance on Vehicles

Maintenance is a big cost for Uber and Lyft. The companies have to maintain their own vehicles, and they also have to pay for maintenance on the vehicles they don’t own. This means that there are two different types of maintenance costs:

  • Maintenance that Uber or Lyft pays for themselves (e.g., oil changes)
  • Maintenance paid by drivers who own their cars but lease them out through either company

The Cost of Insurance on Vehicles

The cost of insurance on a vehicle is high. In fact, it’s much higher than the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle. For example, if you own a car that costs $10K and drive 20 miles per day (which is about average), your annual insurance will run around $3K. That’s three times as much as your car! Plus there are other expenses involved with driving like gas, parking fees and tolls (if applicable). So when we look at Lyft Line vs Uber Pool vs Taxi Cab services using data from LendEDU we see that all three options are cheaper than owning/operating your own vehicle

Lyft and Uber are cost-efficient in many ways.

Lyft and Uber are cost-efficient in many ways.

The cost of fuel on roadways, the cost of parking, and the cost of gas station efficiencies are all things that Lyft and Uber have to consider when they’re calculating their prices. The maintenance on vehicles is also taken into account when it comes to calculating costs as well as insurance for each driver involved in your ride request.


We hope this article has helped you understand the many ways Lyft and Uber are cost-efficient.