How to Create a Rideshare App: Cost, Features and More

Ridesharing and carpooling are now both a business and a social trend. Following the concept, one can refuse using inconvenient public transport and save costs on individual taxi booking and others can make money out of personal vehicles and free time.

In 2020, ridesharing takes different forms. From Grab to Uber, and from Juno to BlaBlaCar, you may choose a service that meets your needs more. No wonders, ridesharing market continues to grow and explode with brand new startups.

How to start a rideshare program? Read the article to make your idea beneficial and find riders’ and drivers’ support on the early stage!

How to Make a Rideshare app: Basic Facts

The question of what was the purpose to create a first rideshare startup is yet to be discussed.

On the one hand, we’ve got a sharing-is-caring concept with no commercial aspect. According to it, ridesharing helps drivers to use fuel responsibly and share space in their cars with others who are going to the same place or area.

On the other hand, we’ve got the pragmatic on-demand business concept, where drivers become entrepreneurs providing their services for a wide range of customers. Example — Lyft, Uber, and BRIDJ which is an on-demand bus service.

So what is the difference and how to create a ride-sharing app that will be highly demanded?

First, try to form your unique service idea. Remember, that Uber’s success didn’t come from nothing. The startup was first that mixed on-demand service concept with technologies such as location tracking and automated cashless payments. Learn more about Uber app from our blog article How to Make an App Like Uber. And BlaBlaCar which is now the biggest long-distance carpooling provider with 80 million users in 22 countries won the hearts of its customers with the idea of cheap and safe transfers between cities.

Basically, our advice for you is to choose between rideshare, carpooling, and lift-sharing niches and study your competitors on the particular market. Some tips will help you not to mix markets:

- Carsharing or carpooling

Examples — BlaBlaCar, Carma Pooling, Waze Carpool

Carsharing is about sharing spare sears in your car with people who are planning to visit the same destination (often for intercity trips).

People could share a vehicle for the short trip (like the one from home to the office), or long distances (from one city to another). There, passengers do not choose the final location but try to adapt their routes to it. However, they could tell the driver where to pick them and where to stop.

Another carsharing meaning is community (shared) car services where any registered user could drive a vehicle that belongs to the particular company and was not taken by any other users.

- Ridesharing

Examples — Uber, Liftshare, Grab, Gett

It is a regular taxi alternative, where drivers are regular car owners without registration in particular taxi services. That is about peer-to-peer on-demand city riding service.

Ridesharing usually means that it is a passenger who defines the destination, but not a driver. At the same time, a passenger could share the ride bill with friends and proceed on a carpool trip.

Although today’s carpool-to-work and ridesharing apps differ by form, they have lots of features in common connected with user experience. To use them, you need to download their apps and proceed with driver or passenger registration.

Then, you have to create a ride and mark pick up and drop points. After all, they choose riding partners and get their ride approvals. Rides can be prepaid or paid soon after they were completed automatically or by cash. The last step is giving feedback to your ride partners.

Create Your Own Ridesharing App: Choose Your Platform

Having your unique app idea description goes into tech details. As app development and maintenance need money, a good idea is to choose a proper monetization model, calculate the development budget, and forecast profits. Start with finding out who your service will be targeted on.

Study your market niche and create target audience portraits (geography, age, gender, income level, occupation, as well as needs and fears).

Mind, that almost all of the rideshare apps seem to be dedicated to a wide audience with no specific features. But that is not always true!

Wingz peer-to-peer transportation network company was designed mainly for US riders that need airport transfers and Juno is focused on attracting experienced and reliable drivers charging a small commission from their rides. Curb works with all official taxi providers within the area and Uber provides customers with additional services like UberEATS delivery or UberWAV (wheelchair accessible vehicles).

How to start a rideshare program? Target audience specifics together with your development budget, marketing plans, and project timelines make you choose one or another platform to develop your app.

That could be iOS or Android (native development), or both of them (cross-platform development). To know much about the advantages and disadvantages of those solutions read our article Android vs iOS: Which Platform to Build Your App for First Is Better.

Comparing iOS and Android native app development consider your target audience preferences first. Then think particular platform features. For example, Android is a leading platform in Africa, China, India, Africa, and Eastern Europe, while iOS dominates in Canada, the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Western Europe.

At the same time, iOS users are more likely to be women and they make in-app purchases more frequently than Android users who are more likely to be men. iOS users are also younger than Android ones.

In terms of budget, iOS app development is cheaper than Android as there are significantly fewer Apple mobile devices standards comparing to Android. Swift which is Apple’s official programming language is also easy to learn and work with which makes development on it faster.

If you don’t have money for developing two native apps at once, choose one platform for your MVP or give preference to cross-platform development. Our How to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) blog article will help you to avoid critical mistakes while launching your app.

Make a Rideshare App: Key Features

Creating your own rideshare app like Arro or Grab take into consideration that your product consists of three apps — passenger, driver, and manager ones (the last one could exist in website form only). That makes the platform issue critical. It affects your budget three times more compared to usual app development.

Here, we’d like to take Uber as an example to list common rideshare app features and estimate costs. More information here — How to Make an App Like Uber.

Passenger app

900 hours for one platform native development

Uber-like app MVP features — logging in and personal profile, bookings, ride tracking (GPS hardware integration), pricing estimation, payments section (third-party online payment service integration), split-the-bill option, messaging, feedback section and reference builder, notifications

Additional features that help Uber-like app to strive for market niche leadership — planned bookings, favorite-driver requests, waitlisting, special services or cabs requests (UberSUV, UberBLACK, UberXL)

Driver app

400 hours for one platform native development

Compulsory features (Uber MVP) — logging in and personal profile editing, navigation, accepting requests, notifications, earnings tabs, billing section, communication with passengers, feedback section and reference writing, ongoing support button

Additional features of the driver app — rewards and passenger’s music player synchronization

Admin dashboard

250 hours for the website

Functions — monitoring drivers, navigation support, revenues, and payrolls, database maintenance

How to create a ride-sharing app? Although in the case of Uber driver and rider use completely different apps, there are few examples of rideshare apps where you can easily switch driver-and-passenger statuses within one app. BlaBlaCar is one of that kind.

That is also important to have offline support options working on non-online services like a taxi. Both a service provider (a driver) and its client should have a way to solve their conflict issue quickly, fix fare mistakes caused by the program, or ask for help in emergencies.

Add 24/7 support maintenance to your budget and don’t forget that that is necessary to have an algorithm of checking driver licenses and vehicles before adding them to the system.

How Much Does It Cost to Create Rideshare App?

In the previous paragraph, you may find general calculations for the number of hours required for Uber-like app development. Notice, that to launch the project you need a team with a particular skill set. You may also hire several specialists of the same competences to speed up the development process.

How to make a rideshare app? Here you’ll find essential team roles (development team structure):

Visionaries — PM, Strategist, Researcher, Business Analyst

Design unit — UI and UX Designer, Data Architect

Tech unit — Java (Kotlin) Developers for Android native apps, Objective-C (Swift) Developers for iOS native products, or HTML (CSS, JavaScript) for cross-platform mobile apps

Quality Assurance — QA Manager

Marketing unit — Marketer, Sales Manager and other teammates involved in promotional campaigns

Read more about team roles and hourly rates of specialists connected with app development from our article How to Hire Dedicated Development Team. Remember that hourly rates of our specialists depend not only on their experience but also on your form of cooperation with them.

Choosing onshore dedicated development (a team is from your country) you are opting for better control and productivity but usually pay a lot. Nearshore and offshore development mean lower prices for deeper expertise.

Time zones, language, and cultural borders, however, could cost you some risks. For local tech specialists hourly rates comparison: the Norway medium rate for app development is 740 kr ($80) per hour, while in Ukraine you may pay $40 per hour for the same task.

How to start a rideshare program in the way you could control each task by yourself? In-house development (which is opposite to dedicated or outsourcing development) means that you hire team members to let them work for your project on a full-time base.

The key disadvantage of the approach is that you need to rent an office, arrange team building events, provide legal support, and search for new candidates to replace hose who left the company by yourself. All those support issues are costly.

Choose an in-house option if only you’ve got the constant need for a tech team in your office.

And don’t forget about project maintenance costs! Launching rideshare startup close to Uber, add at least 20% to your budget as in future your maintenance charge items will include holding users’ records, payment services commission, 24/7 support team maintenance, content updates, analytics proceeding, and app tech improvement.

More on startup budgeting learn from our another blog article How Much Does It Cost to Build an App.


In 2020, the ridesharing and carpooling services markets are considered to be still growing. Empowered by the latest tech innovations such as IoT-connected self-driving vehicles, GPS-based cab monitoring tools, and big data aggregators, ridesharing market revenue is amounted to $183,677 million this year. At the same time, the annual growth rate of the market niche globally (2019–2023) is forecasted to reach 14.8%.

Uber, Lyft, Gett, Grab, and BlaBlaCar are dominating the ridesharing and carpooling market, however, not all of them are direct competitors. How to create a rideshare app that will have no competitors at all or could conquer the high-competitive taxi market?

Follow software innovations, find your strong competitive advantage, plan idea implementation carefully, set realistic budget, and find expert support. Find your inspiration looking through stories of skyrocket success of other services and learn from them.

Ready to build your rideshare app? Contact LANARS to estimate your idea.

Originally published at

LANARS Founder, Entrepreneur, Proud dad. Working in IT industry for near 10 years. Run a tech company presented in Ukraine, Norway and Georgia.

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