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The Uber versus taxi race: who wins?

While the taxi industry and Uber fight it out, most riders only care about the same things – whichever one is easiest to call, is lightest on the wallet and gets you there the quickest.

Two cars enter - One car wins

One is in a cab. One is in an Uber car. Who gets to the finish line first? 1:45

While the taxi industry and Uber fight it out, most riders only care about the same things – whichever one is easiest to call, is lightest on the wallet and gets you there the quickest.

CBC reporters Adam Carter and Jeff Green decided to test that last week around lunchtime with a good old-fashioned car chase. Green called Hamilton Cab, while Carter ordered an Uber car on his phone.

You can watch them race from our office at 118 James St. N. to the Gage Park entrance off Cumberland Avenue in the video player above.

Here are the results:

Who got there faster?

Though the cab showed up a couple of minutes faster, both Green and Carter got to Gage Park at close to the same time. It took about 20 minutes from the time they ordered their cars to the time they got there.

According to Google Maps, that's a nine-minute drive most afternoons in average traffic.

The cab showed up in seven minutes, after first going to the wrong address. The Uber car showed up about two minutes later, as it had to come from the Mountain because no cars were available in the lower city.

Though the cab had a considerable head start, it only arrived at Gage Park with a slight advantage because the driver took an indirect route. While the Uber car just went south on James and then east on Main, the cab went east on Wilson instead, and hit several lights rather than the timed lights on Main.

For you cyclists out there, Google Maps says you can cycle the same route in 18 minutes – which is quicker than what either car trip managed when you factor in the wait times.

Which one was cheaper?

No contest here, the Uber car was less expensive. It cost $11.50 with no tip – as Uber itself says there's no need to on top of the fare.

The cab cost $13.50, rounding up to $15 with a tip.

Which car was in better shape?

Neither car won stellar points in this department. Green described his car as having a "worn-out plastic seat," and was a car that is rented out to multiple drivers to stay on the road for two shifts a day.

The Uber car was a decently clean Toyota Corolla, but it had an empty "non-alcoholic malted beverage bottle" bouncing around the floor in the back. Though it wasn't a beer bottle, it certainly looked like one.

The Uber ride back to James Street, however, showed off the vast differences in vehicles you can see when using the ride-sharing service. The return car was a fully loaded Dodge Charger, with leather seats, air conditioning, complimentary water and candy, pillows, and light jazz playing through the speakers.

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