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For parents, friend groups and the environmentally conscious, here are 5 rideshare options to try in Austin

These Austin rideshare services are a handful of alternatives to Uber and Lyft. (Pexels)

Whether you're headed out for a drink or just trying to avoid a packed parking lot, ridesharing can be an easy alternative. The ridesharing market is expected to reach $344 billion by 2030 and in Austin, there are loads of options for those looking to ditch Uber or Lyft.


Maybe you want something eco-friendly, or with safety measures or with enough seats to pack your entire friend group. Whatever your preferences are, these are five apps to try out:

Fetii

This Austin-based company launched this past summer, and it's a smart go-to for group rides with its fleet of 15-passenger vehicles offering on-demand rides.

Riders can also take advantage of shuttles geared toward various groups. There are shuttles for going to the airport, university, for hospital and healthcare workers and for corporate use. Fetii points to large groups lowering emissions, but the company is going even further with an aim to go all-electric by 2025.

On the convenience side, rides on Fetii can save you from having to Venmo or Cashapp your group. Its check-in system lets riders split the fare and pay their dues through a QR code.

Plus, it's on the affordable end: Trip fares average $5 per person.

EARTH

(EARTH/Twitter)

There's now an app for getting places and lowering your carbon footprint.

Rideshare company EARTH, which offers trips in electric vehicles, had 115,000 riders in 2021, its first full year of operations. This EV rideshare gives people the ability to avoid surging prices, and is currently active in Austin and Nashville, after being drawn to cities where EV ownership is popular.

But it also has plans to expand. This year, the company is expected to add drivers in San Antonio, Waco and other cities outside of Texas.

Additionally, the company prides itself on being driver-friendly. Independent contract workers are paid either on an hourly wage or commission and 100% of their tip and are also eligible for health insurance benefits.

Over the past year, the company says it has increased its pool of drivers by 25%, which could help make finding a ride through the app easier. And if you're just visiting Austin, EARTH has a partnership with Tru by Hilton for airport shuttle services.

HopSkipDrive

(HopSkipDrive/Twitter)

Described as the "Uber for kids," HopSkipDrive pushes against that.

That's because the service— which launched in Austin late last year and is catered to parents who want to book a ride for their child—uses a "completely different, and far more rigorous, safety technology and processes," the company says.

The Los Angeles-based company was founded by working moms, so parents can feel secure sending their kids off on a ride with drivers who are vetted in a 15-point certification process. Among the requirements are five years of caregiving experience and an in-person meeting with the company, along with vehicle inspections and background checks.

But you'll have to plan ahead. All rides need to be booked in advance.

MetroRideShare

(Capital Metro/Twitter)

Geared toward riders who want to regularly carpool to work, CapMetro can get you to the office and back.

The vanpool service allows four or more people to take on a month-to-month lease agreement that includes the vehicle, maintenance, insurance, and 24-hour roadside assistance leased through Enterprise.

It is an investment, however. Fares vary based on vehicle type, group size, gas prices and tolls, with the monthly cost that riders split. Groups are eligible for $450-$500 monthly subsidies depending on the route.

This service comes with a guaranteed ride home program, which gives customers a taxi ride in the case of an emergency. With an annual membership fee, customers can get reimbursed for up to four taxi rides home a year.

Curb

Like the classics? Try out Curb, a taxi app that came to Austin in 2015 and has partners like Lone Star Cab Austin. With Curb, riders can book flat-rate or per mile rides in advance and pay for ongoing taxi rides.

If safety is an important factor, this app is for you. Riding taxis means every driver is licensed and insured.

There may be a couple of downsides when using Curb. Some reviews have said the ride now option isn't very immediate and it's better to schedule a pickup. And there's also the cost of a taxi, which has sometimes proven to be steeper than other options.

Still, the app also offers a rewards program. By sharing a personal referral code, users can earn credits for rides.

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