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14 November 2021

How Much does it Cost to Create a Taxi App - a Lyft Clone Development?

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Over the past ten years, online ridesharing services with the help of mobile apps have replaced traditional taxi services. They offer greater convenience, security, competitive prices, and carpooling – features that no one has ever heard of before. Later, we’ll tell you how much the development of a similar app costs using the example of the creation of a Lyft clone.

What influences the development cost?

Developer’s location. Lyft is a pretty complex ecosystem combining the work of a server side, two mobile apps – one for a driver and one for a passenger – and a web or desktop admin panel. Only custom development can make all these elements work correctly and be safe enough. A team on the staff or an outsourced development company can be tasked with this kind of development.

The cost of hiring the development company depends on its location. Specifically, a developer's average rate in the USA is $95 per hour, Western Europe — $67 per hour, Eastern Europe — $32 per hour. Interestingly, despite such a wage differential, the quality of work of a programmer from the USA and Ukraine is the same. For this reason, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, and other American IT companies give a part of the development of their own projects to outsourcing to «cheaper» countries.

Here’s a development team for the creation of a Lyft clone:

The number of features and their complexity. The second factor, which influences the cost of the creation of a Lyft clone, is the number of features and the depth of their development. Of course, the bigger the number of them is and the more complex they are, the higher the development cost is. This is how the projects are usually classified by these criteria and the cost of their implementation:

Tech stack. The cost of the software creation also depends largely on the development tools used. Here are some basic technologies, which you can use when developing a Lyft clone:

The cost of the creation of a Lyft clone (in stages)

The development process of such apps as Lyft usually consists of the following stages: market research, design development, frontend and backend development, and testing. Here are their description and estimated implementation time.

Market research

As a rule, before the development of the service of taxi booking via the mobile app, it’s necessary to go through a standard stage – market research, an analysis of the target audience and competitors. This research will help you know your users (demographics, preferences, habits) and competitors (strengths and weaknesses, innovations). Later, you’ll be able to use this information to single out the most promising niche to launch your clone.

The cost of this marketing research depends on its depth:

Design development of a Lyft clone

How your Lyft clone may look like. Source

As usual, a part of the development cost is involved in the design. Taxi ridesharing services are client-oriented; therefore, they should have a beautiful and easy-to-use UI/UX design. On average, the creation of a similar design takes 200 to 500 hours. This process consists of the following stages:

Passenger panel implementation

Key features for passengers. Source

Registration, log in. To use the app, passengers have to register in the system via their phone number, emails, or accounts on Google, Apple, Facebook, or Twitter.

Taxi booking. Online car booking is an important feature of such apps as Lyft or Uber. It enables passengers to book a car by entering the pickup location and an address with the help of only a couple of clicks. After that, the system will search for the available driver and send him to the passenger by SMS or push notification.

Payment for a ride. Lyft offers several payment options with the help of a payment gateway embedded in the app. These are usually bank cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay in the USA. Integration of the service with payment systems is made on the server side of the app.

Price calculator. It’s another interesting feature of Lyft, which helps a passenger to see the ride price straight away. It’s calculated by a system according to traffic, drivers’ availability, peak hours, and the like.

Car tracking. Lyft just like other similar apps provides a passenger with the possibility to track the location of a booked car on a map through GPS. It’s a very convenient feature, which allows the passenger to estimate the driver’s arrival time himself.

Notifications. This feature helps to inform a user of the fact that the car is confirmed, arrival time, price of the ride, payment confirmation, the car delay, or the cancellation of the booking. Notifications are usually sent via Twilio and SMS.

Ride history. It makes it possible to track previous rides: pick-up and drop-off areas, date and time, duration and price, the driver, and the presence of fellow passengers.

Reviews, rating. Passengers should have the possibility to leave feedback and rate a driver by several criteria: speed, politeness, automobile condition, the smell in the car, etc. It improves the quality of services.

Driver panel implementation

Key features for drivers. Source

Registration, log in. To become a driver on Lyft, a user has to verify his identity, be over 21 years of age (in some localities — over 23 years of age), have insurance, at least 3 years of driving experience, and clean driver’s license. In some places, New York, for example, it’s necessary to have an NYC TLC commercial license. The car should have at least 4 doors, 5-8 seats, and at least 5 seatbelts. Your service should verify all of that through local licensed representatives.

Status updates. A driver should have the possibility to specify his availability: not working, waiting for an order, taking a break. Herewith the system should track the «free» and «carrying out an order» statuses automatically. Besides, the driver can notify passengers of his location.

Booking requests. Lyft allows a driver to accept a passenger's request for the ride or deny it if he doesn’t like the passenger’s rating, or if he wants to take a break, or in case of an accident.

Ride history. This feature keeps record of the car booking, driver’s earnings, rides that he competed, and places that he visited.

Reviews, rating. Just like passengers, drivers should have the possibility to rate their clients by several criteria: time of waiting on location, politeness, smell, etc.

Notifications. They notify the driver of ride requests, the passenger’s location, payment, and the like.

Admin panel implementation

In order to track and control all of the processes in the system and keep track of the level of drivers’ load and customer satisfaction, a central control point is required — an admin panel. Due to it, your company’s employees will be able to manage passengers, drivers, orders, locations, payments, payouts, and other important business processes.

Service testing

Bug fixing — 225 to 358 hours. 25% of development time is usually spent on quality control and bug fixing in the software’s work.

Manual testing — 118 to 143 hours. Testers do it by simulating users’ (drivers’, passengers’, and admins’) actions with the special software. It usually takes about 10% of the time of development of the whole project.

User testing — from 50 hours to infinity. After the completion of all the development tasks, real users should test the app. Fortunately, it’s a piece of cake for mobile software: when you upload the app on Google Play, you can choose the possibility of alpha or beta testing. This means that only testers will have access to the app and you can limit their number. The processing of results of such testing might take 50 hours or more depending on the number of bugs found and people’s reactions.
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