From expanding your suburban search to expanding your nanny search, Uber and Lyft are changing everything
If you’re coming from the city, no doubt Uber and Lyft are some of your most-used apps—and with good cause. Not only can you get anywhere in the city—or beyond—with a quick click, but it’s so much more seamless than battling for a yellow cab. And the subway? Forget it. Unless every single star is aligned, chances are you’re going to be stuck underground a lot longer than you’re planning.
Moving to the suburbs, though, you likely assumed you’d get a car (or two…) and that would be the end of your car-sharing days. The reality, though? Just like you, Uber and Lyft have migrated out to suburbia, and it’s changing the game for families in a big way. Here’s how…
#1. You don’t need a parking spot
Heard the legends of the eight-year waitlists just to get a spot at the train? Guess what—they aren’t just suburban myths. In some NYC suburbs, commuters can wait years to get a spot at the station—and when they do, it could cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year just to maintain that spot.
The alternative? While you wait—or, even, in lieu of a spot—hop in an Uber or Lyft and head to the station. Chances are it’s just a few bucks and ensures you aren’t driving all over the area trying to find a non-resident spot. Cost getting a little too steep? See who’s waiting for cars, taxis, and pickups at the station and see if you can ride-share with friends or neighbors.
#2. You can go to another station
Beyond that, though, you can hit up another station, even if they don’t have non-resident spots. One working mom we spoke to heads to a station that’s closer than her own—but, because she’s not a resident of that town, can’t park. She and her neighbor split the daily Lyft in the morning and hitch a ride from the station with her husband at night.
The annual cost is less than a parking permit, and they save at least 10 to 15 minutes per morning going to the closer station—and in the morning, those minutes are sacred.
#3. Your live-in nanny doesn’t need a car
Have an amazing nanny in the city…who doesn’t drive? If you want her to come to the suburbs, Uber and Lyft could be your solution. Instead of opting for a driving nanny—which, often, is significantly more expensive and could limit your search—simply give her access to your Uber and Lyft accounts and go. Now, she can take the kids to soccer, gymnastics, after-school clubs and playdates without ever having to get behind the wheel. Uber and Lyft even offer car seats and boosters, so if you’ve got a little one, it’s easier than ever to travel together.
#4. You want to extend your childcare search
In that vein, depending on where you live, your best bet may be hiring nannies from the city—but, again, these nannies often don’t drive or don’t have a car. Instead of limiting your search to your immediate area, consider sending an Uber or Lyft to your local train station to scoop up your sitter. If she can get from the city to your station, you’ll take care of the rest—and, likely, can connect your nanny to other nannies who need a ride to or from the bus or train. Then, again, once she’s at your house, it’s easy for her to “Uber” to classes, lessons, practices, and playdates with a quick click.
#5. You don’t want a second car
While some suburbs are tough to navigate with one car, others are highly walkable—but, chances are, you’ll need a second set of wheels at some point. That’s where Uber and Lyft come in. If your solo car is in-use by your spouse, nanny or teen driver, simply request a car and you and your remaining crew can hop in and go. This could save you thousands per year on car payments, gas, and maintenance—bonus.
#6. You can go OUT—like out out…
The suburbs are jam-packed with amazing restaurants, concert venues, live performances, and more—and sometimes you really don’t feel like driving. Maybe it’s the vino or maybe it’s the packed parking lot but, either way, you aren’t interested in dealing—and, as you did in the city, now you can queue up a car on your way. Easy.
#7. You can send the sitter home
And when you get home? Pop the sitter or nanny in an Uber or Lyft and send her home. While the platforms have an 18-and-over policy, if your sitter meets the mark you’ll be able to dodge those late-night drop-offs—bonus.
#8. You aren’t married to a train schedule
Missed your train or bus? Hop in an Uber or Lyft. While it’s likely pricier than your average commuting costs, when you need to get home you need to get home. And, more and more, we’re hearing prices coming down for suburban travel. One Long Island commuter said it’s just $40 to his midtown office in the early AM. In a pinch, that’s $40 well spent!
And, of course, we’d be remiss not to mention our other favorite Uber-ification of the suburbs: UberEats! UberEats has hit the East Coast ‘burbs in a BIG way, taking out take-out options from dismal to decadent. One family said they had two restaurants that offered online delivery before UberEats hit the scene. Now they have 60. Yum!
Choosing the right town to call “home” is the most important decision you’ll ever make—why go it alone? Get in touch and our expert Suburbs Strategists will help you navigate the ‘burbs and find the right town to call “home.”